DENR taps civil society groups to grow more native tree seedlings for NGP DENR taps civil society groups to grow more native tree seedlings for NGP

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and two leading conservation groups at the forefront of saving the country’s indigenous trees entered into a five-year  contract to ascertain the supply of tree seedlings of  prized native tree species  for the National Greening Program (NGP).

DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje signed last week a Memorandum of Agreement with the Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE) and the Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation, Inc (PTFCF) which effectively opened the door of some 200 civil society organizations (CSOs) under FPE’s and PTFCF’s projects the opportunity to take part in the NGP in terms of producing planting materials using native tree species.

“This contract reflects NGP’s commitment to engage people’s organizations and their partners in the non-government organizations such as the FPE and PTFCF to ensure the success of the program,” Paje said, noting that contract essentially give particular attention to the production of quality forest and fruit tree seedlings that are endemic to a specific NGP planting site.

Both FPE and PTFCF have been promoting the concept of “rainforestation” -- a concept that puts emphasis on using indigenous species for reforestation instead of fast-growing, non-endemic species – since the 1990s and in the early 2000, respectively, through their partner forest communities, people’s organizations and NGOs that are organized into CSOs. 

Among the contributions to be gained by the partnership include ensured community livelihood, reduced impacts from climate change, increased promotion of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development within the locality.

Paje said that the DENR-FPR-PTFCF partnership was spurred by NGP’s agenda to push for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, noting that the areas placed for rehabilitation under the program have been expanded to include those being worked on by people’s organizations supported by FPE and PTFCF, aside from areas identified by the DENR.

Paje stressed the partnership can alsoserve as a model for future partnerships with other similar organizations, particularly on  how to guarantee delivery and production of the committed seedlings,  effective coordination between NGOs and other government programs to generate better synergy between NGP and other programs of government, such as the  Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, a version of which is the environmental CCT currently being designed under the NGP, and  the sustainability of the reforestation projects at the community level.

In a statement, PTFCF officer Dr. Perry Ong described the MOA as a “game changer” as the DENR is gradually steering its policy away from the use of exotic species to native species for its reforestation programs. 

Paje said that in the past, the government pursued a nationwide reforestation program to immediately reforest depleted and denuded vegetative cover using fast-growing exotic species. However, he said, the efforts were besieged with several problems, among them the low survival rate of planted exotic species due to site incompatibility and susceptibility to pests and diseases. 

On the other hand, the advantage of using native tree species, according to him, is that they are well adapted to local conditions and have inherent ecological adaptability in the site aside from being readily available for propagation from seed, cutting or wildlings. 

Last year the NGP raised and planted some 69.3 million tree seedlings in more than 118,000 hectares.  Of the total planted seedlings, five million consisted of indigenous species like acacia, mayapis, molave, tindalo,  toog,  and teak.

For this year, the NGP aims to raise some 114 million seedlings, 14 million of which are native tree species to be planted over 200,000 hectares. 

The DENR is also tapping state universities and colleges (SUCs) nationwide to augment its nurseries across the country producing indigenous tree seedlings using non-mist clonal technology through its Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB). Around 30 more agreements with SUCS have been lined up so far by the DENR. 


 

EnvironmentNatural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje rallied last week his field officials to ensure the success of the National Greening Program, saying the program has full support of the President.

    “There is no reason to fail considering that President Aquino has amply given all the support this program (NGP) needs to succeed,” Paje told the regional executive directors (REDs),  regional technical directors, and the provincial and community environment and natural resources officers (PENROs, CENROs) attending the 2-day National Convention of Field Officers held May 31-June 1, 2011 at the DENR Social Hall in Quezon City.

    Paje also challenged the field officials “to give their best shot” as their performance in implementing the NGP will be “highly taken into consideration’ in the evaluation of officials for promotions.
 
“Those who will be performing will be rewarded. Wala pong biro yan,” Paje said, stressing that the field officers will be evaluated fairly based on a purely-merit system “without regard for personal ties or past associations” he has made through over 20 years at the DENR where he started his career as a casual forester.

Paje said the NGP-driven performance-based incentive scheme will first zero in on the PENRO and CENRO positions, with an instruction to DENR Assistant Secretary for Management and Finance Corazon Davis to reserve the vacant PENRO and CENRO posts as rewards for NGP’s top performers especially those that are on an acting capacity. 

“If you are a CENRO, you will automatically become a PENRO.  Those who are not yet full-pledged CENRO (with temporary appointment), we will make you full-pledged CENROs. Performance lamang, wala nang iba,”  Paje stressed. 

Of the 168 CENRO plantilla positions, 47 have yet to be filled;  while 25 remain vacant in the 73 PENRO  plantilla posts.

The incentive scheme forms part of Paje’s overall program to strengthen DENR’s performance-based promotion system to beef up the national leadership’s efforts in professionalizing the  Philippine bureaucracy.

But Paje was quick to clarify that the quality of their performance will be determined by the survival of the seedling declared in their performance and not merely on the number of seedling planted.

