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Environment, local officials optimistic Central Luzon can attain reforestation target

MA. AURORA, Aurora, June 27 – Environment and government officials have expressed optimism that Central Luzon can realize the targeted 2.7 million trees for reforestation in the region as set in line with the National Greening Program (NGP) of the Aquino administration.

Sofio Quintana, regional technical director for forestry of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), said the targeted 2,773,500 tree seedlings will be planted in 5,437 hectares in the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales and this province.

Quintana, along with Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo and other local DENR officials, has recently led the kick-off ceremony for the NGP scheme in Aurora at Sitio Canili, Barangay San Juan here.

Provincial environment and natural resources officer Benjamin Mina said a total of 1,000 trees were planted in the site, which forms part of the 484 hectares of areas targeted for planting in the province for this year.

Of the 484 hectares, 310 hectares are situated in protected areas, 120 hectares in reforestation areas, 50 hectares in community-based forest management areas and four hectares in urban parks.

Mina said they are putting up agro-forest trees in protected areas, forestlands, mangroves, ancestral domains, civil and military reservations, river banks and stream banks and urban areas which are the designated NGP areas under Executive Order 26 issued last February 24 by President Benigno Aquino III, establishing the NGP as a national priority aimed at reforesting 1.5 million hectares of lands by planting 1.5 billion trees for the next six years, or an average of 250 million seedlings per year involving 250,000 hectares per year. (PNA)

LAP/zst/MEG/ps

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