"With over 12 million students graduating from elementary and nearly five million students graduating from high school and almost 500,000 graduating from college each year, this initiative, if properly implemented, will ensure that at least 175 million new trees would be planted each year."
The Philippines has come up with a really great idea that combines tradition and also combats global warming. Apparently, planting a handful of trees before graduation is an old tradition in the country and now the government has finalized on a law that makes it compulsory to plant at least 10 trees each before they can graduate, according to CNN Philippines. According to House Bill 8728, or the 'Graduation Legacy for the Environment Act', if students adhere to it, then at least 175 million new trees would be planted each year. That means one generation in itself can plant around 525 billion trees.
The principal author of the new legislation, the Magdalo Party’s representative Gary Alejano, said, "With over 12 million students graduating from elementary and nearly five million students graduating from high school and almost 500,000 graduating from college each year, this initiative, if properly implemented, will ensure that at least 175 million new trees would be planted each year."
In the course of one generation, no less than 525 billion can be planted under this initiative. Even with a survival rate of only 10 percent, this would mean an additional 525 million trees would be available for the youth to enjoy when they assume the mantle of leadership in the future." It's a small start, but it's something. The trees will be planted in mangroves, existing forests and some protected areas, as well as military ranges, abandoned mining sites and selected urban areas!
In the Philippines they broke world record after planting 3.2 million trees in just one hour. This deserves to be shared! pic.twitter.com/28pTKxARYs— CosmosUp (@CosmossUp) May 25, 2019
But, there's a small requirement that comes with the law. The trees that are being planted must be those that can grow and flourish in the areas they're being planted in. Otherwise, it makes no sense to plant so many saplings, only to have them wilt away because they can't adapt to the surroundings they're in. Several government agencies, like the department of education and department of environment and natural resources, will be responsible for site preparation and seedling preparation, monitoring and evaluation, technical support and other services.
In 1977, there was a tree-planting program under Presidential Decree 1153, issued by former President Marcos, requiring the planting of one (1) tree every month for five (5) consecutive years by every citizen of the Philippines. pic.twitter.com/RcJPB22fCY— Pinoytapsilog (@pinoytapsilog) May 29, 2019
The Philippines is one of the most heavily deforested places in the world with total forest cover dropping from 70 percent to just 20 percent during the 20th century. Also, according to Independent, planting more trees will not only result in immediate effectiveness like producing oxygen, but it will also, hopefully, teach the upcoming generation some environmental understanding and the benefits of having more greenery around you.
And there’s nearly 5 million students graduating from high school and 500,000 from college in the Philippines, so they’re planting trees at a rate of 175 million per year. If we had to plant just one tree before we graduated, these trees would go off for the environment— ♛ Jimmy Cutajar (@notslimm) May 28, 2019
People everywhere were mighty pleased with the idea and many of them were congratulating the Philippines and even offering them more ideas. Wesley Gauthier said: Why not just tax them though? Here in Canada, we had an awesome idea of just taxing everyone to save the environment. We have no idea where the money goes but I trust there gonna do something good lmfao.
Rodrigo Tomagos couldn't be happier. He wrote: My vision of a greener Philippines a decade from now. My grandchildren will surely savor a fresher environment. This law should have been passed long before and perhaps the Philippines can be comparable now to Singapore. Pru Harrold chimed in: What a great idea, and wish it could be implemented everywhere. I'd add a proviso - it wasn't clear if the students had to buy the trees … if you have a large family this could be quite expensive - so those who chose to do so should lead a 'clean up' group for each of their graduations where the group would collect plastic rubbish to help clean their local environment.
Leanne McCullough seemed to agree. He posted: This is so simple, hurts no one, doesn't require a great deal of effort or time, and collectively greatly helps the environment. Why not do this everywhere? Nico Jalo shared an experience: Back when I was in the Philippines 15 years ago elementary days it's serious....the school won't allow us to graduate if each of us dont plant 20 trees each. We already growing them up 3 years before we graduate now that tree is 30ft now and also we can't graduate if we dont harvest our students vegetable plantation and cook it to feed the whole school...