State of the art clonal nursery to boost NGP implementation in MM

Once completed, the 67,000-capacity clonal nursery currently under construction on the grounds of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Bicutan, Taguig City, will boost to the National Greening Program (NGP). 

This was stressed by Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje, adding that the initial seedlings that would be produced by the nursery will be used to green Metro Manila.

On April 12, 2012, Paje, together with DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo, led the groundbreaking ceremony for the 1.12-hectare DENR-DOST clonal nursery situated inside the DOST compound in Taguig City.  

According to Paje, the DENR will fund the nursery construction estimated to cost around  P3.8 million. He also committed an additional P8 million for its initial operation this year.

DENR-National Capital Region Executive Director Nilo Tamoria said the clonal nursery will be equipped with state of the art facilities to include a laboratory where the processing of cuttings take place, including the application of rooting hormones; a rooting propagation house where cuttings are being rooted either in hiko trays, plastic boxes on benches or bed; a recovery house or chamber, an area with controlled environment and where newly harvested rooted potted seedlings are placed to allow gradual recovery and development of roots and shoots.  

It will also have pot beds which will serve as the hardening area, where the new seedlings are gradually exposed to higher light intensity; an sterilization facility; a potting area; and a water storage area.

The nursery construction is expected to be completed in June, and will be operational by the last quarter of the year.  During its initial operation, the nursery will be producing at least 5,000 quality seedlings for use in the urban greening of Metro Manila.

By next year, however, Paje said, seedling production will be increased to its maximum capacity of 67,500 seedlings.

DOST Secretary Montejo said the clonal nursery will initially make use of the diverse  trees and plants currently growing within its 32-hectare compound in raising planting stocks, numbering around 65 species.  

Montejo said that among the popular trees found in the compound include Adelfa, African tulip, Agoho, Alasiis, Alibangbang, Almaciga, Amugis, American kapok, Antipolo, Antsoan dilaw, Bagras, Balibitan, Banaba, Big leaf Mahogany, Duhat, Earpod, Fire tree, Golden shower, Himbabao, Ilang-Ilang, Indian rubber, Ipil, Kaimito, Kalamansanai, Kamachile, Kamagon, Lumbang, Mangium, Molave, Neem tree, Philippine teak, Prickley Narra, Rain tree, Red gum, Smooth Narra, Talisai, Yemane and Thailand shower.

By virtue of Executive Order No. 26 issued last year, President Aquino launched the National Greening Program, which seeks to rehabilitate some 1.5 million hectares of the country’s open, denuded and degraded areas with the planting of at least 1.5 billion trees by the end of his term in 2016.

“Given the condition of the planting sites as well as the need to ensure higher survival rate for the planted seedlings, the quality of the planting stocks must be such that they could withstand adverse impact of transplantation from the nursery environment to the planting site,” Paje said.

Seedlings raised in a clonal nursery, said Paje, are of better quality not only in terms of their root system as they produced either through macro-somatic or tissue culture but also because they are derived from select, quality mother trees.

Paje clarified, however, that NGP is not only an environmental program to mitigate the impact of climate change, but also is a food security and poverty alleviation program of the Aquino Administration.

“The President is urging us to plant cacao, coffee, mango and other agricultural trees in the eight million hectare of open, denuded and degraded areas throughout the country to provide livelihood and income for our upland people, estimated to number around 30 million,” he said.



EnvironmentNatural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje rallied last week his field officials to ensure the success of the National Greening Program, saying the program has full support of the President.

    “There is no reason to fail considering that President Aquino has amply given all the support this program (NGP) needs to succeed,” Paje told the regional executive directors (REDs),  regional technical directors, and the provincial and community environment and natural resources officers (PENROs, CENROs) attending the 2-day National Convention of Field Officers held May 31-June 1, 2011 at the DENR Social Hall in Quezon City.

    Paje also challenged the field officials “to give their best shot” as their performance in implementing the NGP will be “highly taken into consideration’ in the evaluation of officials for promotions.
“Those who will be performing will be rewarded. Wala pong biro yan,” Paje said, stressing that the field officers will be evaluated fairly based on a purely-merit system “without regard for personal ties or past associations” he has made through over 20 years at the DENR where he started his career as a casual forester.

Paje said the NGP-driven performance-based incentive scheme will first zero in on the PENRO and CENRO positions, with an instruction to DENR Assistant Secretary for Management and Finance Corazon Davis to reserve the vacant PENRO and CENRO posts as rewards for NGP’s top performers especially those that are on an acting capacity. 

“If you are a CENRO, you will automatically become a PENRO.  Those who are not yet full-pledged CENRO (with temporary appointment), we will make you full-pledged CENROs. Performance lamang, wala nang iba,”  Paje stressed. 

Of the 168 CENRO plantilla positions, 47 have yet to be filled;  while 25 remain vacant in the 73 PENRO  plantilla posts.

The incentive scheme forms part of Paje’s overall program to strengthen DENR’s performance-based promotion system to beef up the national leadership’s efforts in professionalizing the  Philippine bureaucracy.

But Paje was quick to clarify that the quality of their performance will be determined by the survival of the seedling declared in their performance and not merely on the number of seedling planted.

“Remember, the NGP is a national priority program of President Aquino, and this is not for show but for grow. Gone are the days when tree planting activities were just to set world records or just for photo opportunities,” Paje noted.

At the same time, Paje asked “doubting Thomases” to be forthcoming this early with their hesitation to go all out to meet their targets to allow for management to act appropriately in their particular case.

“We will make sure that everybody performs. Kung sino sa inyo ang tingin ay hindi kayang ipatupad ang programang ito, sabihin na ninyo ngayon,” Paje said.

The performance-based incentive will be based on the field officials’ scorecard in the  yearly targets given them and will be validated with the use of state-of-the art technology such as satellite mapping and internet-based technology through NGP’s website at the