BAGUIO CITY – Participants to the Unity Gong Relay and host local officials and selected beneficiaries of the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) will be planting at least 3,000 assorted tree species in the region-wide different stopovers from July 9-15, 2016.
Engr. Francis Basali, head of the planning division of the Cordillera office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-CAR), said that the tree species to be planted include agro-forestry trees and forest trees that can bear fruits.
He revealed that the agency, in coordination with the different provincial environment and natural resources offices, identified the plantation sites in Danglas, Abra; Conner Apayao; La Trinidad, Benguet; Bontoc, Mountain Province; Lamut, Ifugao, and Tabuk City, Kalinga.
“The identified sites were public lands, not distant from the roads, within the areas of CCT beneficiaries and with abundant water supply to guarantee that there will be optimum survival of the planted trees so beneficiaries could reap the fruits of their labor,” Basali stressed.
It was learned that some 100 CCT beneficiaries from Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province will be planting at least 5 assorted tree species in the identified plantation sites which they will maintain as part of the conditions of their enrolment in the program.
The tree planting activities in the provinces have been included in the lined-up activities upon the arrival of the Unity Gong in their respective destination during the week-long Unity Gong Relay.
The tree species to be planted in the identified tree planting sites include coffee, cacao, pine and narra. All have been proven to thrive in the different parts of the region.
According to Basali, there were no plantation sites identified in the city because it was difficult for them to locate a 2-hectare land to be solely dedicated as a plantation area pursuant to the standards set by the agency that will guarantee the growth of the trees.
Basali said the identification of tree planting sites where assorted agro-forestry and forest trees will be planted has already been an institutionalized activity of the Unity Gong Relay in order to actively involve concerned residents in the provinces in environmental preservation and protection efforts for a sustained healthy environment.
Basali added the numerous tree planting activities that should be situated near the previously identified National Greening Program (NGP) sites is part of the consolidated efforts of concerned government agencies and their private partners to help sustain the identity of the Cordillera as the watershed of Northern Luzon in order to sustain agriculture, industries, irrigation, power generation and domestic activities of people living in both highland and lowland communities.
He appealed to the different CCT beneficiaries and concerned stakeholders in the different provinces to ensure that the planted trees will survive in order to serve their purposes in the future when the trees shall have fully grown and bore fruits./Dexter A. See