The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has already reached 80 percent of full-year seedling production target despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Secretary Roy Cimatu said the agency was able to raise 36 million seedlings for the enhanced national greening program during the first half of 2020.
Based on a report from the Forest Management Bureau, the number represented close to 80 percent of the 45.2 million seedlings targeted for the entire year under the government’s flagship reforestation program, he said.
“This speaks well of how the DENR and its partners have carried out the ENGP in the face of challenges and constraints created by the pandemic,” he cited.
With such development, he said the DENR is “on track” with its enhanced national greening program seedling production “just in time for planting this rainy season.”
According to the report, the seedling production covered both plantation species and indigenous species used for rehabilitation of denuded areas in watershed, mangrove and protected areas. It also includes commodity species used for the establishment of agroforestry plantations.
As of July 9, indigenous and plantation seedlings had reached 20 million; bamboo, 3.4 million; agroforestry, 2.98 million; fruit trees, 1.2 million; fuelwood, 796,600; rubber, 131,775; nipa, 65,000, and Ilang-ilang, 50,000.
Aside from bamboo, other commodity seedling species raised during the period include cacao, 598,907; coffee, 212,047; other high value crops, 837,525; mangrove, 163,500; and rattan, 262,000.
Another 537,638 seedlings came from DENR’s partners in the private sector, such as the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines for raising 400,000 seedlings raised during the period.