House approved Arbor Day in the Philippines every 25th of June

Arbor DayImage via WikipediaThe House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill reviving the observance of Arbor Day in the country. 

Rep. Victor Yu (1st District, Zamboanga Del Sur), Chairman of the House Special Committee on Reforestation, said the bill seeks to set aside a specific day every year for tree planting to celebrate Arbor Day.

In the past years, the Arbor Day was celebrated in the Philippines every 25th of June.

The Arbor Day will be declared as a public holiday to ensure the active participation of students, out-of-school youth and government employees and the private sector, people's organizations and non-governmental organizations.

Other countries celebrating Arbor Day are the United States, Australia, Canada, Barbados, Guam, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Germany, Holland, India, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Spain, Tunisia, Iceland, Israel, Jordan, Malta, Namibia, South Africa and Yemen.

House Bill No. 4330, authored by Reps. Luis Villafuerte (2nd District, Camarines Sur) and Augusto Syjuco (2nd District, Iloilo), mandates the provincial, city and municipal governments and their barangays to spearhead the tree planting celebration in their respective areas.

"The approved measure intends to revive Arbor Day to celebrate as a day for tree planting and an occasion to emphasize the importance of our forest resources where everyone will be encouraged to participate and plant endemic species in protected areas," Villafuerte said.

The bill establishes a local Arbor Day Celebrations Committee in every province, city and municipality. It shall be composed by representatives from the local Sanggunian, Departments of Environment and Natural Resources, Education, Interior and Local Government, Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, Public Works and Highways, Tourism and media organizations, among others.

The bill also empowers the local sanggunian to promulgate the rules and regulations at the local level while the DILG, in coordination with the DENR, shall promulgate the implementing rules and regulations at the national level.

"The revival of the celebration of Arbor Day throughout the country could be our contribution to the preservation and conservation of our forest resources. With the current eventualities all over the country, this is our chance to at least minimize the effect of global warming due to climate change brought by forest denudation worldwide," Villafuerte said.