Arbor Day in the Philippines

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Arbor Day (or Arbour; from the Latin word arbor, meaning tree is an age-old tradition where groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees in their communities. “Arbor” or “arbour” comes from the Latin word “arbor” for trees.

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Today, many countries continue to follow this tradition. Though usually observed in the spring, the date of Arbor Day varies around the world, depending on climate and the suitable planting season.

The first Arbor Day in the world was held in the small Spanish village of Villanueva de la Sierra, an initiative launched in 1805, by a local priest with the enthusiastic support of the entire population. In the US it originated in Nebraska City many years later in 1872.

In the Philippines, Arbor Day was declared through Proclamation No. 30 by former President Manuel Roxas in 1947, to be held every second Saturday of September of each year in schools and communities.

Most recently, it was revived through Republic Act 10176 or the Arbor Day Act of 2012 when President Benigno Aquino 3rd signed into law a bill reviving tree-planting day as yearly event for local government units.

The revival institutionalized Arbor Day to be observed every June 25 throughout the nation by planting trees as well as other environmental activities.

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