The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Friday said it would be requiring franchise applicants to plant trees first, part of the agency's apparent response to the massive flooding that has hit the country.
The LTFRB's target? Plant at least 50,000 trees.
Based on Memorandum Circular 2020-076 released by the board Friday, tree planting will be mandatory during franchise application.
"This board hereby undertakes to initially plant 50,000 trees across the country through the Central Office and its Regional Franchising and Regulatory Offices," the LTFRB said in its memo.
"Operators shall coordinate with the concerned local government unit (where they hold business) or the concerned DENR office on the area allowed for tree-planting activity, and shall secure proof of compliance therewith from the LGU or DENR."
The LGU or DENR will then provide proof of compliance, which will be included in the documents to be submitted in the application.
The LTFRB said applicants of new Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC), which has at least 10 units, would be required to plant at least one tree for each unit they apply for.
“After the first three months, all applicants with less than 10 units are included,” said the agency.
The policy was first suggested Tuesday by Malacanang, after deforestation was seen among factors blamed for record flooding seen in parts of the country in the wake of Typhoon Ulysses.
The government will also coordinate with the Education Department on possibly requiring students to plant trees, said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.