Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan, together with Conservation and Development (CDD) Chief Aida E. Esguerra and Production Forest Management Section (PFMS) Chief Art Calderon joined QC Assistant City Administrator for Fiscal Affairs Don Javillonar, Parks Development and Administration Department (PDAD) head Arch. Nancy Esguerra, and City Accounting Department head Ruby Mananggu during its tree planting activity at the former site of the Quezon City Controlled Waste Disposal Facility in Payatas on Friday, 25 June 2021.

The tree planting activity held in celebration of Philippine Arbor Day is part of the long-term plan of the city government to rehabilitate the now closed sanitary landfill of Quezon City. In December 2017, DENR ordered its closure after the facility reached its carrying capacity limit and numerous violations of the landfill’s private operator. DENR National Capital Region is helping with the rehabilitation of the facility by providing technical assistance and seedlings. More than 1,500 native trees and bamboo culms were planted in the area.

In her message during the short program that preceded the activity, Director Caancan lauded the city government for its efforts to transform the area into a thriving green space. She noted that the city government, led by Mayor Josefina “Joy” Belmonte, “truly understands the importance of trees”, especially in the context of climate change.

In a report published in 2019, identified Metro Manila as among the six cities in the world most vulnerable to climate change. Director Caancan said that instead of focusing solely on mitigation, we must also strive to make our cities and municipalities climate-resilient through landscape restoration and urban greening. “Trees absorb greenhouse gases, apart from providing us protection against flooding and other natural and man-made risks”, Director Caancan said.