8,588 hectares forest plantation to be established in Quezon in 2015

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8,588 hectares forest plantation to be established in Quezon in 2015

Growing mangrove

“More than 50% of DENR CALABARZON’s regional target of rehabilitating 17,164 hectares of degraded forestland under the National Greening Program will be established in Quezon Province. In Quezon, the biggest province, our office will take charge of greening 8,588 hectares in 2015,” DENR Region 4A Calabarzon Regional Director Reynulfo Juan revealed during a NGP management conference held recently at the regional office in Calamba City.

Juan further revealed that Rizal follows next with 5,337 hectares, Laguna with 3,019 hectares, Batangas, 200 and Cavite, 20.

Now entering its fifth year of implementation, the National Greening Program is a priority program of President Pnoy which started in 2011. The NGP targets to grow 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares of public land from 2011 to 2016.

“We, in the Calabarzon region, are on target. To date, 63,038 hectares out of 119,070 hectares have been planted with 39 million seedlings. 17,164 hectares will be planted this year, and the remaining 38,868 will be done in 2016. That is our humble contribution to the President’s target of 1.5 million hectares planted with 1.5 billion trees,” said Juan

Forester Alfredo Palencia, Quezon Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) chief affirmed, “Quezon is tasked to establish 8,588 hectares new plantations within the province. That is a little more than fifty percent of the total regional target.”

Palencia also said the locations and areas have been identified. “We have also determined the suitable species to be planted in the specific areas, as well,” he added.

He enumerated the municipalities to be covered as Real and Gen. Nakar, and the municipalities in Pollillo Island--Burdeos, Polillo, Patnanungan, Jomalig and Panukulan; and the mainland’s Mauban, Tiaong, Sariaya, Padre Burgos, Pagbilao, Unisan, San Antonio, Atimonan, Gumaca, Quezon, Perez, Tagkawayan, Guinayangan, Calauag, San Francisco, Buenavista, Mulanay, San Narciso, San Andres, Macalelon, and Catanauan.

“These areas will be planted with more than 9 million seedlings and mangrove propagules. We will use indigenous species of forest trees, fruit bearing trees. We will also plant fuelwood such as kakawate, and economically viable plants such as coffee, cacao, bamboo and rattan,” he said.

“We have beefed up manpower facilitate implementation and ensure accomplishment of the set target. We have the support of 87 extension officers who are assigned in the Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs). They will assist the NGP Site Coordinators in the establishment of new plantations, maintenance and protection of the already established plantations,” Palencia added.

Palencia reported that from 2011-2014, PENRO-Quezon contributed to about 2.13% and 38.08% of the national and regional NGP targets, respectively. DENR Quezon established a total of 31,999 hectares NGP plantations in the four (4) years of implementation. These were planted with more than 24 million mangrove propagules, and seedlings of forest and fruit-trees species.

He said the DENR personnel, specifically NGP implementors and extension officers, together with partner people’s organizations join hands in conducting continuous monitoring, and maintenance and protection activities to ensure 85% or higher survival rate of planted seedlings in established plantations.

He said NGP adopts the social mobilization strategy and emphasizes that participation of all sectors of society is vital to the success of the program. The NGP, he added, also highlights that community participation is key to sustainability.

Palencia issued an invitation, “We are encouraging everyone especially those residing in the above-mentioned municipalities and its adjacent towns to be a DENR partner in this noble pursuit.”

He encouraged interested and concerned Quezonins to coordinate with the DENR Offices nearest to them: PENRO-Quezon (Iyam, Lucena City)-(042) 710-3133/373-5524; CENRO-Real (Poblacion 1, Real)-(042) 536-6093/536-7200; CENRO-Pagbilao (Talipan, Pagbilao)-(042) 710-2815; CENRO-Calauag (Sabang 2, Calauag)-(042) 301-7086/301-7084; and CENRO-Catanauan (Brgy. 9, Catanauan)-(042) 315-8236. (With report from Niña Crizelda Veloso, IO, PENRO Quezon)