In the Philippines, students may soon have to plant ten trees to be able to graduate. Indeed, a bill passed by the House of Representatives on May 15, 2019, waiting to be approved by the Senate plans to oblige students from primary to university to plant ten trees to receive their degree and finish their studies. The bill was introduced by Congressman Gary Alejano, and according to him, the main objective is to promote inter generational responsibility as well as the protection of the environment. The bill entitled “Graduation Legacy for the Environment Act” should allow planting every year more than 175 million trees in the country.
“More than 12 million students graduate from primary school every year in the Philippines,” said Magdalo party deputy Gary Alejano, co-author of the law, in the project’s explanatory note. If we add the 5 million high school graduates and the 500,000 university graduates, we get a total of at least 175 million trees planted each year. Continuing his calculations, the MP estimates that “not less than 525 billion trees will be planted in one generation” Obviously, trees will have to be planted in suitable environments, climate and with a good topography of the place. In addition, students will be encouraged to choose native species, already existing naturally in the country.
In the Philippines only 3.2% of rain forests are intact
And as in many other Southeast Asian countries, deforestation is a central political, economic and environmental issue. According to the UN, the country lost a third of its forest between 1990 and 2005, and today it is estimated that only 3.2% of the rain forests are intact. Many NGOs point to the short-term management of the Philippine government, contributing to intensive deforestation that has been in place for almost a century in the country.