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When shall we see NGP’s 1.9B trees? Recto wants full accounting of P39B spent for DENR’s tree planting program since 2011

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Senator Ralph Recto wants the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to make a full account of the billions of pesos it spent for its National Greening Program over the last nine years.

Recto wants the report made before he would agree to double the tree planting program to P5.15 billion in the 2020 budget from P2.6 billion this year.

With a total budget of P38.9 billion from 2011 to 2019, Recto said the NGP should have planted 1.807 billion trees in 2.141 million hectares of land over the past nine years.

“Two million hectares is 32 times Metro Manila’s land area. 2 million hectares is also 4 times the size of Cebu island. If NGP is to be believed, ganito na kalawak ang tinamnan nila ng puno,” said Recto.

“After counting the number of trees planted, it is time for the DENR to show us the forest. The carpet of green from sea to shining sea. Ilabas na ang NGP map. The proof of the planting is in the photos. Ipakita sa aerial maps, before and after photos…The trees may not have yet reached towering heights but they are no longer green shoots that are hard to see,” he added.

Recto said the DENR should explain if the trees it planted did not survive. “Mayroon bang California-like wildfires? Or death by drowning dahil sa lakas ng ulan? Or did the trees die by mass suicide? Or like climate change, man was responsible? What we have been shown so far is a forest of newsprint of reports and vouchers of spending on NGP. Show us the actual greenery,” he said.

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