The House of Representatives has approved on its second reading a proposed bill which seeks to require students completing an academic degree in the Philippines to participate in a reforestation program before receiving their diplomas.
House Bill 8728 or the Graduation Legacy for the Environment Act was principally authored by Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano. The measure seeks integrate the importance of environmental protection in the educational system, through this producing socially responsible citizens. Hopeful graduates would need to plant at least 10 trees to complete their courses. The measure would also promote intergenerational responsibility, as the planted trees and their many positive environmental effects can be enjoyed by Filipinos for years onwards.
Under HB 8728, graduating students in elementary, high school, and college would be required to plant trees in any of the following identified areas: forest lands, mangrove and protected areas, civil nd military reservations, ancestral domains, inactive or abandoned mine sites, urban areas through the greening programs of local government units, and other suitable lands.
The species of trees to be planted must also be suitable to the location, climate, and topography of the area.
The implementation of the bill is to be spearheaded by the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education, should it be enacted into law.