MANILA – All graduating students must plant at least 10 trees as a prerequisite to graduate and help save the environment, according to a Senate bill.
Senate Bill No 1538 or Graduation Legacy for the Environment Act, filed by Senator Bong Revilla, proposes that all graduating public school students from elementary to college will be covered under the guidance of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The measure will support the government’s National Greening Program (NGP) and ensures that Filipino students will be socially responsible citizens.
The proposal is similar to Presidential Decree No. 1153 of President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr., issued in 1977, where he required the planting of one tree every month for five consecutive years by citizens aged at least 10 years old and who are physically able.
Under Revilla’s bill, trees shall be planted in any forestlands, mangrove forests, protected areas, ancestral domains, civil and military reservations, urban areas under greening plan of local government units, inactive and abandoned mine sites, and other suitable lands.
Private institutions will be encouraged to implement the same program.
The Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education will monitor the implementation in coordination with the DENR, local government units, Department of Agriculture and the Department of Agrarian Reform.
The agencies will identify the site location and preparation; monitor, evaluate and extend technical support; and provide certified seeds and agronomic crops and access to roads and trails leading to the planting sites.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation will provide the funds.
The NGP aims to contribute in reducing poverty among upland and lowland poor households, indigenous peoples, and in coastal and urban areas; implement sustainable management of natural resources through resource conservation, protection, and productivity enhancement; promote public awareness, instill social and environmental consciousness on the value of forests and watersheds, and enhance the formation of positive values among the youth and other partners through shared responsibilities; and consolidate and harmonize all greening efforts of the government, civil society, and the private sector. (PNA)