Senate body okays environment office budget for 2013-A A +A
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
A SENATE committee on Tuesday approved the proposed budget of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that puts priority to massive reforestation, land distribution, and other key climate change initiatives.
Next year's outlay of P23.63 billion will help support the target of greening 300,000 hectares of denuded forests with some 150 million indigenous and fruit-bearing trees.
If completed, the 1.5 billion trees eyed to be planted in 1.5 million hectares of land by 2016 will be about 28 percent more trees than what was planted for the past 50 years, said Senator Franklin Drilon, chairman of the committee on finance.
Other activities to be funded in the 2013 budget include the rehabilitation of some 30,000 hectares of coral reefs and 2,000 hectares of denuded mangrove areas, as well as the protection of the country's protected areas (PAs) with the delineation of some 3,156 kilometers of boundaries of 34 PAs, planting of native trees in some 24, 104 hectares within PAs.
Meantime, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said the DENR targets to issue next year some 102,573 residential and other patents, 113,636 agricultural patents covering 100,000 hectares to beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp) and 1,992 government lands covering 39,123 hectares.
He likewise said that the DENR aims to digitize some 2,389,956 public land and survey records percent of surveyed lands covering 245 million hectares.
Also, the DENR aims to assess some 548 municipalities and cities for the preparation of 1:10,000 geohazard maps, conduct groundwater resources assessment of 28 provinces and municipalities, including the creation of an integrated map system as a guide for planning and decision making.
He said the mapping activities will cover the mapping of 15 coastal provinces located within the country's 18 major river systems to include the implementation of a unified mapping program covering the 18 river systems with the production of 1,700 map sheets on a 1:10,000 ratio. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)