In celebration of Philippine Arbor Day, the DENR National Capital Region through its East Field Office (EFO) and Production Forest Management Section (PFMS), organized a Community PanTREE in Barangay Marikina Heights, Marikina City, and Barangay UP Campus, Quezon City on Friday, June 25, 2021.

The activity was made possible with the help and cooperation of host communities led by their Punong Barangays—Hon. Miguel A. Punzalan, Jr. for Marikina Heights and Hon. Zenaida P. Lectura for UP Campus—attracted more than a hundred participants. Each received free seedlings of fruit-bearing trees and vegetables from a choice of Atis, Duhat, Kasoy, Guyabano, Langka, Pechay, and Mustasa.

Forester Florencio G. Diwa, Jr., OIC Deputy Chief Environmental Officer for the EFO, led the activity with the assistance of PFMS personnel who provided a short lecture on how to properly transplant and take care of the seedlings.

Community PanTREE is the regional office’s contribution to the efforts of both the public and private sector to help people cope with quarantine fatigue and other mental health issues associated with global health emergencies through backyard gardening and urban greening.

Citing studies that show that green spaces help people relax and rejuvenate, Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan thought it wise to organize the Community PanTREE to encourage people to revert away their quarantine blues by planting greens. “We not only help people manage their fears and worries, but we also help in improving our urban ecosystem”, Director Caancan said.