House bodies OK bills requiring parents, studes to plant trees
Two committees at the House of Representatives approved the bills that seek to require parents to plant two trees for every child born to them and senior high school students to plant two trees upon graduation.
House Bill 1340, also known as the “Family Tree Planting Act,” and House Bill 4813 was approved by the Reforestation Committee and the Appropriations Committee, and are due for a second reading.
If passed into law, HB 1340 shall mandate parents to plant two trees for every child born to them, located within the premises of their home or in an area designated by the barangay council and as approved by the Department of Natural Resources.
Baguio Representative Mark Go, the bill’s author, said that the country’s forests are in a critical state, with about 47,000 hectares of forest cover lost annually. He said the massive loss of trees worsens the effects of climate change and hinders sustainable development, leading to water shortages, soil erosion, and threats to biodiversity.
Aside from the rehabilitation of the country’s forest stock, Go said the care and maintenance of newly planted trees could result in alternative livelihood activities for communities.
HB 4813, if passed, will have the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education as main implementers, in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the DA, the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Department of Science and Technology, and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.
Go believes that this would instill the importance of civic participation and responsibility among the country’s youths as the majority of senior high school and college graduates seek employment upon graduation. – Press release