House bills ordering parents, students to plant trees OK’d on 2nd reading
MANILA, Philippines — Bills that would require the planting of trees in a bid to preserve the country’s environment have been approved on second reading at the House of Representatives.
House Bill (HB) Nos. 9587, or the Family Tree Planting Act, and HB No. 9588, or the Graduation Legacy for Reforestation Act, were approved during Monday’s session.
The Family Tree Planting Act requires parents, whether legally married or not, to plant two trees for every child born to them while the Graduation Legacy for Reforestation Act makes tree planting mandatory before students are allowed to graduate.
“As an act of public service before they join the country’s labor force, all graduating students in senior high school and college, except physically handicapped and students with special needs, shall plant two (2) trees each as a prerequisite for graduation,” states Section 3 of HB No. 9588.
Under Section 5 of HB No. 9587, meanwhile, birth certificates would not be released if the parents fail to present a sworn statement of compliance to planting two trees per child within 30 days after the child is born, except in extraordinary circumstances.
Based on the proposed measures, the seedlings will come from the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Agriculture (DA), in partnership with local government units (LGUs).
HB No. 9587 tasks the DENR, DA, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine Statistics Authority, and Department of Social Welfare and Development as primary implementers of the program.