The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Manila and the Briquettors Association of the Philippines, Inc. (BAPI) for a tree planting project.

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said that the partnership with Letran signifies “the need to involve the academe in environmental protection and conservation.”

“This partnership is a reminder that academic institutions have a critical role in the DENR’s noble mandate to protect the environment,” Cimatu said.

Under the MOA, the parties agree to enhance the existing vegetation of a five-hectare area located at Sitio Pamusuan, Barangay San Mateo, Norzagaray, Bulacan that is part of the National Greening Program (NGP)

The NGP is the government’s flagship reforestation program pursuant to Executive Order 2011-23. It aims to implement sustainable management of natural resources while providing livelihood to poor lowland and upland communities.

On the part of the DENR, it shall be responsible to designate a focal person who shall coordinate with Letran and BAPI for the implementation of the project, formulate a simple tree plantation plan for the designated area, and provide technical assistance to the partners.

DENR shall also conduct regular monitoring, evaluation, and documentation of the project.

On the other hand, the Colegio de San Juan de Letran–Manila shall be responsible for the protection and maintenance of the five-hectare plantation site. It shall coordinate with BAPI for the planting, maintenance, and protection of the planted seedlings.

It shall also be responsible for the sustenance of the growth and survival of the planted seedlings, including prevention of construction in the area, and submission of a final report that will include a map and photo documentation.

The BAPI shall be in charge of the establishment of a seedling nursery with appropriate species, and shall mark and label the seedlings. It shall submit a report to DENR and Letran for monitoring purposes.

On behalf of Cimatu, Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Unit Concerns Benny Antiporda witnessed the MOA signing. Signatories were Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Bulacan Emelita Lingat, President and Rector of Colegio de San Juan de Letran Rev. Fr. Clarence Victor Marquez, O.P., and Chairman of the Briquettors Association of the Philippines, Inc. Mr. Jorge P. Pasagdan, ###