The house committee of reforestation earlier this week approved a bill requiring local government units and national agencies to plant trees in specified areas.
House bill no. 4002, otherwise known as the Greening Act of 2016, mandates the planting of trees in urban and countryside parks, school grounds, vacant lots, and other unutilized sites where certain species of trees can thrive.
Tarlac Rep. Noel Villanueva, principal author of the bill, said that in the last 15 years, forests all over the country have dwindled.
“There is depletion despite the efforts of various government institutions such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which has 293 nurseries distributed all over the country, to provide seedlings nationwide,” Villanueva said.
The bill will also prohibit the cutting and destroying of trees without a permit except when these trees are in places where they pose a danger to the public, in which case they have to be balled.
The bill will also create the National Greening Committee for every region in the country in cooperation with various local government offices to oversee all the tree-planting activities in barangays, municipalities, cities and provinces.