BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance requiring first time enrolees in elementary, high school and college, whether public or private, to plant a tree before acceptance in the educational institutions.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Edgar M. Avila stated that the first time enrolees are required to plant one pine tree at a designated site and present such certificate as a requirement for acceptance or enrolment in the education which he or she desires to study.
The certificate shall be issued upon inspection and verification by the City Environment and Parks Management officer (CEPMO) pursuant to existing rules and regulations in relation to the planting of trees.
Avila cited it is important for the citizens of the city to join hands in a massive reforestation project in the different parts of the city in order to bring back its glory and luster as the City of Pines.
According to him, the involvement of the youth in regreening and reforestation efforts will help in making the city cleanest and greenest.
He claimed that it is important to give the youth a legacy which they could pass on from one generation to another through participation in efforts to bring back the greenery of the city’s forest lands and barren places.
The provisions of existing laws, ordinances, rules and regulations, in so far as they are not in conflict with the provisions of the proposed local legislative measure, shall apply in matters not otherwise specifically provided for in the ordinance.
Heads of the different public and private education institutions in the city will be tasked to closely coordinate with the CEPMO in order to identify the possible plantation areas of their enrolees so that there will be no overlapping of sites.
The CEPMO is the designated office in the local government tasked to administer and supervise reforestation activities by concerned organizations and institutions.
Aside from planting trees, concerned school officials must also make sure that the trees planted by their students will grow by authorizing the frequent weeding activities to secure the plants and guarantee their growth.
It was learned that 20 percent of the city’s over 5,000 hectares remain forested and that there has been rapid deforestation in the city’s forest reservations triggered by the migration of people from the rural areas to the city for livelihood.
Avail appealed to school administrators to help in the reforestation efforts by adopting specific areas in forest reservations around the city to bring back the greenery of the watersheds.
By Dexter A. See