City pursues mandatory family tree planting

BAGUIO. Barangay officials tend to their plants at the Busol Watershed during a tree planting in Baguio City. A law is being proposed in the city that every family should plant and nurture a tree in their barangay. (Jean Nicole Cortes)

EACH family in Baguio City has been urged to plant and take care of a tree.

The City Council has passed on first reading an ordinance mandating the tree planting during Monday's (August 19) regular session.

If the measure is passed into law, each family in Baguio City will be mandated to plant and nurture a tree in their barangay or garden.

"The role of a tree in our environment is very crucial. It breathes in carbon dioxide and releases oxygen, the gas that sustains life. However, human activities and natural causes make the trees disappear rapidly. They are taking a great toll on our survival. The tree planting program is one of the many approaches of the government which elicits greater participation from the private sector and the local government units," said Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda, proponent of the ordinance.

Tabanda said the objective of the program is to raise awareness of the family members on the importance of planting, caring and nurturing a tree as an effort to save the environment, as well as leave a legacy to the next generation.

The tree planting will also provide an opportunity for family members to bond and do a meaningful activity together, encourage the young to participate in the environment programs of the barangay and the city and support the tree planting initiatives of the city.

"We live in an ecosystem where all living organisms, such as plants, animals and the human beings, constantly co-exist and interact with each other and the environment. Thus, each affects each other's survival," Tabanda said.

She said the tree planting measure aims to encourage greater participation, adding that the family who participated in the program will be given priority in the barangay programs and benefits.

Under the measure, the tree planting may be done in the grounds of the family home or in any place designated by the barangay. If the family has no place for planting within the barangay, the village may coordinate with the City Environment and Parks Management Office (Cepmo) or the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for other sites within Baguio City.

The tree planting activity may be done simultaneously by families per purok or per cluster in a schedule set by the barangay. Families who may opt to plant at their own date and time must first coordinate with the barangay for supervision, it added.

The measure also stipulates that there should be at least three members of the family who will participate.

Upon planting, the barangay will inspect and will place a tag, indicating the name of the family who planted it, and the date of planting. The barangay will also inspect the tree seedling planted annually to monitor its growth. It shall then make a report to be submitted to Cepmo.

Tree seedlings may be sourced by the barangay, in coordination with Cepmo and/or the DENR and the barangay to keep a record of the names of the family members who participated in the activity.


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