November 30, 2022

Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (Cenros) under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Cordillera joined the community pantry bandwagon by giving it a twist – one that encouraged the public to “planttrees” by distributing “pinetree” saplings which people can plant in vacant lots within barangays or in their own premises.

The DENR-Cordillera launched the “Community Pine Tree” project on June 7 as one of its activities to celebrate June as Philippine Environment Month.

DENR-Cordillera Executive Director Ralph Pablo said the Community Pine Tree project aims to increase the region’s pine tree cover by distributing pine tree seedlings to barangays and communities who want to plant and are capable of growing pine trees.

He said Cenros all over the region identified the barangays that still have wide or vacant areas suitable for planting pine trees and provided its communities with the seedlings.

The free pine tree seedlings were also offered to citizens with vacant spaces in their properties. They were allowed to get as many seedlings as they could, provided they are able to grow and maintain them.

He said the DENR will be listing all those who have availed of the seedlings and will be monitoring the areas where these were planted via geo-tagging and mapping to check on the seedlings’ survival.

The activity is different from the usual community pantry that multiplied amidst the Covid-19 pandemic as a way of bayanihan in sharing of basic goods to those in need due to the adverse economic impacts of the health crisis.

“Instead of displaying goodies for the community to get, ang ating pantry project ay may konting tweak patungkol sa environment. We will be giving pine trees and kukuha sila at magtanim. This encourages those who want to plant trees, but we will not be only planting. The important this is we are able to grow these pine trees,” Pablo said during the agency’s launching of its Environment Month activities last June 7.

Aside from this project, the regional office on June 8 also opened its grounds at Pacdal barangay to organizations to help them sell their products.

Called “Forest Treat,” Pablo said the activity allows peoples organizations who have products that they were not able to sell due to quarantine and travel restrictions to display their products at the DENR regional office compound for a week while observing minimum health protocols.

“This is our way of giving a treat to these groups who find it difficult to do business with the current situation. We invite those na may mga produktona nakatengga kasi hindi nadi-dispose na dalhin dito at tulungan natin sila para mabili mga produkto nila,” Pablo said.

The DENR-Cordillera also marked its anniversary on June 10 by conferring special awards to its employees. It will also observe the Arbor Day on June 25 through tree planting/tending with employees and environment partners simultaneously in the whole region; and will recognize best offices, employees, and environment partners on June 29. – Hanna C. Lacsamana