President Benigno S. Aquino III planted a Narra sapling at the Heroes Park of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to formally launch the National Greening Program of the government.
In his speech, President Aquino highlighted the importance of the NGP in terms of reducing poverty, environment rehabilitation and biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and promoting food security. As mandated by Executive Order 26, which the President has issued on February 24, 2011, the NGP targets to plant 1.5 billion trees in about 1.5 million hectares of public lands from 2011 to 2016. It also seeks to consolidate all greening initiatives of the national line agencies, local government units, civil society and private sector.
The President also led the launching of the NGP website (www.ngp.denr.gov.ph) and the recognition of six environmental heroes who died in the line of duty while protecting the country's environment and natural resources. The posthumous awards were given to Kennedy Eber Bayani, Rolando Sinday, Jacinto Dragas, Pierre Gillo, Nelson Luna and Christopher Mazo. The families of the victims will be given financial assistance, livelihood support, and scholarship grants.
After the launch, President Aquino proceeded to lead the unveiling of the Bulwagang Ninoy Statue and the inspection of the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center also in Quezon City