TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources regional office 8 (DENR 8) this city is planting over 120,000 hectares of forestlands in Eastern Visayas as part of the six year National Greening Program (NGP) of the national government. The reforestation program was started in 2011 and will conclude this year which targeted to plant over 100 million seedlings in a 121,023.8 hectares of forestlands in Region 8. “Thisnumber of hectares reforested shall serve as the share of Eastern Visayas to the total nationwide target of the NGP,” DENR 8 Regional Director Leonardo Sibbaluca said. Sibbaluca said the NGP, which is the banner program of the department, seeks to grow 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares nationwide within a period of six years. However, DENR-8 has established another 15,686.5-hectare of NGP site for planting with over 17.5 million seedlings of various species this 2016. Sibbaluca said that he is optimistic that DENR-8 will hit the target for this year or even surpass considering that as of this month of June his office has already attained an accomplishment of more than fifty percent of the target area for reforestation. Under the program, the DENR is mandated to spearhead the implementation of this massive greening program, report on the social mobilization as an effective strategy in accomplishing the region’s targets and in attaining NGP’s quad goals of food security, poverty reduction, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. DENR-8 likewise reported that different sectors of society has helped in the last five years in the successful establishment of NGP sitesthroughout the region which totals to an aggregate area of 105,337.3 hectareswhich surpassed the target of 103,204.1 hectares. This has been planted with almost 93 million seedlings from 2011- 2015. (RESTITUTO CAYUBIT)