LEGAZPI CITY, March 2 (PIA) – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol Regional Executive Director Gilbert Gonzales has tasked the Ecosystem Research and Development Service (ERDS) to produce some 1.2 million indigenous tree seedlings for the National Greening Program’s (NGP) thereby complementing on the national target of 25 million native trees.
“We are abiding with the directive of Environment Sec. Ramon Paje to up the ante on shifting to indigenous or native species instead of exotic ones to give the program a truly Filipino Character,” RED Gonzales averred.
Director Gonzales emphasized that this pivotal role that the ERDS is now taking would be beneficial to Bicol forests to reinstate it, wherein native tree species thrive in it.
Based on the regional target 750,000 indigenous tree seedlings will be allotted to protection forests, 113,000 native species allocated to protected areas, and 337,000 seedlings to timberlands.
An ERDS report stated that indigenous species of seedlings may include any of the following species sambulauan, kupang, bagras, kalumpit, bagalunga, malapapaya, banaba, molave, bitaog, narra, batino, dao, lamio, akleng parang, lumbang, baguilumbang, white lauan, bagtikan, red lauan, almon, mayapis species and other dipterocarps/indigenous species whose seeds are available for collection.
Last year, native trees raised by DENR-ERDS totaled 807,000 indigenous species, a significant part of the NGP accomplishment pegged at 5,901,432 seedlings. (Ruby Mendones, DENR-RPAO/PIA Sorsogon)