DENR National Capital Region officials plant native trees at the National Ecology Center in celebration of Philippine Arbor Day 2020. DENR-NCR officials led by Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan and Assistant Regional Directors Al O. Orolfo for Management Services and Engr. Ignacio R. Almira, Jr. for Technical Services) planted native trees at the National Ecology Center (NEC) in East Avenue, Quezon City earlier today, 25 June 2020.

Around twenty (20) native tree seedlings were planted in the garden area of the NEC compound. The NEC houses the offices of DENR National Capital Region, EMB National Capital Region and the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA).

Generally, tree planting activities organized by the regional office for Arbor Day are big, drawing a lot of volunteers from different sectors. However, Director Caancan ordered the downscaling of program activities this year in compliance with existing health protocols on mass gatherings set by the national government in relation with the public health crisis brought about by COVID-19.

Director Caancan emphasized nevertheless that the tree planting activity conducted today is meant to inspire Metro Manila residents to start urban gardening and caring for trees in their own backyards, how small it is. "This garden", she explained, "is a small piece of the NEC compound, but we've found out that visitors have been spending time at the area because it offered them a brief respite from the heat, air and noise pollution out in the streets." These, she says, are a testament to the many benefits we derive from trees.

"We encourage Metro Manila residents to plant and grow trees, not just today on Arbor Day, but throughout the year. Trees help improve air quality, absorb heat and pollutants, and increase biodiversity", Director Caancan emphasized.

The word “Arbor” is a Latin word which origin meaning is “tree”. The Philippine Arbor Day is celebrated every 25th day of June that was institutionalized through former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s Proclamation No. 643, s.2004 which is amended from Proclamation No. 329, s. 2003 that encourage all individuals to plant and take care of our trees.