By Ben Rosario
The bill mandating parents to plant two trees for every child born to them is inching closer to becoming a law.
House Bill No. 8727 was approved on second reading during Wednesday’s plenary session. It will be calendared for third reading approval when House resumes session next year.
Authored by Reps. Noel Villanueva (NPC, Tarlac) and Carmen Zamora (PDP-Laban, Compostela Valley), HB 8727 provides that the planting of trees will be a mandatory requirement that parents must comply in order to secure the release of the birth certificate of a child born to them.
Villanueva, chairman of the House special committee on reforestation, said the bill is aimed at ensuring the protection and preservation of the environment and advance the right of the people to a balanced and health ecology.
He said seedlings must be planted within the premises of the parents’ own home or in an area to be designated by the barangay council where the family resides.
Identified sites for planting must be approved by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
HB 8727 provides that planted species should be appropriate to the location, climate and topography of the area.
The bill directs the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office of the DENR and the Department of Agriculture to maintain a seedling bank that will serve as the ready source for seedlings to be provided to couples.
According to Villanueva compliance to the provisions of the measure will be ensured by the city or municipal local civil registry where the birth of the child will be registered.
The “punong barangay” of the community where the family lives will issue a certificate attesting compliance which, in turn, will be presented to the registrar.