A March 5, 2012 press release from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje today announced that a total of ten million trees will be planted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) nationwide in support of the National Greening Program (NGP).
Paje said the PNP’s pledge of support for the NGP was officially sealed recently through a memorandum of agreement he signed last week with PNP Director General Nicanor Bartolome which kicked off the implementation of the “Pulis Makakalikasan: 10 Milyong Puno, Pamana sa Kinabukasan.”
“Indeed, this is another convergence we are pursuing under the NGP, and this early I can tell that it is going to be successful because of the commitment shown by PNP’s top hierarchy,” Paje said, citing that NGP’s strength is drawn from the complementation of skills and manpower from other government agencies and sectors in civil society.
With the DENR as the lead implementing agency, the NGP, which President Aquino established through Executive Order No. 26 issued on February 24, 2011, has the Departments of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform as co-implementers of the program under the convergence initiative.
The Pulis Makakalikasan project will run up to February 28, 2013. It will involve all personnel of the PNP, which numbers to around 140,000. They are tasked to plant a total of 72 tree seedlings each, or six tree seedlings per month to be planted by each PNP member for a period of 12 months.
Paje cited the PNP’s leadership for “going the extra mile for its support” with its pledge to establish tree nurseries in its facilities across the country.
“Taking his organization one step further beyond planting trees speaks loudly of General Bartolome’s resolve to mainstream Philippine environmentalism as one of his organization’s core values,” Paje said.
According to the environment chief, this aspect of Pulis Makakalikasan responds to NGP’s primary concern of producing the desired planting material “quantity-and quality-wise.”
“The PNP leadership has responded well to these twin concerns. Assuring the adequacy and survival of these planted seedlings is just as important as mobilizing volunteers that will plant and grow these planted seedlings,” Paje explained.
Under the project, the PNP is to put up tree nurseries inside PNP camps throughout the country to produce seedlings, in coordination with DENR specialists who will help in identifying tree species suitable for planting based on the prevailing climatic and soil conditions of the areas.
The DENR will likewise assist the PNP in identifying areas for their tree-planting activities to meet NGP standards for planting sites that should be reached by forest communities who will, in turn, maintain the planted seedlings. The DENR will initially provide the planting materials for the early stage of the project’s implementation.
Under the agreement, the PNP will replace the DENR-provided seedlings as soon as the seedlings they produce on their own reached plantable size.
For this year, NGP targets to rehabilitate some 200,000 hectares and raise some 114 million planting materials.