Friday, November 11, 2016

DENR bares paradigm shift…
Count not trees planted
But better lives instead

SAN PASCUAL UBAY (November 8 (PIA)—Environment secretary Regina Lopez bares the agency’s new thrust even as the government struggles for a greening program, which, according to the secretary, has not been as effective.

To the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) personnel gathered for the first official visit of the staunch environment advocate and secretary in Ubay, Lopez said something unheard of from the agency: “we measure our success, not by the number of trees.”

Visiting Bohol and landing via chopper in the heart of a 240 hectares site for the National Greening Program here in Cambugsay Healing Hills, San Pascual, Lopez imparted the paradigm shift that the DENR is into after years of counting the number of trees getting planted and hectares covered.

“It is not by the number of trees but by the way people’s lives are improved,” she beamed amidst the gathering of communities patiently basking in the harsh morning sun.

The DENR has apparently abandoned its idealistic goals and goes for the more practical and which motivates more people to achieve.

Coming to a part of Bohol which still shows poverty in the crumbling farm houses dotting the hills and lining the dirt road to the plantation, Lopez should not have missed the need for communities to finally shake off poverty, in her aerial inspection of the plantation.

The DENR contracted communities and organizations to do tree planting activities in the sites allocated for the greening program here, and these organizations get paid on the number of trees and the hectares covered by their tree-planting activity.

Here, in a nook of the 240 hectares area allocated for the NGP, some 10 hectares have been converted to coffee farm where community members plant Robusta, according to 66 year old Bernardita Albarando, chairman of the Ubay Federated Tree Planters Association Inc.

Another 115 hectares have been planted with indigenous tree species whole some 15 hectares are timberlands, she added.
But despite the tree planting coverage, Cabudlan Farmers’ Association president Dionisia Baculi aired a huge problem: forest fires.

She said her organization has created forest fire-lines to protect the plantation but they may be facing suits for the act.

Many have theorized that the forest fires may have been started by people who think a forest fire killing the newly planted trees gives them more areas to plant, and thus get paid more.

The secretary’s strong statements on ending poverty generated rippling applause that get amplified as it echoed through the hills.

Aside from improved lives, the secretary went on urging her DENR family to bring poverty in Ubay, to zero.

[Let] our indication of success [in our programs], the good life of the people,” she relayed her new orders.

“I want you to make a difference here,” she told DENR people, adding she may want to see it happen in six months.

Now a pilot area for convergence, Cambugsay has generated funding help from government agencies like the Department of Labor and Employment, Science and Technology, Social Welfare and Development and Agriculture.

"We have about P36 billion worth for economic impact, we can easily download the money," stressing the department’s support.

The DENR is 1000% behind you, we can make it happen, she ended. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)
News direction, hints DENR Secretary Gina Lopez for the agency that used to count how many trees have been planted and hectares of lands reforested. SHe urges DENR people to be rather results oriented, in her visit to Bohol recently. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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