DENR National Capital Region, through its Conservation and Development Division (CDD) and North Field Office (NFO), led a tree planting activity along Tullahan-Malabon River in Barangay Tañong, Malabon City on Friday, 30 July 2021.
CDD and NFO personnel, in coordination with officials and staff of Barangay Tañong led by PB Alma Buenaventura, planted 50 seedlings of bamboo, 50 fruit-bearing trees, and 30 ornamental plants. Members of Mother Earth Foundation, a non-governmental organization (NGO), also participated in the activity.
Planting of bamboo and other flora species on the banks of rivers is part of the greening intervention program of DENR National Capital Region in the ongoing cleanup and rehabilitation of Manila Bay under the Habitat and Resources Management cluster.
The regional office, in keeping with the Operational Plan for the Manila Bay Coastal Strategy (OPMBCS), sees the restoration of riparian ecosystems as crucial to the rehabilitation of the rivers and esteros of Metro Manila. Clean and rehabilitated rivers and esteros, in turn, will greatly contribute to the improvement of water quality of Manila Bay.
“We are planting trees and other plants—bamboo in particular—along major rivers of Metro Manila to help improve water quality”, Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan explained. “Trees serve as natural sponges. They collect and filter rainwater, slowly releasing it back into rivers and streams, effectively improving water quality in the process," Director Caancan emphasized.
“Bamboo”, according to Director Caancan, “is most effective not only in filtering water but in slope protection and stabilization of riverbanks, given its dense root system and proven resilience.”
“Our strategy is to recover and develop legal easements lining our waterways and turn them into parks and green spaces”, Director Caancan said. Once developed, these parks and green spaces will not only help in reviving our river systems, but provide people with venues to relax and do activities to improve their physical and mental health.
“DENR looks at the cleanup and rehabilitation of Manila Bay holistically, and so we see our work as complimenting and enhancing the engineering interventions of other mandamus agencies, particularly the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA)”, Director Caancan concluded.