DENR adopts 'family approach' in National Greening program


By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is now adopting the "family approach" as one of the modes of engaging Filipino families in the National Greening Program (NGP) in relation to a memorandum signed by DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu last May 6, 2020.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (MANILA BULLETIN) Department of Environment and Natural Resources (MANILA BULLETIN)

Under a technical bulletin issued by the DENR-Forest Management Bureau (FMB) last June 19, a family is defined as a group of persons usually living together consisting of the head and other persons related to him or her by blood, marriage, or adoption.

Under the program, families are allowed to establish forest plantations composed of timber and non-timber species like bamboo and rattan.

The DENR encourages the use of fast-growing indigenous species within these plantations to ensure the conservation of biodiversity and the integrity of the forest ecosystem

Families can also establish agroforestry plantations within production forest zones. These plantations can be composed of a combination of timber, non-timber, and high-value crops such as coffee, cacao, rubber, and other fruit trees, provided that the area must be planted with more forestry species than high-value crops.

The program also allows families to rehabilitate a specific parcel of a given production or protection forest zone using endemic timber and non-timber species indigenous to the area.

Families can also rehabilitate specific areas of mangrove and beach forests that are either denuded or degraded. Cutting, gathering, or collecting of forest products within these areas shall not be allowed.

FMB's bulletin cited that the schedule of payments shall be observed by the DENR for compensating services rendered in the implementation of the program.

A retention fee amounting to 10 percent of the total project cost for three years, which is the whole duration of contract, shall be released upon the conduct and submission of the final acceptance and inspection report three months after the second payment for the third year.

NGP is a convergence initiative of the DENR, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Agrarian Reform, with the DENR as the lead agency.

To increase the country’s forest cover, the government, by virtue of Executive Order (EO) 26, implemented the NGP, which aimed to cover 1.5 million hectares of land with 1.5 billion trees from 2011 to 2016.

In 2015, EO 193 was issued extending the NGP until 2028 in a bid to rehabilitate the remaining unproductive, denuded, and degraded forestlands estimated at 7.1 million hectares.