SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – DENR Region 1 has mapped plans in the implementation of Executive Order No. 26 of President Benigno Aquino, Jr known as the National Greening Program (NGP).
In Executive Order No. 26 issued on February 24, 2011, President Aquino tasked the DENR to lead the implementation of NGP, with the members of the steering committee under the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)-DENR Convergence Initiative to constitute the program’s Oversight Committee. With Sec. Ramon Paje of the DENR taking the lead, all DENR Officials made their commitment to pursue every possible entries to plant 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares nationwide within 6 years (2011 to 2016.). with partner agencies- the civil society, local government units, private sector, etc.
Regional Executive Director Samuel Peñafiel said all systems go with the NGP Region 1 as he made sure of the locations of open/denuded areas targeted to be planted, the availability of high quality planting materials and fruit trees and the participating agencies/individuals in the program. As a start, Region 1 has its share of about 5,000 hectares targeted for this year in various priority areas namely : CBFM and Integrated Social Foresty areas , and other areas suitable for plantation, broken down by province as follows: Pangasinan – 1,950 hectares; La Union- 500 hectares; Ilocos Sur- 1,200 hectares; and Ilocos Norte-1,350 hectares.
The NGP also provides livelihood opportunities , through the convergence initiatives with DA, DAR and DENR and other member agencies. Under Executive Order 26, the NGP beneficiary- communities shall be considered priority in the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program of the DSWD. The Community-Based Forest Management Program – People’s Organizations are also recognized as important partners in the seedling production, maintenance and the protection the established plantations . Private nurseries and other seedling producers of forest trees and fruit trees who wish to supply seedlings for the NGP are encouraged to apply for accreditation to the nearest CENROs in their areas.
Meanwhile, a Memorandum of Agreement was formally forged even before the program between DENR thru RED Samuel Peñafiel and Commission on Higher Education Regional Director Caridad Abuan to manifest their commitments in the restoration and conservation and protection of environment and natural resources . In the Memorandum , the tertiary students will be oriented, trained and motivated to enhance their capabilities to address the adverse effects of global warming. Among the targeted activities are the conduct of trainings in seedling production and plantation development, IEC on carbon footprints aimed at determining the amount of greenhouse gases produced by higher Education institution premises thereby motivating them to develop alternative activities to reduce carbon footprints, and the construction of material recovery facilities. NSTP students shall also engaged in tree planting under NGP. ena/rpao