Mandatory tree planting passes House reforestation committee
MANILA — A measure mandating the planting of trees in urban and countryside parks has hurdled the committee level in the House of Representatives.
In a statement, the House committee on reforestation, chaired by Tarlac Rep. Noel Villanueva, approved House Bill 4002, which is otherwise known as the “Greening Act of 2016.”
Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Maximo Rodriquez, author of the bill, cited the need to address the rapid depletion of trees and forest areas in the country.
“The Philippines was once known for its vast and lush forests. Over the last 15 years, the environment situation of the country has undergone a transformation,” Rodriguez said in his explanatory note.
Rodriguez said his bill aimed to improve the country’s environmental conditions by building, developing and maintaining forest parks in local areas, educational institutions and public roads.
The bill mandates the creation of the National Greening Committee with the Secretary of the Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR) as chairman.
The secretaries of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Tourism, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Education and the Department of Agriculture will form part of the committee as members.
The said committee shall ensure strict implementation of the requirements of the tree planting along national roads and mandatory planting of trees in urban and countryside parks, public vacant lots and other permissible areas.
The bill also seeks to protect existing trees and plants by prohibiting cutting and destroying without the necessary permit issued by the DENR. (PNA)