Issue of October 1, 2017
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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‘NGP should provide livelihood’
by Jane B. Cadalig

The government’s National Greening Program should include propagation of species that will help other sectors, such as the weaving and biofuel industries.

Sen. Loren Legarda said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources should cultivate partnerships with the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority to produce cotton for local weavers and the Philippine Textile Research Institute and the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University for the silk industry to prosper.

In a press statement, Legarda said more than reforestation, the NGP should aim to reduce poverty by helping provide livelihood opportunities to our communities by addressing the country’s need for silk and cotton.

Legarda also said to support the research undertaking of the Mariano Memorial State University on nipa mangroves – the sap of which is used for biofuels that could reduce up to 40 to 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions when added to diesel.

She said the country should be propagating these to meet the demands of local industries and research undertakings. Legarda also asked the DENR to look into how the program can help the indigenous peoples and mining communities in providing alternative livelihood opportunities. She also encouraged the agency to look into establishing clonal nurseries in state universities and colleges or other areas where establishment of these are applicable.

As of 2016, 1.66 million hectares of denuded and degraded forest areas were rehabilitated and 1.37 billion seedlings for agroforestry were planted through the NGP.

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