A total of Php75 million has been earmarked for calendar year 2021 in the implementation of the Enhanced National Greening Program (ENGP) using the family approach strategy. It will benefit more than 600 impoverished families from identified municipalities in the province of Northern Samar that includes the municipalities of Palapag, Mapanas, Laoang, San Roque, Catubig, Las Navas, Silvino Lobos and Catarman, among others.

The amount will be distributed to the family-beneficiaries who are tasked to plant an area covering 3, 195 hectares that will be planted with bamboo, agroforestry and indigenous species. On the part of the family-beneficiaries, they will be given a budget for their seedling production, plantation establishment and for the 1st year maintenance activities.

The National Greening Program (NGP) was conceptualized mainly as poverty alleviation and food security initiative by the government. The welfare of the people is given importance and because the program espouses participatory strategy, they are themselves involved in the advocacy for environmental protection and conservation”, says Forester Joselito L. Eco, OIC-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer of PENRO-Northern Samar during the signing of the Letter of Agreement (LOA) between the ENGP beneficiaries and the DENR.

In Silvino Lobos, a 4th class municipality in Northern Samar, 50 families recently signed LOAs with the DENR for the implementation of the ENGP in their area. The said family-beneficiaries are under contract with the Department to plant an area comprising of 131 hectares of bamboo and agroforestry plantation with an approximate total budget of Php2.5 million to be distributed to the family-beneficiaries for year 2021 alone.

This family-based approach will directly benefit the families themselves and the plantation will have a greater chance of success because of a higher sense of belongingness coming from the beneficiaries,” says OIC PENR officer Eco.