Posted 22 June 2011, by Joseph B Zambrano & Redjie Cawis, Philipine Information Agency (Presidential Communications Operations Office), pia.gov.ph
BAGUIO CITY, June 22 (PIA) – - The National Greening Program (NGP) in the Cordillera region will kick off tomorrow, June 23, at the Teachers Camp here.
Top Cordillera local government officials together with line agency directors and heads, non-government organizations and other private sector representatives will plant trees around Teachers Camp.
After the tree planting ceremony, Bishop Carlito Cenzon will lead the prayer for Mother Earth to start the program.
Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan will welcome the participants from different provinces of the region.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources Assistant Secretary Regidio De Leon is expected to be the guest of honor and speaker during the event.
A commitment of support will also be done with a signing of Manifesto of Support between the Regional Development Council to be lead by RDC chair, Kalinga Gov. Jocel Baac, the Cordillera Association of Regional Executives, the Mayors’ League representatives, non-government organizations lead by the Baguio Regreening Movement and the Cordillera Green Network, and the private sector.
Representatives from the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club will also be joining the commitment representing the media while SM City Baguio will also be representing the business sector.
The NGP is a priority program of the government that was officially launched by President Benigno Aquino III last month that aims to plant more than 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares for the next six years.
This program which aims to help mitigate global warming, climate change, and the denudation of forest covers, targets to plant more than 3.5 million trees in over 6,000 hectares of land in the different provinces in the Cordilleras.
The DENR identified that among the areas to be planted will be forestlands, protected areas, ancestral domain areas, urban areas, reservation areas, inactive mine sites, and other suitable areas.
Meanwhile, DENR regional executive director Clarence Baguilat said all government employees are required to plant a minimum of 10 seedlings per year for the next five years.
“Tree planting is just a part of the NGP. Tree tending, protection and survival of the tress are the most important aspects of the program”, he said
“This is not about breaking any record of the Guinness book and planting for photo opportunity only, this time we mean business to reforest and protect our watershed,” he emphasized.
The DENR with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Agrarian Reform with the support of the line agencies including the Government Owned and Controlled Corporation, the LGUs, the academe and the private sectors are spearheading the NGP. ( JBZ/RC-PIA CAR)