National Greening Programs taps workers, students

National Greening Programs taps workers, students

By Lilibeth A. French, Wednesday 3rd of October 2012

ILOILO CITY, Oct 3 (PIA) -- The Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Iloilo has called on government employees and students to actively take part in tree-growing efforts to ensure that they will be able to fulfill their share in the government’s National Greening Program (NGP).

CENRO Iloilo NGP Coordinator Forester Christopher L. Lastica said the National Greening Program requires all government employees and students to plant 10 trees every year for a period of six years in areas identified by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and other concerned agencies.

“This means you are required to plant a minimum of 60 trees until 2016,” said Lastica during his short briefing on NGP and how to properly plant tree seedlings to nearly 200 government employees and students who participated in the Tree Growing – Urban Greening in Brgy. Tigum, Pavia last October 2. The activity was spearheaded by the Regional Statistical Coordination Committee in Western Visayas in line with the celebration of the National Statistics Month in October.

NGP harmonizes all the greening efforts of the private and public sectors through the planting of some 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares of public lands from 2011 to 2016 nationwide.

Lastica said Pavia is included among the 13 municipalities in the province covered by NGP’s priority areas involving urban areas under the local government unit greening plan. Other municipalities included are Miag-ao, Igbaras, Alimodian, Leon, San Joaquin, Tubungan, Tigbauan, Oton, San Miguel, Sta. Barbara, Cabatuan and Maasin.

For 2012, CENRO Iloilo has a target of some 926,400 seedlings comprised of indigenous, fruit trees and fast-growing tree species to be planted in an area of about 1,866 hectares.

Of the 1,866 hectares, Lastica said the 1,800 hectares are located in the upland areas of the municipalities of Maasin, Alimodian, Leon, Tubungan, Igbaras, Miag-ao and San Joaquin and the remaining 66 hectares are in urban areas identified by the LGUs for urban greening.

Aside from the urban areas under the greening plan of the LGUs, other priority areas under the NGP are forestlands, mangrove and protected areas, ancestral domains, civil and military reservations, inactive and abandoned mine sites and riverbanks and easements.

Lastica is optimistic that they will reach their target before the year ends, with the cooperation shown by local residents in the implementation of the program in covered areas. He also cited the support given by people’s organizations to ensure there is enough production of better tree species for all the tree planting efforts organized by government and private agencies.

“The request for identification of possible sites for tree planting in our office is overwhelming,” said Lastica as he also acknowledged the support initiatives of local government units in line with the program such as the ART program of the provincial government that intends to plant one million trees this year.

Lastica said under the NGP, the DENR provides and determines the tree species to be planted in the identified planting areas to reduce the mortality of the seedlings. Likewise, DENR monitors the tree planting and tree growing efforts with the help of the communities and organizations which will benefit from the tree products. (JCM/LAF/PIA 6) - Timeline 2012