IN line with the implementation of the National Greening Program (NGP) in Mangatarem, Pangasinan, Haribon Foundation, the country’s pioneer environmental organization, signed a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region I for the NGP seedling stock production.
The people’s organization (PO), Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng (Brgy.) Catarataraan sa Pangangalaga ng Kalikasan (Nagmacapak), was one of the six organizations tapped by Haribon for the establishment of nurseries and propagation of seedlings in 2013. In the same year, a contract between Haribon and Nagmacapak for the creation of a nursery and propagation of 50,000 forest and high value fruit trees was signed.
Because of the 2013 seedling stock production contract between Haribon and the people’s organization, Nagmacapak was able to save money and produce a second-hand L-300 Van worth P270,000.
Haribon spearheaded the production of planting materials, and buys the seedlings at a much higher price than private contractors. This showed the effectiveness of the local community of Barangay Catarataraan and the Rapid Savings Mobilization Technique session (RSMT). They were convinced to save from the start and up to the present, for bettering the future of the organization and themselves, and to establish more sustainable livelihood and income-generating projects.
Through the past years, the Nagmacapak has encountered difficulties. Some of these are deliveries of vermin cast fertilizers and scraps from their junkshop project, and the videoke and service vehicle for their catering service. Due to the availability of the vehicle to be used, they had to spend a big amount for the rental payment, earning very little from these projects.
Nagmacapak members also experienced problems in bringing their children to school and going back home because of the limited number of public transportation vehicles. Their children had to walk 12 kilometers from their barangay to the highway.
But now, the glow and happiness can be seen on the faces of each member. Now that they have their own vehicle, there’s no need to rent for projects, and it may lessen delivery expenses for the coming months and a possible increase of income. Not only will they have their own vehicle to cater their projects, but the L-300 Van will double as a school service to be used by the children.
The NGP implementation in Mangaterem, specifically the seedling stock production, reduced, if not stopped, the timber-pouching activity.
Even though the program contributed to the economic aspect and reduced the forest extraction activities, there is still a need to come-up with a sustainable mechanism or strictly implement the national and local policies, and ordinances to ensure that the planted seeds under NGP will be maintained and protected.