Catap-Lacson: All about planting trees

ACCORDING to Mother Nature Network, Earth now has 46 percent fewer trees than it did 12,000 years ago. And with the way we see things going along with the continued development and industrialization, it is certain that these percent have gone way down in the recent years.

Looking at the repository of House Bills filed by our lawmakers, we can see a total of 26 bills that mandate reforestation. Some of these provide for the planting of trees and rehabilitation of forest covers in specific areas while nine of these each require parents, children, or even graduates to plant a tree upon their birth or in their graduation.

The most recent one of these House Bills, the "Graduation Legacy for the Environment Act", proposes that all graduating elementary, high school,

and college students to plant at least 10 trees as a prerequisite for graduation. The primary author of the House Bill 8728, Magdala representative Gary Alejano, says that this proposed law requires that trees be planted in forest lands, mangrove and protected areas, ancestral domains, civil and military reservations, urban areas under the greening plan of the local government units, inactive and abandoned mine sites, and other suitable lands.

HB 3132 by Rep. Strike Revilla also seeks to require every student to plant 10 trees every year in an "area to be designated by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources where the school is located or where such student resides."

Similarly, HB 536 or the Family Tree Planting Act of 2016, HB 3632 or One Seedling for Every Child Born Act of 2016, and HB 4430 or A Tree for Every Child Act are also proposing for parents to plant trees every time they give birth to their new child.

While all these proposed bills are geared towards the rehabilitation of our forest lands, and for the restoration of more trees in our environment, it is suggested that these bills be reconciled and united under one more compelling law. It is in this manner that we will be able to pursue and ensure that these commitments and vision to rehabilitate our Mother Earth will be totally fulfilled.

Here are 10 amazing facts about trees from

An average size tree produces enough oxygen in one year to keep a family of four breathing.

Three trees planted in the right place around buildings can cut air-conditioning costs up to 50 percent.

Trees increase the value of property. Houses surrounded by trees sell for 18-25 percent higher than houses with no trees.

Trees generate jobs and contribute raw materials for buildings, newspapers, books and more than 15,000 other forest products. Trees are renewable, biodegradable and recyclable. Wood by-products become such products as vitamins, plastics, vanilla flavoring, photographic film, toothpaste and medicines.

By planting 20 million trees, the earth and its people will be provided with 260 million more tons of oxygen. Those same 20 million trees will remove 10 million tons of CO2.

Trees provide shelter and food for wildlife such as birds, squirrels, and bugs. Groves of trees provide food and cover for larger mammals, such as raccoons and deer.

Trees make people feel good. Workers are more productive when they see trees along their commute routes and from their office windows.

Hospital patients who have a view of trees heal faster, use fewer pain medications, and leave the hospital sooner than patients with a view of a brick wall. Patients with a view of trees spend 8 percent fewer days in the hospital.

Consumers are willing to spend more money in shopping districts with trees. They are willing to pay more for products purchased in a shopping district with trees. Those same shoppers also say they are willing to stay longer and rate the products and stores as higher quality in a shopping district with the trees.

Trees in the landscape relax us, lower heart rates, and reduce stress.


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