Starting Dec. 1, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will require franchise applicants to plant trees in a bid to counter the massive flooding caused by recent typhoons.

According to LTFRB Memorandum Circular 2020-076 issued on Nov. 20, transport franchise applicants will be mandated to plant trees as part of the board’s responsibility to “conserve and protect our environment.”

LTFRB’s initial target is to plant 50,000 trees.

Under the memorandum, the following will be required to plant one tree for every unit applied for:

Applicants for issuance of new certificate of public convenience with at least 10 units
Corporations and cooperatives (regardless of number of units) applying for extension of validity of certificate of public convenience

The LTFRB said operators should coordinate with local government units (LGUs) or regional Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) offices on areas for tree-planting activities.

After the activity, applicants should secure proof of compliance from the LGU or the DENR, the LTFRB added.

“Said proof and corresponding photographs shall be attached to their application for issuance/extension of CPC. Failure to attach this requirement shall cause non-acceptance of their application,” the memorandum read.

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