The Department of Education (DepEd) in Palawan expressed strong support Wednesday to proposed House Bill 8728 or the “Graduation Legacy for the Environment Act” that seeks to require students to plant at least 10 trees before they graduate.
Grace Estafano, public information officer of DepEd-Palawan, said they are ready to support any policy on the protection of the environment.
Estefano said the Act can be easily implemented in the province since its residents, including students, have high environmental awareness.
“Hindi mahirap sa atin ang pag-implement ng environmental awareness dahil mataas masyado ‘yong support natin, at the same time, nagagawa ‘yong different programs and projects ng mga schools,” Estefano said.
On January 14, the House of Representatives approved HB 8728 on third and final reading.
House Bill 8728 authored by Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano requires all graduating elementary, high school and college students to plant at least 10 trees as pre-requisite before they receive their diplomas.
The bill aims to provide a “living legacy” to the environment and to the future generations of Filipinos.
The bill said it is the duty of the “State to pursue programs and projects that promote environment protection, biodiversity, climate change mitigation, poverty reduction, and food security”.
Estefano said the academe in Palawan has always been active in supporting and helping the promotion of environmental conservation, and the future of the students is the driving force that sustains the passion.
She said DepEd also has the Youth for Environment in Schools or YES organization that is a big part of their environmental conservation and protection advocacy.
YES was created, she said, by virtue of Department Order No. 72, Series of 2003 to serve as the venue for students’ “actions and movements toward safeguarding, protecting and conserving the environment for future generations.”
“The YES organization can help in sounding off the goal or goals of the HB 8728,” she said.