ENVIRONMENT Secretary Roy Cimatu yesterday warned his men of sanctions if they fail to hit the government’s greening program target.
According to Cimatu, he will immediately order the relief of the agency’s frontline field officers who will not meet the required 85 percent survival rate of planted tree seedlings contracted to peoples organizations (POs) under the Expanded National Greening Program (E-NGP).
The warning was issued following his disappointment over the low survival rates for seedlings planted in some PO-contracted areas, ranging only from 35 to 50 percent.
The DENR chief said he designated the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PENROs) and Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers (CENROs) as plantation managers in their respective areas.
“It’s very simple, I will relieve you if you cannot fulfill that. Yes, it’s a tall order. Even if you have to go there at least every two weeks,” Cimatu told his men.
The DENR suspended the scheme of contracting POs for the ENGP this year and focused on the rehabilitation and protection efforts in PO-contracted plantation sites established before 2019.
From 2011 to July this year, almost two million hectares have been planted with 1.7 billion tree seedlings.
National Greening Program contracts with POs cover a three-year period, during which the NGP partners enjoy compensation for seedling production, site preparation, tree planting, maintenance and protection.