The House of Representatives has recommended for Senate action a bill requiring parents to plant two trees for every child born to them.
House Bill 8727 or the “Family Tree Planting Act” of Baguio City Rep. Mark Go aims to protect and preserve the environment and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
With a vote of 208-0 with no abstention, Go noted that the policy of the state to 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 natural resources of the country for the future generation.
All parents, whether legally married or not, are therefore mandated to plant two trees for every child born to them. Planting of the trees shall be done within 30 days after the child’s birth.
The 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).
Also, 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.
To ensure compliance, the city or municipal local civil registry where the birth of the child shall be registered must only release the birth certificate of the child upon the presentation of the parents’ sworn statement of compliance.
The affidavit must be sworn to before the Punong Barangay if the trees were planted within the premises of their barangay. If the trees were planted in a government-designated area outside the barangay where the family resides, the affidavit must be sworn to before the DENR officer concerned.
The provision of seedlings shall be under the care of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of the DENR and the Department of Agriculture (DA), in partnership with local government units throughout the country. The agencies shall maintain a seedling and will serve as a ready source of seedlings to be provided to parent or parents planting the tree.
The DENR Secretary shall include in the agency’s program the implementation of the measure, the funding of which shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.
Lastly, the promulgation of the implementing rules and regulations of the measure shall be undertaken by the DENR, in consultation with the DA, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).