Partners from the business sector, national government agencies, non-government government organizations, and the academe recently inked a Memorandum of Convergence with the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Palo and concerned people’s organizations (POs) for the maintenance and protection of selected National Greening Program (NGP) graduated sites in Leyte province.

These NGP graduated sites formally adopted by partners are areas turned-over to the DENR by the POs and BLGUs after their 3-year site development contract.

The DENR partners with government institutions and private sectors for the continuous maintenance and protection of these previously established NGP sites through the “Adopt-a-Site Program”.

Through this, the Philippine Red Cross committed to provide funds for the maintenance and protection of forty-one (41) hectares mangrove and beach forest plantation in Barangays 88, 93, 97, and 99 in Tacloban City. The SLRuiz forged an agreement committing same support for a ten-hectare NGP area in Brgy. Bacong, Babatngon, Leyte. The Palawan Express Pera Padala Northern Leyte Area also committed to fund the maintenance and protection of a two-hectare NGP site in Brgy. Sta. Elena, Tacloban City.

Meanwhile, the Sto. Niño Senior High School committed to conduct planting and care and maintenance activities of their adopted NGP site in Brgy. San Isidro, Tacloban City. The Regional Special Training Unit 8 of the Philippine National Police (PNP) also committed to initiate beach forest tree planting activities in their adopted site in Brgy. Cogon, Palo, Leyte.

The concerned people’s organizations manifested their commitment to assist in the replanting activities and enrichment of the identified areas. For its part, the CENRO Palo committed to provide all the necessary technical assistance to the parties for the sustainable implementation of the program.

“It is through this partnership that the selected NGP graduate sites will be sustainably protected and maintained”, Palo CENR Officer Crisostomo Badeo, Jr. said. “We are encouraging other groups and institutions to join us in sustaining and rehabilitating our established NGP plantations. Our partnership will ensure that there are enough natural resources for the future generations”, he added.

Meanwhile, DENR Regional Executive Director Tirso P. Parian, Jr. lauded the willingness of partners to assist the DENR in ensuring that the goals of the NGP are successfully achieved. “Our partnership in support of the NGP exemplifies DENR’s Tayo ang Kalikasan advocacy which calls for collaborative efforts towards environmental restoration”, he said.

The NGP was launched in 2011, aiming to reforest 1.5 million hectares of denuded forestlands in the country. Its goal is to reduce poverty, provide food security, conserve biodiversity and address global warming and climate change. The program was expanded until 2028 under Executive Order No. 193 to reforest the country’s remaining degraded forestlands.