DepEd requires studes to plant one tree each

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Saturday, March 19, 2011


PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has ordered the implementation of a program that seeks to plant 1.5 billion trees by 2016.

To help achieve that, each pupil will be required to plant a tree every month, Department of Education (DepEd) 7 Director Recaredo Borgonia said.

Executive Order (EO) 26 mandates the implementation of the National Greening Program (NGP), which aims to plant trees in up to 1.5 million hectares in designated areas, including forestlands, mangrove and protected areas, as well as ancestral domain areas.

Borgonia said the program, which will start this March, can be “realistically achieved.”

“It is very heartwarming when you see schools where trees are growing,” he said in an interview with Sun.Star Cebu.

Details

Officials of DepEd 7 and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 have discussed the details of the program’s implementation in the region.

The DENR 7 has allotted 2.816 million seedlings that will be planted this year on 5,632 hectares of land, which also covers civil and military reservations, urban area, inactive and abandoned mines.

The Departments of Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, and Environment and Natural Resources Convergence Initiative are tasked to identify areas suitable for planting.

DENR 7 Executive Director Maximo Dichoso said the NGP is a collective effort of government agencies, local government units, government-owned and controlled corporations, state colleges and universities.

Dichoso said forests provide stable watershed function, steady supply of food and shelter for wildlife, adequate supply of seeds and wildlings, protection from heavy rains and storms, and windbreakers.

Biodiversity

Forests also help prevent flash floods and landslides and revive biodiversity.

President Benigno Aquino III issued EO 26 last Feb. 24.

Among the strategies of the NGP is requiring all students and government employees to individually plant a minimum of 10 seedlings per year.

The program also seeks to integrate the various tree planting initiatives such as the Upland Development Program, Luntiang Pilipinas and similar activities of the government and the private sector.

Communities implementing the program will be considered priority areas in the conditional cash transfer program.

The Departments of Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, and Environment and Natural Resources Convergence Initiative are tasked to lead the program’s implementation.

Also part of the NGP steering committee are the Departments of Education, Social Welfare and Development, Budget and Management, the Commission on Higher Education, private sector and other concerned agencies and institutions.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 20, 2011.

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