Published on Thursday, 25 April 2013 07:50
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DENR CALABARZON aims to re-green 22,326 hectares of public forest for 2013
Goes hi-tech with geotagging 38,847 hectares, 
as PNoy’s National Greening Program enters its 3rd year

DENR Region 4A CALABARZON is preparing to rehabilitate 22, 326 hectares of public forest in 2013, with 900 hectares in Cavite, 1,300 in Laguna, 1,000 in Batangas, 8,300 in Rizal, 10,800 hectares in Quezon and 26 hectares for the Regional Office 

Regional Executive Director Reynulfo A. Juan said the 2013 target will form part of the total regional target of 102,560 to be accomplished by 2016.

He said some 9,712.01 hectares of degraded public forestlands in the region in 2012 from a target of 10,031 hectares. “These have been planted with 5,483,264 seedlings of assorted species of indigenous forest such as Narra, Molave, Balitbitan; and fruit bearing trees such as Langka, Guayabano, Lanzones and coffee. Twenty thousand volunteer planters from the local community organizations and residents, students and faculty, and other partner government agencies, the Police and the Army, helped us plant the seedlings,” he said.

Pnoy’s National Greening Program aims to rehabilitate 1.5 million hectares of degraded forestlands by planting 1.5 billon trees until 2016. 

“We have planted so much, we need to ensure that what we have planted should survive and grow. As we embark on the new sites for planting, protection and maintenance is also emphasized in the already planted sites,” he said.

Juan revealed that the regional field staff who are in the implementation of the greening program as well as staff who are tasked at continuously monitoring developments, underwent a rigid training on Applied Geotagging Technology. He stressed the importance of geotagging in the implementation of the National Greening Program in the five provinces in the CALABARZON region, namely Cavite, Laguna, Batangas Rizal and Quezon, as well as in the whole Philippines. He said this (geotagging) technology will greatly help DENR management facilitate access and monitor the different activities of the NGP throughout the country.

Juan further explained that as the NGP enters its third year, trees planted as early as two years ago would have grown, and the geotagging technology would help verify where these have been planted, confirm these have survived, subsequently monitor improvements and survival.

He said a total of 38,847 hectares will be subjected to geotagging. The samewill be done with the 2013 and the other areas identified for the NGP implementation until 2016.

He said the DENR is building up an accessible and readily available geographic information database on NGP and other program areas of the Department in the region. He is optimistic, the database will be a useful tool for planning, monitoring assessment of programs and projects being implemented. He said it will also facilitate the decision making process.

He also revealed that DENR Secretary Ramon JP Paje initiated the use of the geotagging technology. “Secretary Paje monitors the developments almost daily, logs on to the internet and checks on the progress of implementation in the field. Sec Paje says, President Pnoy himself also monitors the greening program, and checks on what we have done in the internet. Hence we have to make good on really rehabilitating the forests, do an honest to goodness tagging of the trees planted,” Juan stressed.

“The President, the DENR Secretary, other implementors monitor what we have done. The Filipino, or anybody else who has access to the internet will be able to monitor the improvement of the planted trees,” he revealed.

Juan further revealed, “We are now in the process of preparing the areas targeted for 2013. Our field people are now conducting the Survey, Mapping and Planning of the areas. Survey involves delineation and marking of boundaries of the target sites. Contour mapping is also done. We also do Identification of areas for special treatments such as enrichment planting or cover crop planting, delineating forested portions, streams, roads, areas with occupants. The occupants could be or will be our partners in planting and maintenance. These are all in preparation for the actual planting when the first rains come after summer. We start planting as early as May and expect to be done before November.”