Aetas partner with DENR in reforestation

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A GROUP of Aeta tribesmen has been DENR’s steady partner for the last 10 years in reviving at least 5,000 hectares of denuded forestlands at the border of Tarlac and Pampanga.

The group of Oscar Dizon, Chairman of the New San Martin Multi-purpose Cooperative in Tarlac City, has been working the mountains of Bamban in Tarlac, and Sapang Bato and areas near the Clark Freeport in Pampanga.

Since 2004, Dizon’s group has planted narra, gmelina, molave, tuai, mahogany, kupang, kamagong, and eucalyptus trees, benefitting some 300 Aeta families.

They have also planted cacao, coffee, bamboo, and mango trees which they also harvest and sell for their livelihood.

Dizon said his group has done so much in reforesting the mountains that they already lost count of the number of trees they have planted.

This year, Dizon’s group has been awarded with yet another contract to reforest an additional 100 hectares in the village of Gayaman and Anupol in Bamban, revealed Laurino Macadangdang, DENR Chief in Tarlac City.

He said the group’s contract is in support of Pres. Benigno Aquino III’s National Greening Program (NGP).

Raymart Dizon said he gets P2,000 monthly for planting, and plantation protection and maintenance work.

“The good thing with this DENR project is we get paid for planting the trees, and the trees and the harvests also belong to us,” he said.