Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) 7 Regional Director Loreto B. Alburo bared that some 288.16 hectares or 110.41 percent increase of its 2011’s target of 261 hectares were planted with 311,825 agroforestry and native tree species under the National Greening Program (NGP), by nine operating mines and quarries in Central Visayas.

Six mining companies in Cebu had a combined accomplishment of 254.46 hectares or 88.31 percent which were planted with 283,586 seedlings or 90.94 percent out of 311,825 tree species planted last year.

Of the 288.16 hectares, Carmen Copper Corporation in Toledo City, Cebu has planted the most number of seedlings totaling 207,374 or 66.5 percent covering 132.39 hectares or 45.94 percent, of the entire region’s reforestation effort.

Bohol province has only one operating large scale mining company, Philippine Mining Service Corporation-Bohol Limestone Corporation in Garcia-Hernandez, Bohol.  The company has planted around 10,239 or 3.28 percent of the regional accomplishment of different types of tree species covering 20 hectares or 6.94 percent.

In Negros Oriental, five hectares were planted with over 8,000 seedlings, while 8.7 hectares were covered with 10,000 seedlings in Siquijor.

Alburo said the strong support and cooperation of our operating mines and quarries in the region to pursue the “green” agenda of P-Noy and DENR Secretary Paje is indeed significant as they have the necessary resources for nursery production and seedlings plantation.

“While the mining companies are implementing the NGP, they have continued to sustain the MGB’s mining forest program,” he said.

He further added that a total of 1,050.714 hectares were reforested since 2001 within the mining contract area.

“Even before the NGP, tree planting and maintenance thru the mining forest program was already institutionalized and the plantation is being monitored by a

multipartite monitoring team along with other environmental programs implemented by the mining companies,” he said.

It may be recalled that on February 24, 2011, President Aquino issued Executive Order (EO) 26 declaring the implementation of the National Greening Program as a government priority program to reduce poverty, promote food security, environmental stability and biodiversity conservation, and enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation.