In pursuant to Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order No. 2010-11requiring the establishment of Forest Tree Seed Centers in strategic locations in the country, the Watershed and Water Resources Research Center (WWRRC) of the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) has now started the operationalization of its Forest Tree Seed Center, which is named as the Northern Luzon Forest Tree Seed Center (NLFTSC).

The NLFTSC will take charge in the storage and testing of seeds collected from the different Seed Sources or Seed Production Areas (SPA’s), and Individual Plus Trees (IPT’s) from Regions CAR, 1, 2 and 3 before disposition for use in the various programs and projects of the DENR. The collection of seeds from these different seed sources is under the supervision of the concerned Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) or the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO). These seed sources have been found qualified and have met the desired characteristics under the guidelines on the Assessment and Selection of Plus Trees. The identified 22 SPAs/IPTs are located at the Provinces of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mt. Province for CAR; Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan for Region 1; Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Viscaya and Quirino for Region 2 and Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales for Region 3.

The NLFTSC is already equipped with the necessary facilities and equipment needed for the seed testing and storage. It has a storage room designed for the temperature incubator, seed germination room and a separate room for the staff involved in the activity. The equipment apparatuses include temperature incubator, germination cabinet, incubator, weighing scale, analytical balance, pH meter, mechanical ovens, seed moisture meter, hygro-thermometer, dehumidifier, glass desiccator and others.

The operationalization and management of the NLFTSC is being ensured through the leadership of its Center Head, Dr. Carlos S. Arida, Sr.; Dr. Camilo C. Domingo, Jr., the Section Chief of this Special Project; Forester Luciano C. Bato, who is tasked to directly supervise the many activities of the Forest Tree Seed Center; and two Foresters who were fully trained for the purpose. Dorina S. Kipa-en, WWRRC