On February 24, 2011, President Benigno S Aquino III issued Executive Order (EO) 26, declaring the implementation of the National Greening Program as a government priority program to reduce poverty, promote food security, environmental stability and biodiversity conservation, and enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation.
The Executive Order supports and complements EO No. 23, an earlier directive of President Aquino, which bans logging in natural and residual forests, as well as Proclamation No. 125, declaring 2011 as the National Year of Forests in the Philippines. It mandates the DA-DAR-DENR Convergence Initiative to be the oversight committee for the program, with DENR as the lead agency.
National Greening Program
On May 13, 2011, the President led the launching of the National Greening Program (NGP) at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) headquarters in Quezon City.
The program specifically seeks to plant 1.5 billion seedlings in 1.5 million hectares of public lands nationwide in six years, from 2011 to 2016—more than twice the government’s accomplishment for the past 25 years, which adds to about 730,000 hectares.
Areas for planting under the program include forestlands, mangrove and protected areas, ancestral domains, civil and military reservations, urban areas under the greening plan of LGUs, inactive and abandoned mine sites, and other suitable lands of the public domain.
The NGP also seeks to improve water quality in rivers and irrigation for farm lands, reduce the potential for flooding, soak up carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, and lay the foundation for an expanded wood-products economy.
All government agencies and institutions, including local government units, will provide full support to the program, not only in terms of tree planting, but also in the production of quality seedlings, mobilization of all government employees, including students from Grade 5 to college level, to plant at least 10 seedlings each, annually. The private sector is encouraged to participate in the program as well.
Upland communities will also be tapped to be responsible in taking care of the seedlings planted by other participants. In turn, they will be included in the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Strategies to be adopted to ensure the program’s success include social mobilization, harmonization of initiatives, provision of incentives, and monitoring and management of database.
During the launch of the NGP last May 13 President Aquino registered on-line to the NGP website “in an apparent gesture of inspiring the citizenry to follow suit and cast the citizens’ support as well.”
Upon registration on the website (www.ngp.denr.gov.ph), the participants will be provided instruction on how to plant, donate to the program, download related material, read news, view areas for planting through a map, and contact the NGP secretariat at the DENR.
(1) Overview of the NGP website, DENR: PAO Fact Sheet, 13 May 2011
(2) National Greening Program (NGP), DENR: PAO Fact Sheet, 13 May 2011
(3) Philippine Forest Resources, DENR: PAO Fact Sheet, 13 May 2011
Posted May 18, 2011