“Remember, the NGP is a national priority program of President Aquino, and this is not for show but for grow. Gone are the days when tree planting activities were just to set world records or just for photo opportunities,” Paje noted.

At the same time, Paje asked “doubting Thomases” to be forthcoming this early with their hesitation to go all out to meet their targets to allow for management to act appropriately in their particular case.

“We will make sure that everybody performs. Kung sino sa inyo ang tingin ay hindi kayang ipatupad ang programang ito, sabihin na ninyo ngayon,” Paje said.

The performance-based incentive will be based on the field officials’ scorecard in the  yearly targets given them and will be validated with the use of state-of-the art technology such as satellite mapping and internet-based technology through NGP’s website at the www.ngp.denr.gov.ph

Paje urges lawmakers to classify illegal logging as a high crime

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje is urging lawmakers to act immediately against the continued killing of forest protection workers by enacting laws classifying illegal logging as a heinous crime. 

Paje made the appeal following the death of another DENR employee in Agusan del Sur by suspected illegal loggers.
On February 22, DENR tree marker  Jaime Diez, 45, was shot dead inside his residence in Bayugan, Agusan del Sur, 15 days after DENR forestry specialist  Melania Dirain,  47, was gunned down inside her office in Sanchez Mira, Cagayan last February 7, 2011.

Earlier, President Benigno Aquino III directed the DENR, the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Department of National Defense, the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to heighten the campaign against illegal logging including the protection of forest law enforcers.

“Illegal logging has spawned the culture of impunity that has befallen upon our forest protection workers,” Paje said, noting that the two DENR field workers were killed in two separate incidents this month.  

“Diez and Dirain are just a tiny fraction of a long list of environmental protectors who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. And that list is getting longer by the month,” Paje stressed. 

“Drug pushers and economic saboteurs are slapped with capital punishments for destroying lives and families. With more reason that illegal loggers should be meted out with the same punishment because the death which they cause not only destroys lives and families but communities as well with every tree felled by their chainsaws,” Paje pointed out. 

There is a bill now pending in the House of Representatives declaring illegal logging a heinous crime.

House Bill (HB) 00744 filed by Representative Jane Tan Castro of Capiz on July 7, 2010 seeks to make capital punishment as the penalty for  illegal logging, and that it should be meted out with the penalty of death should the death penalty be restored for capital offenses as defined in the Revised Penal Code. 

 

EnvironmentNatural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje rallied last week his field officials to ensure the success of the National Greening Program, saying the program has full support of the President.

    “There is no reason to fail considering that President Aquino has amply given all the support this program (NGP) needs to succeed,” Paje told the regional executive directors (REDs),  regional technical directors, and the provincial and community environment and natural resources officers (PENROs, CENROs) attending the 2-day National Convention of Field Officers held May 31-June 1, 2011 at the DENR Social Hall in Quezon City.

    Paje also challenged the field officials “to give their best shot” as their performance in implementing the NGP will be “highly taken into consideration’ in the evaluation of officials for promotions.
 
“Those who will be performing will be rewarded. Wala pong biro yan,” Paje said, stressing that the field officers will be evaluated fairly based on a purely-merit system “without regard for personal ties or past associations” he has made through over 20 years at the DENR where he started his career as a casual forester.

Paje said the NGP-driven performance-based incentive scheme will first zero in on the PENRO and CENRO positions, with an instruction to DENR Assistant Secretary for Management and Finance Corazon Davis to reserve the vacant PENRO and CENRO posts as rewards for NGP’s top performers especially those that are on an acting capacity. 

“If you are a CENRO, you will automatically become a PENRO.  Those who are not yet full-pledged CENRO (with temporary appointment), we will make you full-pledged CENROs. Performance lamang, wala nang iba,”  Paje stressed. 

Of the 168 CENRO plantilla positions, 47 have yet to be filled;  while 25 remain vacant in the 73 PENRO  plantilla posts.

The incentive scheme forms part of Paje’s overall program to strengthen DENR’s performance-based promotion system to beef up the national leadership’s efforts in professionalizing the  Philippine bureaucracy.

But Paje was quick to clarify that the quality of their performance will be determined by the survival of the seedling declared in their performance and not merely on the number of seedling planted.

“Remember, the NGP is a national priority program of President Aquino, and this is not for show but for grow. Gone are the days when tree planting activities were just to set world records or just for photo opportunities,” Paje noted.

At the same time, Paje asked “doubting Thomases” to be forthcoming this early with their hesitation to go all out to meet their targets to allow for management to act appropriately in their particular case.

“We will make sure that everybody performs. Kung sino sa inyo ang tingin ay hindi kayang ipatupad ang programang ito, sabihin na ninyo ngayon,” Paje said.

The performance-based incentive will be based on the field officials’ scorecard in the  yearly targets given them and will be validated with the use of state-of-the art technology such as satellite mapping and internet-based technology through NGP’s website at the www.ngp.denr.gov.ph

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