It was a freak accident waiting to happen.
Two lives were unnecessarily lost on Saturday for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The accident could have been averted if only concerned government officials and local leaders could have been pro-active instead of re-active.
A coconut tree that has been uprooted fell on two people passing by smashing their hopes and dreams in the process.
Police said Jacel Barcibal Dajalos, 24, teacher and a resident of barangay Minol,
Mabini and Rogelio Tutor Barcibal, 47, also from barangay Minol, Mabini met their untimely death after getting pinned down by a wayward falling coconut tree.
A witness recounted the incident while the victims were traveling on board a motorcycle, a coconut tree got uprooted and fell on the two.
Reports said the coconut tree had no roots anymore to support its weight thus it fell on to the road.
Unluckily, two persons were passing by and bore the brunt of the weight of the falling coconut tree.
Reports said the coconut tree trunk was estimated to be 15 meters long and had a diameter of 28 centimeters.
Both victims sustained serious injuries to the head that led to their instant deaths and was examined by the Rural Health Unit Officer of Mabini town Dr. Ivy A. Padernal.
Condolences poured on Facebook after Minol barangay captain and radio commentator Edgar Tumanda posted a photo of one of the victims.
Some people who identify the victims made known their condolences to the family in relation to the freak accident.
There was even one comment on how gruesome the freak accident was and described the plights of the victims.
The impact was so severe, some reports said the skulls of the victims got smashed and cracked.
Netizen Ayade Achacoso Rolando said, “omg kalooy tawn oi rest in peace. kahilak manpod ta ani ba…”
Elshi Foster said in her comment on Tumanda’s Facebook post, “my heartfelt condolences and prayers to the bereaved family… may she rest in peace…”
Concerns have been raised on coconut trees planted along the roads,which may have the potential of being an accident hazard.
With incessant rains and strong winds brought about by a series of storms hitting Bohol, some trees may have weakened foundations and could pose risks to passing motorists.
CUTTING OF TREES
While the state of the coconut tree can be a powder keg for gruesome accident, hands are tied when it comes to solving such problems.
Cutting coconut trees in the country is a tedious process, and you need to obtain permission from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) before you can take one down.
Republic Act 10593 expressly states no coconut tree shall be cut except in certain cases and only after a permit has been issued.
Before a coconut tree can be cut down, certain conditions must be met which include: the tree is at least 60 years old for tall varieties, and 40 years old for dwarf varieties; when the coconut tree is no longer economically viable; when the tree is severely disease-infested and beyond rehabilitation; when the tree is severely damaged by typhoon or lightning; and when the tree would cause hazard to life and property.
Also it is not allowed to cut coconut trees unless when the land devoted to coconut production shall be converted into other agricultural uses or agriculture-based activities in pursuance to a concersion duly applied for by the owner and approved by the proper authorities, provided that no conversion shall be allowed by the PCA until after it shall have been verified and certified that for a period of three years the majority of the coconut trees have become senescent and economically unproductive or where the coconut farm is not adaptable to sound management practices on acount of geographical location, topography, drainage and other conditions rendering the farm economically unproductive; and when the agricultural land devoted to coconut production shall have been converted in accordance with law into residential, commercial or industrial areas. (DSA)