In celebration of the upcoming Philippine Arbor Day, the DENR National Capital Region, in partnership with the Office of the DENR Undersecretary for Finance, Information Systems, and Climate Change, rolled out its Community PanTREE project to Barangay 163 in Caloocan City on Monday, 21 June 2021.

The rolling Community PanTREE project is DENR National Capital Region’s initiative to provide free seedlings of fruit-bearing trees and vegetables to residents of Metro Manila. The project was originally launched on April 22 in time with the celebration of Earth Day and amid the IATF’s decision to put Metro Manila and other neighboring provinces under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). The project was the regional office’s means of helping the public cope with quarantine fatigue and other mental health issues associated with the pandemic, and as well as promoting urban greening and backyard gardening. 

A short program was hosted by Director Elenida Del Rosario-Basug of the DENR Climate Change Service and Forester Olga O. Arzadon, Deputy Chief Environmental Officer for DENR-NCR’s North Field Office. During the program, DENR Usec. Analiza Rebuelta-Teh thanked the residents of Barangay 163 for their continued support of the various community-based programs of the environment department, including the ongoing cleanup of Manila Bay and its tributaries. Usec. Teh heads cleanup efforts for the Tullahan-Tinejeros River System.

Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan, meanwhile, vowed to work even more closely with barangays, as she sees Punong Barangay and Kagawads, along with their Purok Leaders, are most effective in implementing government policies, plans, programs, projects, and activities in the community. DENR National Capital Region OIC Assistant Regional Director for Management Service, Dr. Al O. Orolfo, was also present during the activity.

DENR National Capital Region provided over 1000 seedlings of Guyabano, Langka, Atis, Kasoy, and Duhat during the program. Residents also received ready-to-plant Pechay and Mustasa. “We need to inspire more people to plant and maximize all available open spaces for greening purposes to make our cities sustainable and liveable”, Director Caancan emphasized during the program.