MORONG, Bataan – Secretary Neric Acosta, Presidential Adviser on Environmental Protection recently led the fifth tree-planting activity of Thai oil firm, PTT Philippines Corporation in Sitio Kanawan in Barangay Binaritan of this municipality.
Acosta was accompanied by key PTT officials and employees led by Paul Patricio Senador, President of PTT Philippines Foundation Inc.
Almost 200 students of Saint Luke’s College of Medicine along with personnel from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), PNP, Mga Bayani ng Kalikasan and the Magbukun Tribe, an Aeta community based in the said place, participated in planting hard wood and fruit bearing trees in a 20-hectare reforestation area.
The project is in line with PTT’s “Gas up for a Tree” program that targets to reforest the denuded portion of the Bataan Natural Park. The oil firm also plans to reforest another 20 hectares of land inside the Park.
The NGP is a massive forest rehabilitation program of the government under the direct supervision of the DENR. It was established by virtue of Executive Order No. 26 issued on Feb. 24, 2011 by President Aquino. Its main target is to grow 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares nationwide within a period of six years, from 2011 to 2016.
Aside from being a reforestation initiative, the NGP is also seen as a climate change mitigation strategy as it seeks to enhance the country’s forest stock to absorb carbon dioxide, which is believed to be the major cause of global warming.
The said program is also designed to reduce poverty, providing alternative livelihood activities for marginalized upland and lowland households relating to seedling production and care and maintenance of newly-planted trees.
After the tree planting activity, PTT also donated one million peso worth of computers and other gadgets, and school building repair that will house the computer laboratory of Kanawan Elementary School.