Anyone seeking a contract, accreditation or permit from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) starting next month, February 2, must plant a thousand trees, or a hundred thousand if he wants to operate a port.
The effectivity date marks the end of the 15-day publication period of the PPA tree planting order, reckoned from Tuesday, this week (January 19, 2021).
Specifically, PPA Administrative Order No. 14-2020, signed by PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago, requires the applicants or grantees of contracts, accreditations and permits, among others, to plant 1,000 seedlings of trees or mangroves in coordination with the local office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) within their business locations.
The order also requires Port Terminal Operators to plant 100,000 trees; Cargo Handling Operator, 50,000; Passenger Terminal Building Operator, 50,000; Roll On Roll Off Operator, 25,000; Private Port Operator, 500,000; and Harbor Pilot, 10,000.
The order further provides that contractors of the agency for the supply of goods and services, shall be required to plant at least 1,000 seedlings for contracts amounting to P5 million and another 1,000 seedlings for every additional P5 million contract amount or fraction thereof.
This will be the new norm in the agency in granting contracts in compliance with Republic Act 9729 otherwise known as the ‘Climate Change Act of 2009”.
“All applicants, including those awarded with contracts for the provision of services in the ports, are subject to the condition that they shall plant trees or mangroves,” Santiago stressed.
“Compliance with the requirements shall be made not later than one year after the issuance of the documents or from the effectivity of this order, whichever comes first.”
“This order will be the PPA’s contribution to the country’s move towards a greener environment which in turn will be beneficial to the future generation,” he added.
Non-compliance will be enough ground for the cancellation of accreditation, permit to operate, Certificate of Registration, appointment, contract, or the non-renewal thereof.
The applicant/grantee, meanwhile, shall coordinate with the local Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) or concerned office or unit of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the type of seedlings to be planted and the location where the seedlings shall be planted.
Once completed, the grantee shall secure a certificate of completion from the said office which shall be submitted to the PPA where the document was secured or awarded.
To ensure that the order is strictly followed, all PPA Port Management Offices and Head Office Responsibility Centers shall monitor compliance and coordinate with the CENRO.
“This is a big step for the agency. We can help in slowing down Climate Change and its negative effects particularly for an emerging economy like the Philippines,” Santiago explained
“Climate change has really affected us the past couple of years, and this endeavor is one good proactive measure to ensure comfortable lives for Filipinos for years to come,” he concluded.