We all are aware of the fact that our planet is changing. In fact, a lot of people notice this because of the drastic changes in the climate, animals becoming extinct, and a lot more factors. This is why governments all over the world try to come up with ways on how to remedy this—the Philippines, however, had a different way in approaching this; their way is to require graduating students to plant at least 10 trees as a part of graduation requirements.
Last May 15th, the Philippine Congress submitted a Bill that would be beneficial for the good of the planet environmentally. This bill might shock you—in fact, it could be the first time you’ve ever heard of such a thing.
House Bill No. 1154 or also known as the act that requires all graduating students (elementary, high school, and college) to plant at least ten (10) trees each as a prerequisite for graduation and for other related purposes.
The Graduation Legacy for the Environment Act of 2016
House Bill No. 1154 or the requirement of graduating students to plant at least 10 trees to graduate, was a bill that has been submitted years back. It was, however, just signed and approved this year.
Based on the bill’s memo, over 12 million students graduate from elementary; about five (5) million students graduate from high school; lastly, almost half a million students graduate from college every single year—this just implies that the quantity of the students who graduate could have drastic effects.
In the event that this bill comes into play, we can be sure that over 175 million new trees would be planted annually. In one generation, that figure could be somewhere around 525 billion new trees.
Who introduced the requirement to plant at least 10 trees to graduate?
It was the idea of Congressman Gary Alejano; he was the brain of this specific bill and his thoughts were to promote inter-generational responsibility in the protection and the care for the environment.
He said that there is no specific reason made for students to be able to contribute in the promotion of the environment.
While we recognize the right of the youth to a balanced and healthy ecology… there is no reason why they cannot be made to contribute in order to ensure that this will be an actual reality.”
Who will be responsible in the effectivity of the bill?
According to the guidelines of the bill—that is now considered to be a law—the Department of Education (DepEd) is the body of the government responsible for the implementation and the operation of the new regulation under the basic education department.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED), on the other hand, is the one responsible for its implementation in the higher education.
Other relative departments, for instance, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), have the responsibility of:
- Establishing nurseries
- Production of seedlings
- Social mobilization
- Site preparation and identification
- Extension services and technical support
- Provision of processing facilities and post harvesting
- Monitoring and evaluation
How about the budget of this said law?
The country’s budget department the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is the one to be looked at in terms of setting the allocated budget and management of fund for the project. They’re responsible for:
- The information, education, and communication
- Fund allocation for all activities of the NGP
- The provision of security, fire protection, as well as transportation; and
- The inculcation of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the said provision
Where should the trees be planted?
If you would have a look at the memorandum of the bill, you will find that in Section 4. Location, it states there that the trees should be planted should have a location that is suitable for what type of tree it is.
The locations should be in either of the following areas:
- Ancestral Domains
- Civil and Military Reservations
- Forest lands
- Inactive and Abandoned Mine Sites
- Mangrove and other protected areas
- Other Suitable Lands; and
- Urban Areas Under the Greening Plan of the Local Government Units (LGUs)
When shall the new act be effective?
As per the memo, this specific Act shall be observed and practiced within sixty (60) days from the time it’s published in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation of the Official Gazette of the Philippines.
Since a lot of people are not aware of this provision yet because of it not being published, we cannot take it in advance—the practice should start when everyone knows what’s happening.
This requirement to plant at least 10 trees to graduate shall be deemed effective as some sort of aid to the environment and for the greater good. However, some people deem to think of it as an irrelevant part of the education process.
Feedback from some students and parents about students being required to plant at least 10 trees as a graduation requirement
When people from all over the country heard about the new Act some people were grateful for it while some people had violent reactions. Some students were not happy with the fact that it’s a requirement for graduation; in fact, they said that it’s an irrelevant fact to do.
In one voice and conclusion, some people, specifically college students thought that it is something not good in terms of being a requirement for graduation.
It won’t be a good thing for us—we won’t learn from it and it won’t be of any help on how we can be successful in our lives.
In addition to that, there were parents who complained of the fact that there is now a new requirement to plant at least 10 trees to graduate. They thought that it is not something special—it’s a good thing, but it should NOT be a requirement for a certain student to graduate.
The thought of the Act is to promote the welfare and well-being of the environment through the students. Since the youth is known to be the answers to the betterment of the planet, the students should also provide aid in the enhancement and the rejuvenation of the world.
What do you think about this new Act? Is it just right to be a requirement to plant at least 10 trees in order for a student to graduate? Do you think that it’s fair for everyone especially to those who are just graduating?
Check out the document or the exact bill here!