DOLE Regional Office No. 12 and partner agencies recently participated in the 2nd Tree Growing Festival spearheaded by the City Government of Koronadal.
A total of twenty-five (25) personnel came from the following: Department of Labor and Employment 12 led by RD Chona M. Mantilla and ARD Yahya A. Centi, Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board 12, Employees Compensation Commission-Regional Extension Unit 12. To show their support, said personnel climbed an altitude of five hundred forty-one (541) feet above sea level to plant more than 4,000 seedlings in a 16.5 hectares of land in Quezon Mountain Range, specifically located in Purok Mabinuligon, Bo. 7, Koronadal City on June 29, 2012.
The Tree Growing Festival, with the theme “Growing Trees, Growing Hope, Growing Peace” focuses on green economy, which strikes a balance of ecological integrity, economic and social development. This year’s target is to plant 250, 000 assorted seedlings in 1,000 hectares, in one day. This is actually the second Tree Growing Festival of Koronadal participated in by DOLE. During the first festival of trees held last year, 30, 000 strong individuals including DOLE 12 took part and volunteered to plant 132, 000 seedlings in Roxas Mountain Range. It was reported that 70% of the seedlings planted last year have survived. The festival is under the Masaganang Kalikasan Program of the Hon. Peter B. Miguel which supports the National Greening program of the Aquino administration. June 29, 2012 was proclaimed as special non working holiday under Proclamation No. 409, s. of 2012.
The Tree growing festival is one of the efforts of the LGU Koronadal in promoting conservation and restoration of forest areas while creating green jobs, increasing income resulting to poverty reduction, and adapting a green way of life. In the City of Koronadal, forest land use covers 7,894.05 hectares, however, in 2009, only 180.36 hectares remained as protected forests. Deforestation is said to be the major contributor to the reduction of land use and poverty or lack of economic alternatives had been identified as underlying cause of deforestation. Seedlings were given to 435 landowners/farmers for free and land preparation was only required of them. To further ensure that the seedlings will be nurtured and cared for, a MOA was forged between the City Government of Koronadal and landowners for the sustainability of the program. Future proceeds of these crops will be given 100% to the farmers.
As part of the Green Our DOLE Program (GODP), DOLE 12 advocates on green productivity which upholds two important developmental strategies, environmental protection and productivity enhancement. Its participation in the tree growing festival not only promote environmental protection but also provide livelihood to its beneficiaries.
Harlyn Marie de Toro-Deriada/TSSD/4July2012