Underperforming environ officers face ax
Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - November 7, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA,Philippines — Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu has warned that he will relieve the department’s frontline field officers who fail to meet the goals set under the Expanded National Greening Program (ENGP).?               

DENR field officials are required to meet the 85-percent survival rate of planted tree seedlings contracted to peoples’ organizations (POs) under the program.?               

“I would like to let somebody take command responsibility for these areas,” Cimatu said.?             

The DENR chief addressed Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PENROs) and Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers (CENROs) in a recent training course conducted by the DENR’s Environment and Natural Resources Academy. A total of 181 DENR workers completed the training.?             

“I am designating the PENROs and CENROs as plantation managers. 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 stressed.?             

Cimatu issued the warning as he expressed his disappointment over the low survival rate for seedlings planted in some PO-contracted areas, ranging only from 35 to 50 percent.?             

It is for this reason the DENR suspended the scheme of contracting POs for the ENGP this year. Instead, the agency 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. It generated 4.73 million jobs benefiting more than 670,000 upland dwellers. Most of the planted sites have been contracted to POs.?           

From 2016 to 2018 alone, POs accounted for 573,735 hectares under the NGP, consisting of 24,672 plantation sites.

NGP contracts with POs over a three-year period, during which the NGP partners enjoy compensation for seedling production, site preparation, tree planting, maintenance and protection.


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