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Pangasinan Tree-Planting Activities Boosted At Onset Of Rainy Season

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Pangasinan Tree-Planting Activities Boosted At Onset Of Rainy Season

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Pangasinan Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) is closely working with people’s organizations (POs) and private sector groups to hit its goal to conduct tree-planting activities in 400 hectares (ha) of denuded land this year.

Citing projections from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), PENRO chief Raymond Rivera, in a phone interview on Wednesday, said they are working with groups to hit PENRO’s target under the National Greening Program (NGP) as weather transitions from summer to rainy season from April to June.

Under the NGP, the government targets to reforest 1.5 million hectares of denuded lands and watersheds around the country.

In Pangasinan, about 120 hectares (ha) of land have already been planted since the start of the year — 42 ha in Alaminos City, 32 ha in Dagupan City, and 46 ha in Urdaneta City.

Under NGP, POs and other contracting groups are paid to implement the program through seedling production, planting, and sustaining or maintaining the seedlings, among others.

PENRO and its counterparts in the localities are also propagating seedlings, which they distribute upon request.

“Ang gusto natin (ay) gumamit ng halaman na meron locally para ma-make sure na suitable ang itatanim. Gusto (natin) na i-ensure na may source ng magagandang kahoy, and also to conserve and protect biodiversity na mangyayari kung ang itatanim ay endemic or indigenous sa lugar (What we want is to plant seeds that are locally available. We want to make sure that we have source of good wood and to also conserve and protect biodiversity, which will happen if what we’re going to plant are those endemic or indigenous in an area),” Rivera said.

Budget for the tree-planting activities in the 120 ha amounted to PHP3.7 million.

From 2011 to 2022, some 29.9 million seedlings have been planted in a total of 30,789 ha of land in the entire province of Pangasinan. The program received nearly PHP602 million funding.

Most of the seedlings that were planted are of fruit bearing trees, timber, fuel wood, bamboos, and mangroves in watershed areas and river banks.

The national program was expanded until 2028 under Executive Order No. 193 in a bid to reforest and develop the remaining degraded forest areas nationwide. (PNA)