PLANTERS. Some residents in San Roque, Northern Samar are tapped as partners of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the enhanced National Greening Program during a meeting on Feb. 15, 2022. The Community Environment and Natural Resources Office in Northern Samar has forged partnerships with 31 poor families in two villages of San Roque town to plant trees in 220 hectares of land. (Photo courtesy of DENR Region 8)

TACLOBAN CITY – The Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Northern Samar has forged partnerships with 31 poor families in two villages of San Roque town to plant trees in 220 hectares of land under the government’s enhanced National Greening Program (NGP).

For three years, identified family beneficiaries in Ginagdanan and Pagasang-an villages are tasked to establish nurseries, plant trees, and take care of them for a contract price of PHP5.72 million, said Dennis Arino, chief of the conservation and development section of CENRO based in Pambujan town.

These families are expected to set up nurseries by June 2022, plant seedlings in the third quarter of the year, and start the maintenance by October, Arino told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday.

“We help people understand that they are the first to benefit from this reforestation activity. We have to engage people on the ground since they are knowledgeable of the situation and are in a better position to successfully implement the project,” Arino said in a phone interview.

At least 15 percent of their total mobilization fund will be released as soon as the agreement is notarized.

Succeeding payments will be released corresponding to the contracted families’ performance and their plantation’s survival rate of at least 85 percent, according to the official.

The biggest area assigned to a family is 10 hectares and they can earn up to PHP260,000 for three years.

San Roque town has been identified as a priority area for this year’s implementation of the enhanced NGP in support of the conservation and protection efforts for the Bantayan Watershed in the area. (PNA)