CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan – The agroforest plantations in Bulacan has the biggest areas in Central Luzon.
These were planted with fruit-bearing trees under the National Greening Program (NGP) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Don Guevarra, information officer of the DENR in Central Luzon, said that the region has a total of 9,187.84 hectares of agroforest plantations.
Bulacan has a total of 2,313.04 hectares (has) followed by Zambales with 1,767.84 has; Tarlac 1,466.88 has; Bataan 1,013.86; Aurora 1,0006.28 has; Pampanga 914.23 has; and Nueva Ecija 705.02 has.
Emelita Lingat, DENR’s provincial officer in Bulacan, explained to PNA that the NGP’s agroforest plantation program started in 2011 is an alternative livelihood program for the slash and burn (kaingin) farmers, charcoal makers and illegal loggers inside the forest lands of the province.
Bulacan has two Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENRO) — CENRO Guiguinto and CENRO Baliwag — that are responsible for the implementation of DENR policies, programs, project and activities and the enforcement of ENR laws and regulations in the community level.
CENRO Baliwag has jurisdictions over the northern parts of Bulacan that include the towns of Baliwag, San Rafael, San Ildefonso, San Miguel and Donya Remedios Trinidad towns and the rest of the province is under the jurisdiction of CENRO Guiguinto.
Dennis Vergara, head of CENRO Baliwag, explained that the agroforest program is a component of the NGP where mixture of fruit-bearings and forest trees are planted in denuded forest lands (production forest) and has advised that fruit-bearing trees are not reforested in critical watersheds and instead indigenous tree seedlings be used in the reforestations in these areas like narra, molave, bamboo among others.
Tenurial holders or peoples organizations of the reforestation sites are allowed to harvest the products in the agroforest plantations, Vergara added.
Meanwhile, Rolly Mulato, head of CENRO Guiguinto, said their office has already a total of 1,994 has of agroforest plantations planted coffee, cacao, citrus, guyabano, bignay, langka, rambutan, lanzones, Cashew and tamarind.
Mulato added beside this, a total of 2,458 hectares were reforested using the tree species of narra, mahogany, cupang, fire tree, Palosanto, and rain tree.
“A total of 928.29 has has been planted with bamboo species, 282 has for fuelwood using ipil, rain tree and kakawate, 852.32 has planted with rattan and 40 has planted with mangrove tree species, Mulato added. (RONDA BALITA Online)