SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House of Representatives this week approved on second reading House Bill 8727 which seeks to require parents to plant two trees for every child born to them.
The proposed “Family Tree Planting Act”, principally authored by Rep. Mark Go (Lone District, Baguio City), declares it is the policy of the State to protect and advance the right of the Filipino people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
Towards this end, the State shall promote and pursue reforestation programs and encourage tree planting as part of the family’s responsibility and legacy to protect the environment and conserve the country’s natural resources for future generations.
The bill seeks to mandate all parents residing in the Philippines, whether legally married or not, to plant two trees for every child born to them.
These trees shall be planted within the premises of their own home or in an area to be designated by the Barangay Council, where they reside, with the approval of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The planted species should be appropriate to the location, climate, and topography of the area with preference for the planting of indigenous species and high value crops.
The DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) and the Department of Agriculture (DA), in partnership with local government units (LGUs) throughout the country, shall maintain a seedling bank and shall serve as ready source of seedlings to be provided to parent/s planting the tree under the Act.
To ensure compliance to the Act, the City or Municipal Local Civil Registry where the birth of the child shall be registered, shall only release the Certificate of Live Birth of the child upon presentation of the parents’ sworn statement of compliance.
The affidavit shall be sworn to before the Punong Barangay if the trees were planted within the premises of their barangay where the family resides. Planting of the trees shall be done within 30 days after the child’s birth.
The DENR shall include in its programs the implementation of the Act, the funding of which shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA).
The DENR shall, in consultation with the DA, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), promulgate the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) within 60 days from the enactment of the Act.
The bill was sponsored on the floor by Rep. Noel Villanueva (3rd District, Tarlac), Chairman of the Committee on Reforestation. | Rowena B. Bundang