(Photo courtesy of DPWH)

MANILA – Contractors with flood control projects funded by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) are now required to plant more trees.

In Department Order (DO) No. 238, series of 2022 signed by Secretary Manuel Bonoan and released Tuesday, directed implementing offices nationwide to plant 1,000 seedlings/trees for every flood control project with a contract amount of at least PHP5 million.

Also an additional 1,000 seedlings/trees for every added PHP5 million in the contract, or a fraction thereafter.

“This policy is pursuant to an instruction from President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. to address deforestation nationwide,” he said in a statement.

The expenses for the planting activity will be included by the concerned offices of the Department in the preparation of Program of Works (POW) of every flood-control project.

Specific locations of the tree planting activities will be identified in coordination with local government units (LGUs), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Community or Provincial Environment and Natural Resource Office (CENRO/PENRO) concerned.

Tree species will also be determined in coordination with the concerned environment office.

Based on existing laws, tree planting activities are undertaken in open, degraded, and denuded forestlands, protected areas and mangroves, ancestral domain lands, and civil and military reservations, among others.

Trees planted shall be turned over to the LGUs for protection, maintenance, and conservation.

The undertaking is in connection with the mandatory Tree Replacement Program of the DENR. (PNA)