LAOAG City, Ilocos Norte, July 28 (PNA) –To highlight its 27th founding anniversary celebration, the National Tobacco Administration (NTA) will lead synchronized tree-planting activities in various areas in Regions I, II, and the provinces of Abra, Rizal and Occidental Mindoro on Wednesday, July 30.
Starting at 8:00am, at least one million tree seedlings are expected to be planted during the simultaneous inter-agency and multi-sectoral effort for the restoration of ecological integrity in tobacco producing provinces.
The command center and ceremonial planting site will be at the Narvacan North Central School in Sitio Limmansangan, Margaay, Narvacan, Ilocos Sur.
Heads of the different national agencies and local government units, including volunteers from different colleges, universities and high school and elementary students, and government and private groups, are invited to join NTA officials and employees from the central office and eight provincial branches during the whole-day green activity.
As of this posting, the NTA field offices have just completed the survey and registration of participants, including the greening area to be planted by each participating group.
On Monday, the branches had a list of 93,400 prospective participants; about 74 percent of them are tobacco farmers, LGU employees and students.
Since last year, the NTA started its re-greening project in tobacco growing areas, where a total of 551,000 tree seedlings were planted. Over 85,000 farmers, students, and employees of different government agencies and the private sector participated
The project is part of the agency’s effort to contribute its resources towards ecological restoration, in line with the government’s National Greening Program (NGP) under President Aquino’s watch.
According to NTA Administrator Edgardo D. Zaragoza, the tobacco industry is one of the biggest users of fuel wood. “To restore and manage the environment, the NTA initiated this effort last year to unify all partner agencies and industry stakeholders,” he said.
This year, Zaragoza expects a bigger turnout of volunteers and a wider greening coverage to include idle lots to maximize its potential.
The tree-planting activity is supplementary to the NTA’s livelihood assistance under its Kahuyang Pangkabuhayan at Pangkalikasan (KPP) module, a component of its Renewable Fuelwood Energy Farm Development Project and Restoration of Ecological Integrity program.
The seedlings are sourced from the seedling nursery and fuelwood and bamboo farms managed by KPP farmer-availees, clusters, and farmer cooperatives/organizations, under the supervision of the NTA branch office in the area.
“This is our way of returning the favor to our farmer cooperators by providing them sources of income through seedling production and planting of trees for fuel wood purposes,” Zaragoza said.
NTA targets to establish 2,000 hectares at least 1,600 hectares for trees and 400 hectares for bamboo, which is more than 31 percent of last year’s coverage of 1,373.55 hectares.
For its KPP module this year, the agency targets to plant no less than 5 million trees, mostly giant ipil-ipil, with neem tree, gmelina, mahogany and kakawate.
The following areas for the tree-planting activities are as follows: La Union: Agoo, Aringay, Bacnotan, Bagulin, Balaoan, Bangar, Bauang, Burgos, Caba, Luna, Naguilian, Pugo, Rosario, San Gabriel, San Juan, Santol, Sto. Tomas, Sudipen and City of San Fernando; Abra: Bangued, Bucay, Danglas, Dolores, La Paz, Lagangilang, Luba, Manabo, Peñarubia, Pidigan, Pilar, San Isidro, San Juan, San Quintin, Tayum, and Villaciosa; Ilocos Sur: Sinait, Cabugao, San Juan, Magsingal, and Sto. Domingo in the first district. and Banayoyo, Burgos, Cervantes, G. Del Pilar, Galimuyod, Lidlidda, Nagbukel, Narvacan, Quirino, Salcedo, San Emilio, San Esteban, Santa, Santiago, Sta. Cruz, Sta. Lucia, Sta. Maria, Suyo and Candon City in the second district.
For Ilocos Norte, the areas cover the towns of Badoc, Banna, Batac, Currimao, Dingras, Marcos, Nueva Era, Paoay, Pasuquin, Piddig, Pinili, San Nicolas, Sarrat and Vintar; and in Pangasinan include the towns of Alcala, Asingan, Balungao, Bautista, Bayambang, Laoac, Malasiqui, Manaoag, Mangatarem, Mapandan, Rosales, San Carlos, San Fabian, San Jacinto, Sison, Sta. Barbara, Sta. Maria, Sto. Tomas, Tayug, Umingan, and Villasis.
In Tarlac, tree saplings will be planted in Anao, Camiling, Mayantoc, Moncada, Pura, San Jose, San Manuel and Sta. Ignacia; In Cagayan: Alcala, Baggao, Gattaran, Sto. Niño, Piat, Lasam, Rizal, Tuao, Enrile, Solana, Abulug, Peñablanca, Iguig and Tuguegarao City; and in Isabela: Cabagan, San Pablo, Sta. Maria, Sto. Tomas, Delfin Albano, Tumauini, Quirino, Mallig, Roxas, Burgos, Luna, Reina Mercedes, Aurora, Cabatuan, Echague, Bagabag, Quezon, Solano and the cities of Cauayan and Ilagan.
The Central Office employees will also join the tree planting activities in Rodriguez, Rizal.(PNA)