The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is hiring thousands of "green collar" workers to pursue its reforestry drive while supporting the government's job creation thrust.
In a media briefing on Thursday, DENR secretary Lito Atienza said they would tap over 111,500 people to work in the country's upland areas and forests.
He sad DENR would spend P1.5 billion in its Upland Development Program where 52,425 farmers would be hired to plant forest and fruit-tree seedlings, including high-value crops.
About 49,318 hectares of upland and 2,000 hectares of mangrove areas, mostly in the provinces, have been set aside to be reforested under the said program. Each hired farmer will be given a hectare to develop.
Moreover, Atienza said another P1 billion would be spent on the DENR's Bantay Gubat Project "where 59,111 upland residents will be hired as forest guards."
Some 6.2 million hectares of forest lands will be covered by the Bantay Gubat Project and forest guards will be assigned to patrol 342 hectares of forest land to detect timber poaching and forest fires as well as to collect seeds.