TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has forged partnerships with 122 poor families in Leyte province to carry out the enhanced National Greening Program (NGP).
The DENR said on Friday that poor families will be planting trees in 763 hectares, including 200 hectares for bamboo trees, 63 hectares for fruit-bearing trees, and another 469 hectares for indigenous species.
The government has set aside a PHP12.86-million budget as compensation for poor families engaged in planting and ensuring the survival of the trees with technical support from DENR.
“We have been encouraging the participation of families in the National Greening Program as partners of DENR when developing plantation or rehabilitating qualified areas,” said DENR Eastern Visayas regional information officer Maita Reina Sucgang in a phone interview.
The department has been adopting the “family approach” as one of the modes in implementing the enhanced NGP where families are assigned to establish forest plantations composed of timber and non-timber species like rattan.
“Within production zones, beneficiary families can also establish agroforestry plantations composed of timber, non-timber, and high-value crops such as coffee, cacao, rubber, and other fruit trees, provided that the area must be planted with more forestry species than high-value crops,” Sucgang added.
Covered areas in Leyte are Tacloban City, San Miguel, La Paz, MacArthur, Carigara, Jaro, Burauen, Julita, and Dulag.
The NGP is one of the flagship programs of the DENR to reforest 1.5 million hectares of denuded lands nationwide from 2011-2016 for food security, poverty alleviation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and biodiversity conservation.
The project is extended until 2022 since there are still many open areas potential for reforestation activities. (PNA)