Tree, mangrove planting now mandatory for every PPA contract, permit issued

21 JANUARY 2021, MANILA—True to its commitment to help promote environmental protection and sustainability, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has ordered the mandatory planting of trees and mangroves for every contract, accreditation and permits issued by the agency.

The order takes effect on the 2nd of February after the 15-day publication period reckoning from 19 January 2021.

PPA Administrative Order No. 14-2020, signed by PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago, requires the applicants/grantees of contracts, accreditations and permits, among others, to plant 1,000 seedlings of trees or mangroves in coordination with the local office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) within their respective business locations.

The PPA GM said this will be the new norm in the agency in granting contracts in compliance with Republic Act 9729 otherwise known as the ‘Climate Change Act of 2009”.

“All grantees or persons or entities applying with the PPA for the issuance of accreditation certificate, certificate of registration (COR), appointment and authorization, including those awarded with contracts for the provision of services in the ports are subject to the condition that the applicant/grantee shall plant trees and/or mangroves,” Santiago stressed.

“This order will be the PPA’s humble contribution to the country’s move towards a greener environment which in turn will be beneficial to the future generation,” Santiago added.

“Compliance with the requirements shall be made not later than one year after the issuance of the documents or from the effectivity of this order, whichever comes first,” Santiago added.

Santiago stressed that non-compliance will be enough ground for the cancellation of accreditation, permit to operate, Certificate of Registration, appointment, contract, or the non-renewal thereof.

In addition to the 1,000 seedlings mentioned, PPA Administrative Order 14-2020 likewise mandated the different port service providers to plant the following additional number of seedlings: Port Terminal Operator, 100,000; Cargo Handling Operator, 50,000; Passenger Terminal Building Operator, 50,000; Roll On Roll Off Operator, 25,000; Private Port Operator, 500,000; and Harbor Pilot, 10,000.

The order also provides that contractors of the agency for the supply of goods and services, shall be required to plant at least 1,000 seedlings for contracts amounting to P5 million and another 1,000 seedlings for every additional P5 million contract amount or fraction thereof.

The applicant/grantee, meanwhile, shall coordinate with the local Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) or concerned office or unit of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the type of seedlings to be planted and the location where the seedlings shall be planted.

Once completed, the grantee shall secure a certificate of completion from the said office which shall be submitted to the PPA where the document was secured or awarded.

To ensure that the order is strictly followed, all PPA Port Management Offices and Head Office Responsibility Centers shall monitor compliance and coordinate with the CENRO.

“This is a big step for the agency. With guidance from the Department of Transportation, we can help in slowing down Climate Change and its negative effects particularly for an emerging economy like the Philippines,” Santiago said.

“Climate change has really affected us the past couple of years, and this endeavor is one good proactive measure to ensure comfortable lives for Filipinos for years to come,” Santiago added.