In support of the on-going restoration of the Marikina River, the DENR National Capital Region led a bamboo tree planting activity in Barangay Industrial Valley Complex in Marikina City on Wednesday, 17 February 2021.

A total of fifty (50) bamboo saplings such as Kawayang Kiling, Buho, Anos, Giant Bamboo, Kawayang Tinik, and Bayog were planted by officials of Build Back Better Task Force chaired by Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). They were joined by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Benjamin Abalos, Jr., and Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro. Officials of the DENR, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Philippine National Police (PNP), also joined the activity.

DENR National Capital Region in partnership with the City Government of Marikina is also set to establish a bamboo nursery in the city to sustain restoration efforts for the Marikina River. “This project is meant to complement the engineering interventions of DPWH”, DENR-NCR Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan explained.

Studies have shown that bamboo is suitable for slope protection in river embankments. “The rooting system of bamboo helps retain water in the ground, binds the soil, and helps filter out sediments, reducing in effect the volume of sediments that flow downstream to Manila Bay”, Director Caancan adds.

Also, bamboo is fast-growing and can provide canopy protection within the first four years compared to other trees that take as long as 15 to 30 years to do so. “We need to consider nature-based solutions in addressing flooding in Metro Manila, and one way of doing this is to renew our riparian ecosystems through the planting of bamboo and other indigenous and native tree species adapted. Not only will help resolve the perennial problem of flooding but also, we will also enrich biodiversity in the area”, Director Caancan concluded.