Trees, “the lungs of the Earth”, are important to the environment, especially in our current situation where we experience the effect of global warming.

Around two fifths of the country is afforested in the Republic of the Philippines. However, the original tropical forests were often cut down and secondary savannah forests grow in their place. The original forest cover occupies 6 percent of the country’s land area. Rare trees, for example, Philippine mahogany grow there. There are pine forests and mixed oak forests in higher altitudes. Monsoon forests grow on island of Luzon, mangroves on the coast.

Lawmakers Will Contribute to the Restoration of Original Forest Cover

Philippines, similar as the most of developing countries, has a very positive attitude towards the environment. Now, the House of Representatives arrives with House Bill 8728, called as “Graduation Legacy for the Environment Act.” The House Bill requires all graduating students from elementary to college to plant at least 10 trees before graduation.

Students are said to plant trees in any of the following areas: forest land, mangrove, protected areas, ancestral domains, civil and military reservations, urban areas, mine sites, and other suitable lands. Students should also consider the location, climate, and topography of the area in choosing the species of tree.

The representative of the Magdalo Party of Philippines, Gary Alejano, is the chief author of this legislation. The Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Education of Philippines agrees with the Bill and complies with it.

What Is the Prognosis?

According to an estimation, about 525 billion trees can be planted in a single generation, if this law is truly followed. More than twelve million students graduate from elementary school, 5 million from high schools, and 500,000 from college. It is possible to plant at least 175 million trees. About 525 billion trees can be easily planted.

Although it is estimated that only 10% of planted trees survive, the Bill makes sense. Others, not just developing countries, could take an example from the Philippines and follow their efforts to improve the environment.