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ERDB and 4RCDG embark on a Joint Mission
Posted: 2011-03-24

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – Wearing regular combat uniforms and armed with the aspiration to help the environment, the 4th Regional Community Defense Group (4RCDG), Reserve Command of the Philippine Army (PA) take joint action with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (DENR-ERDB) in the production of high quality planting materials of demand-driven species in the Philippines. This initiative is part of the National Greening Program (NGP) of the DENR which aims to plant 1.5 B trees covering 1.5 M hectares of land from 2011 – 2016.

Last March 15, 2011 at the ERDB, College, Laguna, ERDB Director Marcial C. Amaro, Jr. signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with 4RCDG represented by Col. Kingsly P. Dofitas (GSC) of the Philippine Army. The signing was witnessed by Lt.C. Eriberto G. Isip (4RCDG Executive Officer), Dr. Leuvina M. Tandug (ERDB Assistant Director) and members of the NGP – Production of Quality Planting Materials (PQPM) Core Group namely: Mr. Angelito Exconde, For. Gregorio Santos, Jr., and Ms. Veronica Sinohin.

The MOA indicates that ERDB shall provide technical assistance in the production of high quality planting stocks to include nursery operation and management, clonal propagation, collection and processing of wildlings, and provision of appropriate plastic bags and potting medium.

Meanwhile, 4RCDG shall allow the use of the existing nursery facilities located at Camp Eldridge, Los Baños, Laguna; provide human resource to pot soil and wildlings and/or cuttings of selected tree and fruit bearing species; maintain the potted seedlings in the nursery until ready for outplanting; and provide transport and outplanting of the potted seedlings to the designated planting sites.

According to Director Amaro, the MOA signing that took place between 4RCDG and ERDB is considered as one of the first collaboration made for the NGP. Dir. Amaro acknowledged the willingness of the 4RCDG to be part of this endeavour of the DENR to produce 20 M high-quality seedlings for 2011 and more in the following years. He summons everyone to follow what the 4RCDG did, and invites other stakeholders to be part of this national reforestation undertaking.

ERDB looks forward in involving NGOs, POs, military, academe, LGUS, religious organizations and, even the private organizations to be part of the program.

The National Greening Program is being implemented under Executive Order No. 26 signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III last February 24, 2011 in an effort to address the issue on the dwindling forest cover of the Philippines. It assigns the DENR as the lead agency in the implementation of the program. As the research arm of the DENR, ERDB is tasked to take the lead in the production of high quality planting materials.

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