Jul 6, 2018

Trees are vital in the survival of the human race. As the biggest plants on the planet, they give us oxygen, store carbon, stabilize the soil, and give life to the world’s wildlife. This is probably why the Baguio City local government has made an effort in reforestation for the mitigation of environmental degradation.

In compliance with the Baguio City Environment Code, a total of 1,226 couples who applied for a marriage license in 2017 have each planted a tree seedling as a contribution to the protection and preservation of the environment. This ordinance mandates that couples who wish to obtain a marriage license are required to plant at the very least one tree in Pine Trees of the World, the chosen plantation site located at southmost part of the Burnham Park.

According to their records, there has been an 85.6 percent average survival rate of the total number of tree seedlings that were planted since the implementation of the ordinance in October 2016. Forestry division chief of the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) Beatriz Gajete said that this helped ingrain in Baguio residents’ minds that trees are essential and significant in our everyday lives as human beings.

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Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Gajete emphasizes that people can survive days without food, but nobody can live without oxygen. “Take note that there are many victims of earthquake trapped and they survived by drinking their urine, but without oxygen, they could not have survived. Even if we don’t eat for weeks, we could still survive. But try to hold your breath for minutes, and [you] will die. We have to tell people that oxygen must (be available). Let us not wait for the time when oxygen is sold in bottles,” she said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency.

She believes that it is the couples’ responsibility to provide their future offspring with clean air and to educate their children as well about the important role trees play.

Header image courtesy of Inquirer

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