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Getting married in Iloilo? You'll need to plant a tree first


Couples who want to get married in Iloilo province may soon have to meet an added requirement: planting a tree.
 
This is the gist of a pact among the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Jaro Archdiocese, and the Iloilo provincial government.
 
According to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines news site, the pact also covers other sacraments such as baptism and burial.
 
It said this aims to help reforest lands denuded by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.
 
Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr., Msgr. Higinio Velarde, and DENR Regional Director James Sampulna signed the memorandum of agreement on April 22, Earth Day.
 
Velarde noted some priests had been requiring marrying couples to plant trees before their wedding even before the MOA was signed.
 
The monsignor represented Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo in the signing ceremony.
 
Under the MOA, Iloilo Catholics who want to avail of marriage, baptism or burial will have to plant trees in designated areas dubbed “Tree Park of Life.”
 
But for now, Defensor said the MOA is subject for review and ratification by the provincial board. — Joel Locsin/JDS, GMA News
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