The law which is targeted at the country’s high schools and colleges is expected to see as many as 525 billion trees planted for the benefit of the next generation.
The Department of Education in conjunction with country’s Commission on Higher Education have been mandated to supervise the implementation of the new law so as to ensure strict compliance and success.
According to reports, Philippines is noted to be one of the most deforested countries in the world with total forest cover dropping from 70 per cent to just 20 per cent during the 20th century. The crisis was as a result of Illegal logging which have exposed the country to floods and landslides.
A report by CNN’s Philippines news service has it that the trees will be planted in mangroves, existing forests, some protected areas, military ranges, abandoned mining sites and selected urban areas based on location, climate and topography friendliness assessment.
“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,” the Philippines’ Magdalo Party representative Gary Alejano is quoted as saying.
Gary Alejano who happened to be the principal author of the legislation added: “Even with a survival rate of only 10 per cent, 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.”
There are already tree planting initiatives ongoing in the Philippines, but this legislation has come to make it legally binding on young people to see it as an obligation to protect the environment for the benefit of the future generation.
This legislation passed by Philippines is a worthy initiative which every country should adopt if the global fight against climate change will ever be successful.