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Villaverde, Nueva Vizcaya adopts green governance

VILLAVERDE, Nueva Vizcaya, Apil 30 – Local officials here are focusing their environmental efforts in addressing climate change.

Local governance has proved to be successful in integrating care for the environment among all sectors of the community with the LGUs programs, projects and activities, thereby institutionalizing the advocacy on environment protection as a way of life for every villager.

“It was a reinforcement of a more active effort and reiteration among all of us in living up with the name of our municipality,” said Mayor Ronelie Valtoribio.

Part of such efforts is the 555,555 Fruit Trees by 2012 started sometime in 2010. This strategy seeks to encourage participation of municipal officials and employees, barangay councils, schools, private or non-government organizations and residents of Villaverde to help realize its goal of planting 555,555 trees on its 55th founding anniversary on September 3, this year.

The accounting of trees planted, Valtoribio said, is now going on in identified planting areas within the municipality.

She said the program was introduced in line with Memorandum circular No. 2011-21 of the Department of Interior and Local Government(DILG), encouraging LGUs to support the Billion Trees Program of the national government.

Components of the 555,555 Fruit Trees by 2012 are the Tree for Life, Tree-mits, Tree of Love, Tree for the Future, Tree for Peace and Understanding, Tree to Excellence, Communi-Tree and School Tree Park Competition, among others.

The Tree for Life requires every recipient of P100.00 financial aid from the LGU to plant 1 fruit bearing tree (FBT) within his or her backyard. A certification from MENRO that he has planted the corresponding FBT must first be secured before he or she can avail of the aid.

Recipients are also advised to take care of their planted FBT so he can avail of another aid in the future. Aids also include subsidized seeds, tilapia fingerlings, vegetable seeds and animal dispersals extended by the Municipal Agriculture Office, agrarian reform beneficiaries of Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Philhealth Indigency Program Beneficiaries and ambulance users.

The Tree-mits also involved the planting of an FBT, a prerequisite of the LGU’s issuance of Municipal Tricycle Operator’s Permit (MTOP), Business Permits, Mayor’s Clearances, Police Clearances, Zoning Certifications and Building Permit.

Certifications and Permits can only be issued upon submission of a certification from the Barangay Captain and the MENRO.

The Tree of Love encourages every couple applying for a Marriage License (ML) to plant two FBT before their ML can be issued. ML can only be issued upon submission of a Certification from the Barangay Captain and the MENRO. This also includes couples availing of free Mass Wedding.

The Tree for the Future requires every child born in Villaverde and their parents to plant an FBT before the child could be registered at the MCR Office. This also includes mobile registration registrants.

The Tree of Peace and Understanding is applied for villagers violating Municipal/Provincial ordinances such as those who bring grievances for mediation to the DSWD and PNP and Juvenile Delinquents are required to Plant a FBT. This endeavor shall be supervised by the PNP and DSWD.

The Tree to Excellence also instills upon enrollees the value of planting trees within the school before they can enroll in the Elementary or High School levels. They are assisted by their parents so that before graduation, FBTs are evaluated as a prerequisite.

The School Tree Park Competition on the other hand encourage schools within the municipality, whether public or private to designate certain areas within the school premises for development as a tree park.

The Communi-Trees covers households and are required to plant a tree within the area designated by the Municipal Government. The 4,130 households have been invited to plant trees in June 25, 2011.

Philippines Arbor Day and last September 3, 2011 and September 3, 2012 for the scheduled mass tree planting. Non-government organizations are also enjoined to participate on this endeavor. The tree shall be named after the family or organization they represent.

Valtoribio said: “555,555 Fruit Bearing Trees by September 3, 2012 is only the beginning. We are also encouraging other sectors to do the same in order to bring back the natural flow of our ecosystem. This is our commitment to address the challenges pose by climate change.” (PNA) LAP/SCD/BMEbreo/mba

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