The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) said recently they have replanted some 8,312 hectares under the National Greening Program, and another 4,765 hectares are targeted for replanting this year.
PENRO Zaldy Cayatoc said the areas already planted was part of their program in 2017 is targeted to be completed by 1st quarter of 2018.
“Ang lahat ng target for 2017 ay almost completed na yan,” Cayatoc said.
Cayatoc said that for the areas covered for 2018, they are now in the process of finalizing the project sites and these are distributed to different CENROs such as Quezon, Brooke’s Point, Puerto Princesa, Roxas, Coron and Taytay.
He explained that the program is implemented with the people’s organization accredited by the DENR and they were given three years to complete the project. If the project is properly managed, the community association will benefit through savings, but if there is high mortality of the planted tree species, they are required to replace the mortality and it is also budgeted for the maintenance and protection.
He added that the people’s organization themselves are the ones producing seedlings in their community nursery so that they can easily source planting materials for the replanting.
Cayatoc said that the community may benefit from the proceeds of the harvested trees within the production areas because harvesting is allowed outside the watershed area.
Cayatoc admitted that there are also challenges in the implementation of the program such as encroachment to the sites which damaged the newly planted mangroves in the coastal areas. He said that the people should help protect and conserve our mangroves since it has a significant role in the ecosystem and as a natural habitat of marine resources.
“Alam naman natin na ang mangroves ay silunganan at itlogan ng mga isda,” he added.
In upland areas, he noted there are threats to the program, especially the locals who allow their farm animals to roam around the plantation.
“Maintenance and protection of management is an integral part of the project. May kasama ng budget para sa maintenance para napapalitan ang mga mortality,” Cayatoc said.