Press Release
August 16, 2011


The government is embarking on a campaign to restore the country's denuded forests, with P4.9 billion allocated for a massive reforestation program which aims to plant 77 million trees.

Senator Franklin Drilon, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee that deliberated on the proposed P16.9 billion budget of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for 2012, expressed support to the proposal, saying the six-year program aims to reforest at least 1.5 million hectares for the entire country.

"This is the second year of the six-year national greening program of the DENR and is the biggest reforestation program in our history," Drilon stated.

The P4.9 billion allocation for reforestation, Drilon said, is roughly 29% of the total budget of the DENR.

"The goal is to plant 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares for the next six years. That is about 28% more trees than what was planted for the past 50 years. For 2012, the DENR target is 77 million trees to be planted in 150,000 hectares," he said.

"As we talk today, 8 million hectares of our forest lands are totally denuded. We have 15.8 million hectares classified as forest lands, out of our 30 million hectares for the entire country," Drilon added.

He said the committee has required the department to submit aerial photos of the denuded and reforested lands and an updated report on the situation so that legislators can check the status of the program on a yearly basis.

"On a yearly basis, we will now check the progress. For example the DENR will submit to us where the 150,000 hectares to be planted with 77 million trees will be located and where the nurseries where these 77 million trees will be sourced are. We will have all these data in our data bank so that on a yearly basis, we will check with the DENR how far they have gone," he said.

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