A proposal for driving license- and franchise-seekers to plant trees before getting their applications approved will soon be a policy, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

“Iyan po ay magiging polisiya. Iyan po ay minungkahi ni (Transportation) Secretary (Arthur) Tugade sa lahat ng kukuha ng prangkisa, pero iyan po ay ipatutupad niya,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a virtual presser.

Tugade told President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday that he sought to require every driving license- and franchise-applicant to plant at least 500 trees to make tree-planting a “national responsibility.”

According to Tugade, the proposal was recommended by a Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board regional director.

“Kung gagawin ho namin iyan, iyong pagtatanim ng puno doon sa pag-isyu ng prangkisa o mga lisensya, ay marami ho tayong matatamnan,” he said in a Cabinet briefing for typhoon “Ulysses,” which submerged parts of Cagayan.

“So I will be coordinating very closely with Secretary Roy Cimatu kung saan ia-identify nila iyong mga lugar na kung saan puwedeng taniman. Kaya nga kung kukuha sila ng prangkisa sa akin, I will make this nationwide, part of the responsibility is really to plant trees,” Tugade added.

Roque said the government would also coordinate with the Department of Education to integrate tree-planting into the basic education curriculum.

Deforestation, illegal mining and climate change were blamed for the flooding caused by “Ulysses.”

“Ulysses” brought flooding to Cagayan, described by Gov. Manuel Mamba as the “worst in the last 75 years,” killing 24 people in the region. John Ezekiel J. Hirro