Philippines bill requires all students to plant 10 trees as graduation requirement

A new bill passed by lawmakers in the Philippines' House of Representatives would require students to plant 10 trees each — or risk not graduating.

The legislation, called "Graduation Legacy for the Environment Act," requires "all graduating elementary, high school, and college students" to plant the trees as part of their graduation requirements.

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"The trees planted by the graduating students shall be their living legacy to the environment and future generations of Filipinos," a press release from the Filipino House stated earlier this month.

Rep. Gary Alejano, one of the authors of the bill, said children and young adults in the Philippines should be able to contribute to the environment.

A bill that recently passed in the Filipino House of Representatives requires students to plant 10 trees in order to graduate.

A bill that recently passed in the Filipino House of Representatives requires students to plant 10 trees in order to graduate. (iStock)

"With over 12 million students graduating from elementary and nearly five million students graduating from high school and almost 500,000 graduating from college each year, this initiative, if properly implemented, will ensure that at least 175 million new trees would be planted each year. In the course of one generation, no less than 525 billion can be planted under this initiative," Alejano said.

He noted that, "With a survival rate of only 10 percent, this would mean an additional 525 million trees would be available for the youth to enjoy, when they assume the mantle of leadership in the future."

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The measure explains that a state policy is "to pursue programs and projects that promote environmental protection, biodiversity, climate change mitigation, poverty reduction, and food security."

"To this end, the educational system shall be a locus for propagating ethical and sustainable use of natural resources among the young to ensure the cultivation of a socially-responsible and conscious citizenry," the bill continued.

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If the legislation is approved, trees will be planted in "forestlands, 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."

Approved by the House, the bill now heads to the Senate.