To encourage people to plant more trees, Arbor Day is observed by many countries around the world. In the Philippines, this special holiday is held every June 25 — just in time for wet season, when tree-planting is scheduled for optimum growth.
There are two bills that require Filipinos to plant trees, and another one underway, specifically for new graduates:
- Republic Act No. 10176 or Arbor Day Act of 2012: “All able-bodied citizens of the Philippines, who are at least 12 years of age, shall be required to plant one (1) tree every year.”
- Presidential Decree No. 1153 of 1977: “Every citizen of the Philippines at least ten (10) years of age, actually residing therein, unless physically disabled to do so, shall plant one tree every month for five (5) consecutive years.”
- House Bill 8728 or Graduation Legacy for the Environment Act: Once signed into law, all graduating students are required to plant at least 10 trees as a prerequisite for graduation.
Regardless if it’s required or not, it’s good practice to plant your own seedlings and help combat the global climate crisis for the benefit of the future generation. We rounded up several groups you can join for your next tree-planting activity with your friends and family around the Philippines:
Biodiversity conservation is their top goal. Supporters may donate, volunteer for in-office work, train as a long-term member, or join their field activities. For the latter, choose from “Biodiversity On Wheels” (a roving eco library that tours schools), birdwatching, and tree planting, which is scheduled from June to November every year.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
The DENR regularly organizes tree-planting activities with schools and local organizations all over the country. Since the House of Representatives approved House Bills No. 8728 and 8272, which makes tree planting mandatory for new parents and graduates in the country, the DENR was assigned as one of the departments in charge of implementing the program. Subscribe to their Facebook page for updates.
Together Reforesting the Earth’s Environment (TREE) is one of the community programs of Nuvali, Ayala Land’s sustainable and eco-city development in Laguna. Their tree-planting activities are conducted from June to December each year. Whether you’re a solo traveler, group of friends, or a company looking to do a tree-planting venture, just contact their Estate Admin Office to schedule a date with fellow planeteers.
Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society
A core member of the Rain Forest Restoration Initiative (RFRI) and a non-profit organization, PNPCSI is devoted to the conservation of indigenous Philippine plants. Their activities go beyond planting seedlings; they also educate volunteers on reforestation. If you’re looking for long-term volunteerism instead of one-time tree planting, sign up as a member for P1,000 a year (P500 for succeeding years).
When the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage Systems (MWSS) launched the Annual Million Tree Challenge, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) pledged its support with 37,000 seedlings that year, and 50,000 seedlings per succeeding year. To join WWF’s tree-planting activities, sign up as a volunteer, donor, intern, or better yet, spearhead your own activity with them.