Environment is being abused for the benefit of few people who basically do not need it if not greedy. This situation became unmanageable the past decades. Illegal logging, irresponsible mining, illegal claim on public lands and other activities made without considering the common good. With this realization, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources established a program which goal is to give to the people, what is intended for them to have, environmental stability and social justice.

Preserving the environment through Reforestation; planting 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares of forest land for six years, while improving the lives of the community, most especially the Indigenous People are the main purposes of The National Greening Program.  NGP is a priority thrust of the Philippine government that aims to rehabilitate denuded areas and was signed by former President Benigno C. Aquino III on February 24, 2011. It was implemented through the DENR with its primary objectives which are; (1) to reduce poverty; (2) to have food security; (3) to conserve biodiversity and; (4) ensure environmental stability and to enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation. The program ran from 2011-2016. As the NGP contract ended and noticed its positive result, the current administration adopted and improved it. It has now developed into Enhanced National Greening Program under the supervision of the DENR Secretary, Regina “Gina” Lopez.

In Occidental Mindoro, the implementing agency for E-NGP is the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), through the Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices or CENRO’s.

The Enhanced National Greening Program remains focused in attaining food security, rich biodiversity and environmental stability for the future generations. The program gives huge contribution in the Climate Change mitigation and adaptation program of the agency, but beyond this is its objective to alleviate poverty in the upland communities. This vision resulted in an assurance that the priority partners are mainly IP’s within a SEC registered organization or cooperative. Through this requirement, the agency has a tangible means of monitoring the program to make sure that it was given to whom it is due.

The implementation of the E-NGP requires intensive selection process in choosing the prospective partners for a specific area to be planted. The interested applicants who wish to be part of the enhanced NGP submit their letter of intent and have to undergo series of screening with interview. This is to confirm whether the applicant is qualified in terms of the number of members in an organization, and the proximity of the E-NGP partners’ residence to the area of development to make sure that they will consistently visit and they are able to take good care of their plantation. These conditions of the agency justify the capability of the partners to take care and develop the public land assigned to them. The areas will be validated, monitored and verified for an assurance that the E-NGP partners actually planted the suggested trees and if the people working in the area are the actual people who applied and were approved by the PENRO. All of the accomplishments made by the partners will be reported and get paid accordingly based on their completed work and financial plan with 85% survival rate of the trees they’ve planted.

Providing profit for the needs of their family while helping in the preservation of the environment would be a fruitful endeavour a person could have. Through the sole participation and cooperation of the different organizations, LGU’s and the DENR, with its partnership to the IP community as the illegible members of the program; E-NGP’s take off was then a success.

Hand in hand, towards the vision of an improved life of the NGP and E-NGP partners, as Occidental Mindoro reaches the environmental stability; community development will be attained.  All of the efforts and commitment in preserving the environment will soon be felt. Let us all be united in conserving the future for the next human race.