THE House of Representatives has passed on second reading a bill that requires the planting of trees in commercial, industrial and residential buildings.
The proposed “Green Building Act,” principally authored by Diwa Party-list Representative Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, mandates all applicants for building permits of residential, commercial, industrial and public development projects to submit a Tree Planting Plan (TPP), in addition to the requirements imposed by local government units.
Under the bill, any person, firm or government instrumentality intending to construct or repair any building or structure, shall be required to set aside areas adequate for plating and maintaining trees and flora.
The TPP shall contain the following: total area of the project; indicative lay-out of the area or areas to be planted; number of trees to be planted, taking into account the ratio of at least one tree for every 500 square meters for commercial or industrial projects or one tree for every 250 square meters for housing development projects; species to be planted; and construction and design of said areas for trees and flora, which shall give emphasis to the facade of the structure and all communal areas.
The bill states that the TPP shall give preference to indigenous species of trees, taking into account the location, climate, and topography of the area.
Aglipay-Villar said the country’s carbon emissions dominate the rate by which the Philippines is able to produce and replenish green resources.
“The continuous abuse of our forest reserves by big businesses does not help our cause either. With the passage of HB 7373, we are confident that we can effectively reduce the exploitation of our green resources,” added Aglipay-Villar.
The bill is co-authored by North Cotabato 2nd District Rep. Nancy Catamco, Tarlac Rep. Noel Villanueva, Abang Lingkod Party-list Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano, La Union 1st District Rep. Pablo Ortega, Masbate 1st District Rep. Maria Vida Bravo, Baguio Rep. Mark Go and Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano. (Keith A. Calayag/SunStar Philippines)