May 8, 2008 DO 33, s. 2008 – Responding to the Threats of Climate Change and Global Warming Through Massive, Intensive and Sustained Tree-Planting, Tree-Growing and Tree-Caring Program
To: Regional Directors
Schools Division/City Superintendents
Heads, Public and Private Elementary and Secondary Schools
- Our country is easily vulnerable to the impact of climate change and global warming given our tropical climate, topography and geographic location, population density, socio-economic conditions and other factors. With global rise of temperatures posing drastic changes in our climate, our country becomes more susceptible from its impacts ranging from weather disturbances, flash floods, drought, changes in species migration and feeding patterns, increase in illnesses, and many more serious consequences. To be sure, climate change and global warming are not just environmental issues because they have severe socio-economic implications.
- Significant actions are being undertaken internationally and nationally to arrest the continuous decline of our environment. Our national and local governments, including well-meaning individuals and private organizations, are initiating concerted efforts to help in mitigating the deleterious effects of climate change and global warming. The key, however, is a dramatic and unified action to effect a solution to this worsening problem.
- Towards this end, the Department of Education is embarking on massive, intensive and sustained tree-planting, tree-growing and tree-caring activities throughout the school year annually involving our pupils, students, teachers, school heads/principals, supervisors and officials. These tree-planting, tree-growing and tree- caring activities are part of the civic duty of every citizen to help in the global challenge to combat climate change and global warming.
- Trees serve as the lungs of our planet. Trees help reduce global warming by sequestering million tons of carbon per year. Trees also provide cooling shade, block cold winds, attract birds and wildlife, purify our air, prevent soil erosion, clean our water, and add grace and beauty to our schools and communities.
- In view of the importance of this undertaking, all public and private elementary and secondary schools throughout the country are directed to conduct the following activities, among others, beginning opening of classes for School Year 2008-2009:
- Planting/growing/caring of trees in vacant spaces in the school premises and establishment of mini-forests;
- In the absence of space inside the school premises, identify a suitable vacant space within the community, especially around watershed areas where tree-planting/tree-growing/tree-caring activities will be done and mini-forests will be established;
- Schools are directed to establish its own plant-nurseries to ensure enough supplies of planting materials;
- Planting of endemic/native species of trees such as Narra, Molave, Philippine Teak, Acacia, Kamagong, Lawaan and fruit bearing trees is enjoined. Other tree species may also be planted provided that a significant area inside and outside the school premises is allotted for endemic species;
- Outside areas planted by the school should have signages indicating that it is being adopted and maintained by the school and other stakeholders. Tree species planted should be appropriately labeled for identification and monitoring purposes;
- Cutting of trees planted inside the school campus is strictly prohibited;
- Intensify awareness campaign to create a sense of urgency through fora, symposia, and seminars on the serious effects and consequences of climate change and global warming to be initiated and held in school premises together with partner agencies and organizations;
- Involve youth-led organizations in schools through the Supreme Student/Pupil Government, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YES-O and other school-recognized clubs and organizations; and
- Establish linkages and partnership with stakeholders such as the DENR, Local Government Units, Barangay officials, non-government and peoples’ organizations for advice, support, supply of seedlings and saplings and to further identify and intensify existing environmental programs.
- All Regional Directors and Schools Division/City Superintendents are directed to provide leadership and full support to this undertaking in their respective jurisdictions. All Public Schools District Supervisors are likewise directed to intensify tree-planting/tree-growing/tree-caring programs in their respective districts in the elementary level.
- To sustain the implementation and monitoring of the program, Regional Directors and Schools Division/City Superintendents shall allocate funds in the region and schools divisions, respectively, for the establishment/maintenance of school nurseries and seed banks from where schoolchildren will get their seedlings for planting, and for monitoring by the designated program coordinators.
- At the national level, the Office of the Undersecretary for Regional Operations thru the Center for Students and Co-curricular Affairs (CSCA) is in-charge of supervising and monitoring this program.
- Regional Directors and Schools Division/City Superintendents shall designate their respective Regional/Division Tree-Planting/Tree-Growing/Tree-Caring Coordinator to coordinate, monitor and report the implementation of this Order. The list of Regional and Division Coordinators shall be submitted to the Office of the Undersecretary for Regional Operations c/o the Center for Students and Co-Curricular Affairs (CSCA) Executive Director Joey G- Pelaez, Rm. 111, Mabini Bldg, DepED Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City or thru telefax numbers (02) 631-8495/636-3603 or thru e-mail: email@example.com or website: www.deped-csca.com.
- Immediate dissemination of and wide compliance with this Order is directed.
Allotment: 1- -(D.O. 50-97)
To be indicated in the Perpetual Index under the following subjects: