The government is aggressively undertaking greening efforts with the aim of growing 1.2 billion trees in 1.2 million hectares nationwide in the next four years.
Ricardo Calderon, Forest Management Bureau Chief of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said that 215 million seedlings were planted in 2011 and 2012 through the National Greening Program (NGP). He added that these include agricultural produce such as coffee, cacao and rubber, as well as timber or forest trees such as bamboo and rattan.
“[This] generated 715,774 jobs in the countryside especially in upland communities,” Calderon said.
A flagship reforestation program of the Aquino administration, the NGP aims to plant 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares until 2016.
Calderon noted that environment authorities are utilizing the Geographic Information Software to track planted trees and ensure transparency and accountability in the program.