The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has gained another partner in its National Greening Program (NGP), the government’s most ambitious reforestation bid so far.

DENR and private school Colegio de San Juan de Letran-Manila recently signed the memorandum of agreement covering the school’s participation in the NGP, said Dexter Villa, DENR development management officer.

Villa said under the agreement, Letran will green five hectares in Barangay San Mateo in the town of Norzagaray in Bulacan.

“Letran will shoulder expenses related to its greening activity.”

“Letran will shoulder expenses related to its greening activity there,” he said.

Such expenses cover the production of the required seedlings as well as planting, growing and caring for the plants, Villa noted.

A people’s organization called the Briquettors Association of the Philippines, Inc. is Letran’s partner in undertaking such activities, he said.

“After three years, Letran will turn over the area to the community there.”

“After three years, Letran will turn over the area to the community there,” Villa continued.

He said planting in the area has already started.

Letran’s greening activity in Norzagaray is part of the school’s community service, Villa added.

The DENR launched the NGP in 2011 to reforest by year 2016 some 1.5 million hectares of unproductive, denuded and degraded forestland around the country.

In 2015, Malacañang issued Executive Order 193 which extended the NGP’s implementation period from 2016 to 2028 so the program can cover the country’s estimated 7.1 million hectares of remaining unproductive, denuded and degraded forestland.

The NGP aims to promote Philippine self-sufficiency in wood and wood products, poverty alleviation, food and economic security as well as environmental stability.

Official DENR data showed that during the 2011-2018 period, the NGP greened nearly 2 million hectares of unproductive, denuded and degraded forestland nationwide using some 1.7 billion seedlings.

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