Press Release
September 18, 2012

Senate body approves P23-B DENR budget for 2013

Senator Franklin M. Drilon, chairman of the Senate committee on Finance, approved today the proposed 2013 budget for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) totaling P23.63 billion which was crafted to strengthen the country's' resiliency to climate change impacts.

"The increase is attributed to the two poverty alleviation programs which put priority to massive reforestation, land distribution, and other key climate change initiatives upon which the government's thrust to promote inclusive and sustained economic growth hinges," Drilon explained.

"With the National Greening Program (NGP) in place, the DENR anticipates a sustained robust increase for its budget. Next year's budget would be utilized to attain next year's NGP target of 300,000 hectares of denuded forests with some 150 million indigenous and fruit-bearing trees," Drilon said, reiterating that NGP's 2011-2016 target of planting 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares is about 28 percent more trees than what was planted for the past 50 years.

Included in the 2013 target is for the maintenance of another 300,000 hectares of established plantation and the protection of some 4.7 hectares of untenured forestland, noted Drilon.

Key activities to be funded in the 2013 budget include the rehabilitation of some 30,000 hectares of coral reefs and 2,000 hectares of denuded mangrove areas, as well as the protection of the country's protected areas (PAs) with the delineation of some 3,156 kilometers of boundaries of 34 PAs, planting of native trees in some 24, 104 hectares within Pas, he added.

For his part, DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said that the increase is to ensure that social commitments are instituted with a focus on the country's idle assets and turn these into productive lands.

In the lands sector, Paje bared that the DENR targets to issue next year some 102,573 residential and other patents, 113,636 agricultural patents covering 100,000 hectares to beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and 1,992 government lands covering 39,123 hectares.

He likewise said that the DENR aims to digitize some 2,389,956 public land and survey records percent of surveyed lands covering 245 million hectares.

On geohazard mapping, he said that the DENR aims to assess some 548 municipalities and cities for the preparation of 1:10,000 geohazard maps, conduct groundwater resources assessment of 28 provinces and municipalities, including the creation of an integrated map system as a guide for planning and decision making.

He added that the mapping activities will cover the mapping of 15 coastal provinces located within the country's 18 major river systems to include the implementation of a unified mapping program covering the 18 river systems with the production of 1,700 map sheets on a 1:10,000 ratio.

"The undertaking will also require the acquisition of two 20-meter survey vessels," Paje added.

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