An existing DENR memorandum order mandates existing and fully operational nurseries (EFONs) to produce a minimum of 15,000 seedlings of indigenous and endemic tree species annually.
It also guarantees the availability of free seedlings of native species for individuals, organizations, government agencies, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), and tree-growing advocates.
“If EFONs are cultivating both native tree seedlings and bamboo culms, the minimum annual target is set at 10,000 seedlings (75-percent native trees and 25-percent bamboo),” said DENR.
DENR Assistant Secretary and Forest Management Bureau Director Arleigh Adorable emphasized that native trees are well-suited to local environmental conditions.
He added they play an important role in providing ecosystem services, supporting local wildlife, and establishing green spaces in urban areas where a significant portion of the country’s population reside.
Some of the popular native tree species include narra, guijo, kamagong, red lauan, white lauan, tindalo, yakal and molave.
On the other hand, exempted from the initial year’s seedling production targets are newly established and rehabilitated nurseries. However in the following years, they are expected to produce a minimum of 15,000 seedlings annually.
“Further, a 10-percent minimum seedling requirement is established for ornamental and indigenous flowering tree species,” the DENR said.
The annual minimum seedling requirement for ornamental plants for the DENR-National Capital Region (NCR) office, meanwhile, was increased to 30 percent.
If the covered agency has a limited area, DENR said that seedling nurseries can be constructed in “strategic areas” outside DENR premises through partnerships and memorandums of agreement with local government units, academics, community groups, and NGOs.
The order covers all 142 DENR-Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (Cenros), DENR-NCR, and 17 of the 76 DENR Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (Penros) designated as “implementing Penros” due to the absence of Cenros in their respective jurisdictions.
The project is in line with the department’s biodiversity promotion and support for the local bamboo industry.
Moreover, the DENR recognizes the importance of producing environmentally and economically valuable bamboo species to scale up its productivity and accessibility in the Philippines.