PPA: No tree planting, no permit to operate

06 NOVEMBER 2022, MANILA—The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is set to strengthen its tree-planting initiatives in compliance with the directive of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. on integrating the same in the construction of the country’s flood-control infrastructure projects.

It can be recalled that after witnessing the impact of deforestation and the recent devastation of Tropical Storm Paeng, President Marcos Jr. said that tree planting should also be prioritized to prevent severe flooding.

"So we have to include tree planting in our flood control. That should be included. If we are going to spend on flood control, there must be tree planting," according to the President.

In consonance with Republic Act No. 9729 or "The Climate Change Act of 2009" authored by Senator Loren Legarda, PPA issued Administrative Order No. 14-2020 mandating permit applicants and contractors to plant 1,000 trees or mangroves that are of great help in times of inundation.

According to PPA General Manager Jay Santiago, the agency is aimed at further strengthening the tree planting initiative of PPA which was started two (2) years ago.

"In response to the call of our President BBM to conduct tree planting activities, PPA will further intensify its tree planting initiatives under PPA Administrative Order 14-2020", said GM Santiago.

In partnership with various Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENRO), the PPA has already planted more than 3,000 mangroves and seedlings in Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga, Agusan, Bicol, and Negros Oriental.

"The entire PPA is glad that we are with the same vision as our dear President in terms of reforestation and environmental protection," added GM Santiago.

Stipulated under the said PPA memorandum that non-compliance to its provisions may result in cancellation or non-renewal of Permit to Operate, Certificate of Registration, and contract of the operators. GM Santiago added that this is one of PPA's humble contributions to nature amid the ongoing effects of climate change happening across the world.