/ 6 March 2021

PANGASINAN 2nd District Rep. Jumel Anthony Espino filed a bill that seeks to impart the importance of planting trees among the youth.

Espino said House Bill 8859 or the proposed Youth Tree-Planting Consciousness and Responsibility Act aims to increase the youth’s social responsibility for the environment.

In his explanatory note, Espino noted that trees and plants are being burned, degraded and logged at an alarming rate each year.

Citing some studies, the lawmaker said that every 1.2 seconds, man destroys an area of forest the size of a football field. He added that 28,000 species face extinction because of deforestation.

“The Constitution mandates the state to protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology, that is why this bill seeks a program that aims to bring about a sustainable solution,” Espino said.

House Bill 8859 mandates schools and colleges to establish tree-seedling nurseries with focus on tree species native in the area.

The measure also mandates students from Grade 1 to 11 and those enrolled in the National Service Training Program class to plant seedlings of native trees and monitor their growth in areas suitable for permanent planting recommended by the local government and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Under the bill, graduating students in all levels will also be required to plant 10 trees.