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National Greening Program is short of target

/ 10:53 PM August 09, 2012

Executive Order 26 (National Greening Program) promulgated on Feb. 24, 2011, commits to plant 1.5 billion trees within the six years of the Aquino administration, from June 2010 to May 2016.

On June 19, 2012, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the 40th World Environment Day, President Aquino assisted by Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, proudly announced the planting of the 100 millionth tree under the program, or 50 million trees a year for the first two years.

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For the program to succeed, 250 million trees should be planted every year for six years for a total of 1.5 billion trees. Ergo, during the first two years of the program at least 500 million trees should have already been planted. Consequently, at this point, the program has a deficit of 400 million trees.

If this trend continues, by 2016 only 300 million trees would have been planted—meaning, there would be a shortfall of 1.2 billion trees. This is equivalent to only a 20-percent accomplishment. To borrow a line from the the President, “This is simple arithmetic.”

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Would President Aquino be satisfied with this performance? There’s less than four years remaining. If EO 26 is to succeed, something has got to be done, about it. Now!

—RUBEN PANGANIBAN,

founder and president,

Save the Earth Foundation,

122 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave.,

Makati City

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TAGS: environment, executive order 26, letters, tree-planting
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