September 06, 2020 Sunday
House Bill No. 6930 or the Family Tree Planting Act and the House Bill No. 6931 or the Graduation Legacy for Reforestation Act. Access the full documents through these links: http://congress.gov.ph/legisdocs/first_18/CR00357.pdf and http://congress.gov.ph/legisdocs/first_18/CR00358.pdf
MANILA, 7 September 2020 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) welcomed the approval on third and final reading House Bill (HB) 6930 or the “Family Tree Planting Act” and HB 6931 or the “Graduation Legacy for Reforestation Act” which seeks to require individuals to plant a tree for every childbirth and graduation from senior high school (SHS) or college, respectively.
HB 6930 seeks to mandate all expectant parents residing in the country, whether legally married or not, to plant two trees for every child born to them within their own home’s premises or in a designated area in their barangay, within 30 days after the child’s birth. Once enacted, this will be a requirement before the parents can claim their newborn’s birth certificate.
HB 6931 meanwhile aims to mandate graduating senior high school (SHS) and college students to plant two trees in areas in their locality designated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in coordination with the concerned local government unit and the schools, colleges, and universities. Once enacted, this will be added among the requirements for the students’ graduation.
For the CCC, these two bills help in promoting a “whole-of-nation” approach in protecting and preserving the environment. This measure will help increase the awareness of Filipinos, particularly families and the youth, on the current state of the environment and the role of trees in mitigating climate impacts and disasters by retaining water to prevent landslides and flashfloods, acting as carbon sinks, and protecting and restoring natural ecosystems and biodiversity.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Climate Change and Land, “planting trees will always result in capturing more atmospheric carbon dioxide and thus in annual mean cooling of the globe.” As plants and trees grow, they take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turn it into sugars through photosynthesis. Planting additional trees could remove more carbon from the atmosphere and store it for a long time, as well as improve soil quality at a relatively low cost.
Through these bills, the CCC said that these could further bolster and sustain local greening initiatives and mainstream the importance of planting the right species of trees, especially in vulnerable areas across the country.