CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office here has distributed more than 100,000 vegetable and fruit-bearing tree seedlings to local communities in Central Luzon since July this year.
The distribution is part of government efforts to ensure food security amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic and promote urban forestry, according to Paquito Moreno, Jr., DENR executive director in Central Luzon, on Monday.
“This pandemic has greatly affected our communities and many of our people lost their jobs. We came up with this strategy to reach out to them and ease somehow the economic impact of this health crisis,” Moreno said in a social media account post.
He said the DENR worked closely with the Department of Agriculture and followed Inter-Agency Task Force protocols to activate the Modern Mechanized Forest Nursery (MMFN) in Tarlac that produces vegetables seedlings like string beans, pechay, okra, and eggplant.
“Although it was intended primarily to produce seedlings for our country’s reforestation programs, we saw the potential of the MMFN to provide much-needed help to our citizenry in the face of the pandemic,” he added.
The DENR also set up various “community plantree” in the region and gave away over 90,000 seedlings of forest and fruit-bearing trees, including kasoy, avocado, sampaloc, duhat, mangga, rambutan, guyabano, bignai, narra, fire tree, molave, and bitaog to promote urban greening and environmental stability.
The “plantree” is inspired by the community pantry movement but instead of giving away free food, the DENR distributed fruit-tree seedlings to communities. (PNA)