The house of representatives in Philippines has approved a bill that requires all graduating elementary, high school, and college students to plant a minimum of ten trees each before they can graduate.
The new bill, titled the “Graduation Legacy For the Environment Act,” which has scaled third and final reading, was approved in the house and is now sent to the Philippines senate for action.
With a target of planting about 175 million new trees each year, proponents of the law seek to address deforestation and illegal logging in the country.
Gary Alejano, principal author of the legislation and a member of the Magdalo party, stated that the law will apply to students at different levels of formal education including elementary schools, high schools and college.
“With over 12 million students graduating from elementary and nearly five million students graduating from high school and almost 500,000 graduating from college each year, this initiative, if properly implemented, will ensure that at least 175 million new trees would be planted each year. In the course of one generation, no less than 525 billion can be planted under this initiative,” Alejano explained in the bill’s explanatory note, as reported by CNN Philippines.
“Even with a survival rate of only 10 percent, this would mean an additional 525 million trees would be available for the youth to enjoy, when they assume the mantle of leadership in the future.”
The bill also stipulated that there would be a preference for indigenous species, taking into account the location, climate and topography of the area.
The country’s department of education together with the commission of higher education will ensure compliance of the new law in partnership with other stakeholders and agencies.
Planting of more trees is something countries all over the world should consider so as to mitigate some of the damages already done by deforestation.
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