Filipino students could have to plant trees before graduating if bill passes

Tree-lined pathway through the forest.
In order to graduate each student must plant 10 trees by law. Photo credit: Getty Images.

The Philippines' lower house has passed a Bill which, if it becomes law, would make it compulsory for students to plant at least 10 trees each before they are eligible to graduate.

Advocates for the Bill say that as many as 525 billion trees could be planted in a single generation if the initiative is properly adhered to.

"With over 12 million students graduating from elementary, nearly 5 million graduating from high school and almost 500,000 graduating from college each year, this initiative, if properly implemented, will ensure at least 175 million new trees [are planted] each year," said Gary Alejano, the Magdalo Party representative and the one of the bill's primary authors.

Alejano also noted that even if only 10 percent of the trees survive, 525 million trees over the span of a generation would still be available for the next era to enjoy.

According to CNN's Philippines news service, the trees will reportedly be planted amongst forests, mangroves, on some protected land, military ranges, selected urban areas and abandoned mining sites.

The government hopes the initiative will inspire future generations to be proactive in regards to the environment and combating deforestation, and hopes the law will encourage more ecological action.

Earlier stories had reported the Bill had passed into law, but a fact check by AFP fact check proved this to be wrong

In order to become law, the Bill will need to be passed by the upper house and signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Alejano told AFP via text he didn't think the law would come into effect before Congress adjourned on June 8. 

"Considering the remaining days in the 17th Congress, I am afraid the proposed measure will not be passed into law."

This article has been amended to reflect the Bill had not passed in to law and needs to be passed by the upper house and the President.