Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. wants every public school graduating student to plant at least 10 trees as a prerequisite to receiving his/her diploma.
Revilla filed Senate Bill No. 1538, titled Graduation Legacy for the Environment Act that mandates all graduating public school students from elementary to college to plant at least 10 trees under the supervision of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The measure will support the government’s National Greening Program (NGP) and ensure that Filipino students will be socially responsible citizens.
The proposed law is akin to Presidential Decree No. 1153 of President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr., issued in 1977, requiring 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 schools would also be encouraged to implement the same program.
The Department of Education’s 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 is mandated to 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.