DUMAGUETE CITY -- The Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (NOCCI) and its partners are targeting to plant at least 300,000 mangrove propagules next year as part of the massive forest restoration project in Negros.

Dubbed "10M in 10", the project which was launched last year by geothermal leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC) in cooperation with the Department of Energy and Natural Resources (DENR) and other partners, aims to plant 10 million trees in 10 years.

NOCCI president Edward Du disclosed Monday afternoon that as of Sunday, October 8, NOCCI and its partners have planted 150,000 mangrove propagules at their assigned area, the Tanjay Boardwalk in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental, exceeding their original target.

Du said when they signed up for the 10M in 10 project, they had committed to planting 100,000 mangrove propagules for the first year covering the period from October last year to October this year.

NOCCI’s partners include EDC, the Negros Oriental-ROTC Association, Friends of Earth, MSG Vital Synergy, 79th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army and the Tanjay City local government, Du said.

According to Du, their first year of planting of mangrove propagules covered about 15 hectares at the Boardwalk.

“We will be inviting more NOCCI members this year to join us so we can double the first year’s target for next year,” Du said.

The survival rate of the mangroves during the first year was pegged at 90 percent, he added. (PNA)