From its P23.62 billion budget recommended by the Department of Budget (DBM) for 2013, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has earmarked some P7.60 billion to boost the agency’s key climate change adaptation and mitigation programs, with the National Greening Program (NGP) getting the lion’s share at P5.7 billion or 75% of total.
“Among the DENR’s key expenditure programs, the NGP enjoys the biggest allocation approved by the DBM which is proof that the Aquino Administration is laying down the necessary requisites to facilitate quicker and more efficient implementation of the NGP,” according to DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje.
This year’s allocation for the greening program amounts to P2.7 billion.
Other programs classified under the climate change initiatives includes forest protection at P251.4 million; protected area management at P81.5 million; coastal and marine resources management at P83.4 million ; biodiversity conservation program at P61 million; and a total of P578 million for clean air (P316,245 million), clean water (P156,275 million) and solid waste program (P105,600).
Also included in the initiatives are the implementation of Manila Bay Operational Plan (P150 million), mapping and remote sensing (P310.6), geo-hazard mapping (P267.7 million), and water resources management (P23.6 million).
DENR is also allotting some P26.58 million budget for Palawan Council for Sustainable Development’s initiatives.
“These initiatives are crucial to improving not only the nation’s environmental integrity but equally the local economy especially in rural areas in light of the administration’s campaign to invigorate the rural economy to increase the country’s economic viability,” Paje stressed.
DENR's 2013 budget for initiatives on climate change and environmental protection takes up some 32 percent of its DBM-approved P23.62 billion.
DENR ranks number 10 among the agencies with the highest proposed budgets for next year, from P17.48 billion, accounting for a 35-percent increase in its 2013 DBM-recommended budget.
The environment chief enumerated three other programs for funding in 2013, namely anti-corruption/transparent, accountable and participatory governance (P770.4 million), rapid, inclusive and sustained economic growth (P2.2 billion) and lasting peace and the rule of law (P92.7 million).
NGP is government's biggest reforestation campaign by far, targeting the reforestation of some 1.5 million hectares of denuded and degraded forestland nationwide from 2011 to 2016 using some 1.5 billion seedlings.
For 2013, NGP is aiming for some 300,000 hectares of forest land across the country using some 150 million seedlings.
NGP activities to be funded under the proposed program budget includes site preparation, operation of clonal nurseries and production areas for mycorrhiza plant growth booster, establishment of seed production areas per region as well as hiring of 1,200 environment and natural resources extension officers and maintenance of seedlings planted in the targeted 300,000 hectares.