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Couples required to plant trees before tying knot

By: - Correspondent / @mvirolaINQ
/ 08:04 PM July 11, 2011

CITY OF CALAPAN—Engaged couples in Gloria town in Oriental Mindoro are required to plant trees before they get married.

Tree planting as a prerequisite to getting a marriage license is contained in an ordinance adopted by the municipal council beginning January this year, Councilor Rimando Recalde, the measure’s author, told the Inquirer.

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Recalde said he thought of the ordinance because of the “alarming issue of climate change and global warming and many couples are not even aware of the need to keep a balanced ecology.”

He said the ordinance supports the municipal and provincial environment code as well as Republic Act No. 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

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The ordinance provides that the couple must attend the lecture on tree planting and solid waste management which is incorporated in the pre-marriage counseling (PMC) seminar undergone by couples seeking to secure marriage licenses at the municipal hall of Gloria, 65 kilometers from this city.

Maria Teresa Valera, municipal environment and natural resources officer (Menro), a lecturer during the PMC, said she would tell couples that proper waste management starts in the home.

“If other lecturers tell you not to separate, I’d say you should separate (the biodegradable from the non-biodegradable),” she added.

Menro is among the signatories in the PMC certificate which is a requirement for the marriage license.

Couples plant the trees at the municipal plant nursery in Sitio Balagbag, Barangay Maligaya, right after attending the PMC seminar, said Jennifer Gan, information officer of Gloria town.

Every other Thursday each month, a maximum of 15 pairs applying for marriage licenses go through the tree planting activity, she said.

As of June 30, 212 trees have been planted, Gan said.

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Venus Sapul and Alvin Regencia, both in their early 20s, were part of the first batch of couples who planted trees in January.

They said they were “proud to have planted mahogany trees before their wedding day, even if it was inconvenient.”

The two said it was raining while they were digging holes for their plants.

Recalde said the municipal government is targeting the Liwasang Lambingan in front of the Diosdado Macapagal National Memorial High School in the town for conversion into a park with tree seedlings coming from the nursery.

He said their town’s vision is to develop agro-eco-tourism and for Gloria to be known as “a place next to paradise.”

The town is popular for its Walang Langit Waterfalls and its Agsalin Fish Sanctuary that are guarded round the clock by the town’s Bantay Dagat (sea watchmen) personnel.

Officials said Gloria town was named after the 10-year-old daughter of then president Diosdado Macapagal. She later became President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

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TAGS: Ecology, environment, local government, love, Municipal ordinance, Regions, trees
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