New tree-planting bill approved at House of Representatives

Published November 25, 2020, 12:05 AM

by Ben Rosario

The House of Representatives approved Tuesday night another bill mandating the planting of trees as a requisite for the issuance of building permits.

 With 238 congressmen voting in the affirmative, House Bill No 7763 was approved on third and final reading. No negative vote was registered during the plenary session.
HB 7763 is the third such measure providing for the  planting of trees as a requirement for the issuance of government documents.
Earlier, House Bill 6930 was approved on final reading.  It mandates parents to plant two trees for every child born to them.

On the other hand, HB 6931 was also approved on final reading.  The measure makes planting of two tree saplings as additional requirement for students graduating in the elementary, high school and college levels of education.

 The Lower House acted on the third bill amid the on-going debate on the decision of the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board to impose a tree-planting requirement for applicants of government franchise for public utility vehicles.

  HB 7763 consolidated bills authored by Reps. Joseph Stephen Paduano (Abang Lingkod Partylist); Precious Hipolito-Castelo (PDP-Laban, Quezon City) and Michael Edgardo Aglipay (DIWA Partylist).

Under the bill, local government units are barred from issuing building permits unless the applicants are able to submit a Tree-Planting Plan (TPP), in addition to other requirements imposed by the LGU.

A tree planting plan requires the setting aside a tree planting area within the property.

The TPP should contain the following: total area of the project, indicative layout of the area to be planted and the number of trees to be planted.

Owners and developers are required to plant a tree for every 500 square meter of commercial and industrial projects.  For residential buildings, one tree for every 250 square meters of the proposed development is required.

“This bill seeks to alleviate the effects of global warming and climate change by requiring the planting of trees in residential, commercial and public buildings, as well as in industrial establishments,” said Castelo.

She added:  “Ultimately this bill envisions the gradual lessening of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere as it is common knowledge that trees are the source of the oxygen that we breathe daily.”