The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is shifting its tree-planting program into a high gear by making available over 21 million tree seedlings for planting under the Aquino administration’s National Greening Program (NGP).
DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje said the department and its partners will take advantage of the rainy season to plant some 21.58 million seedlings – more than half of these consist of tree species that are indigenous to the Philippines like narra, molave and lauan – on different NGP sites nationwide.
“The tree-planting season is timed to coincide with the high precipitation prevailing in the country, and planting early in the rainy season will give the planted seedlings plenty of time to get their roots as deep as possible before the weather goes dry by next year,” Paje said.
He added that seedling production is expected to be more robust in the months ahead to ensure that planting materials are enough to meet the NGP’s target for 2013.
The DENR is eyeing to plant a total of 170 million seedlings on 300,000 hectares this year.
Of the 21.58 million seedlings produced so far, some 13 million seedlings consisting of native and fast-growing timber species like mahogany, gmelina and falcate come from all 16 regional offices of the DENR.
Meanwhile, around 7.6 million native seedlings were provided by the DENR’s Ecosystems and Research Development Bureau (ERDB) and 723,535 by the 17 state universities and colleges (SUCs) tapped by the department as NGP partners.
For this year, the ERDB and the SUCs seek to produce 32.5 million and 1.02 million indigenous seedlings, respectively.
The Forest Management Bureau (FMB) and its field offices have also been tasked to allot a significant portion of their 2013 seedling production target of 136.4 million for native tree species. (DENR)