By: Venus G. Villanueva
KALIBO, Aklan – A total of 502 hectares in the province of Aklan was planted with 270,275 seedlings last year in the implementation of the National Greening Program (NGP) of the government, spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
This information was shared to around 100 participants, composed of principals under the Department of Education in Aklan, barangay officials, people’s organizations, and other representatives of national government agencies involved in the program, who attended the first-ever National Greening Program Summit in Aklan held last June 21 at the Gov. Corazon L. Cabagnot Tourism and Training Center in Old Buswang, Kalibo.
In her presentation of the 2011 NGP accomplishments and latest NGP instructions to participants, forester Anabelle Briones, Forest Resources Development Division chief of the regional DENR, also revealed that 18,700 volunteer planters participated last year in the greening program of the province.
For this year, the latest NGP instructions based on Memorandum Circular 2012-01 just released this May calls on the DENR and participating agencies to use the watershed as the basic planning unit to stress the important function of trees
Sites, preferably, must be 50 hectares and above, and that 609 poor municipalities identified by the National Anti-Poverty Commission and the National Convergence Initiative areas should be prioritized for development.
The memo also called for the implementation of a phased approach to shift from the use of exotic to indigenous tree species; and in coordination with People’s Organizations and local government units, species of forest trees should be propagated on site as well as fruit-bearing trees, industrial crops, fuelwood, and bamboo for planting.
For 2012, the province of Aklan, led by the DENR, targets to plant 1,590 hectares composed of Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) area, Ecosystems Research and Development Service-managed areas, mangrove, urban greening, and DA-assisted area with a total of 789,100 seedlings requirements.
Highlight of the summit was the signing of the memorandum of agreements/letter of agreements on seedling production/procurement, led by DENR officials and people’s organizations’ presidents of KASAMA/Galicia ARB MPC, Asosasyon it Mangunguma ag Mamumugon sa Kinalangay Viejo, and other groups.
Malinao Mayor Wilbert Ariel Igoy, whose municipality has been identified as the major planting site this year, also attended the summit.