Some PHP75 million has been allotted for the enhanced National Greening Program (NGP) in 3,195 hectares of land in Northern Samar this year.

Photo: REPLANTING. Participants of the National Greening Program (NGP) in Silvinu Lobos, Northern Samar sign an agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in this March 9, 2021 photo. Some PHP75 million has been allotted for the implementation of the enhanced NGP in 3,195 hectares of land in Northern Samar this year. (Photo courtesy of DENR)

The project will tap 600 poor families in the towns of Palapag, Mapanas, Laoang, San Roque, Catubig, Las Navas, Silvino Lubos, and Catarman to plant bamboo, agroforestry, and indigenous species, Joselito Eco, Northern Samar provincial environment and natural resources officer, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Funds will be distributed to family beneficiaries for the seedling production, plantation establishment, and maintenance for one year after planting.

“The NGP was conceptualized mainly as poverty alleviation and food security initiative of the government. The welfare of the people is given importance. Since it espouses participatory strategy, the people themselves are involved in environmental protection,” Eco said.

The regreening program has already kicked-off in Silvino Lubos town on March 9 with 50 recipient families tasked to reforest 131 hectares.

The town gets PHP2.5 million for this year alone.

The NGP is one of the flagship programs of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which aims to reforest 1.5 million hectares of denuded lands nationwide from 2011-2016 for food security, poverty alleviation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and biodiversity conservation.

The project will continue until 2022 since there are still many open areas potential for reforestation activities. (Sarwell Meniano, PNA)