2 bills of Rep. Mark Go approved by house committees

Two bills authored by Rep. Marquez Go has been approved at the committee level recently.
The House Committee on Reforestation, chaired by Rep. Noel Villanueva, approved House Bill 3632 requiring parents to plant a seedling for every child born to them while HB 3557, which expands the travel tax exemption to those who bring honor to the country, was also approved by the House Committee on Tourism.
Go said that he filed HB 3632 in an effort to help mitigate the impact of climate change which affects biodiversity, sea level, agriculture, forestry, water resources, energy use, and transportation.
He said that based on the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), an average of 4,791 babies is born daily or 200 babies per hour. A total of 1,748,857 births were registered in 2014.
The lawmaker explained that requiring every parent to plant one seedling for every child born to them will result to almost 2,000,000 seedlings planted annually and will reduce the trees and seedlings needed to be planted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through its Enhanced National Greening Program.
“As the child grows, so does the seedling. The connection between the child and their seedling leads to increased environmental consciousness and care,” Go noted.
Similar bills were also filed in the said committee and a technical working group was created to consolidate the measures and to come up with a substitute bill.
Meanwhile, HB 3557, principally authored by Go, seeks to include representatives of the country for international sports tournaments, academic conferences and beauty pageants in the coverage of travel tax exemption.
“Those who bring honor to the country should be given incentives such as the exemption from paying travel tax when they travel abroad to join these international events and activities,” Go said.
He believes that exempting the students, athletes, academic conference participants and beauty pageant contestants from the payment of travel tax will not adversely affect the country’s travel tax collections which reached P3.852 billion in 2014.
“This small incentive is one way of expressing our recognition and to show our full support behind our fellow Filipinos who seek glory in the name of our country,” Go stressed.
This bill will be consolidated together with HB 3518 authored by Rep. Arlene Arcillas which seeks to grant 20% discount on travel tax for senior citizens and persons with disabilities. MPA / ABN

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