The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has begun planting matured coconut palms along the Manila Baywalk on Roxas Boulevard as part of the government's efforts to rehabilitate Manila Bay.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said around 60 matured coconut palms will be planted along the shore to complement the agency's beach nourishment project, which aims to bring back the "tropical aura" of Manila Bay.

During the ceremonial planting held last Wednesday, the DENR chief said that based on the assessment conducted by their field office in the National Capital Region (NCR), coconut palms were previously planted in the area but were cut down due to over maturity or have withered away through time.

"This area has been planted with coconuts before. Subalit sa ginawang assessment ng ating field office, marami na ang mga naputol o namatay sa paglipas ng panahon," said Cimatu when he led the initial planting of 10 coconut palms that are around three-four meters high.

"So we will undertake coconut planting today as part of our restoration and continuing rehabilitation of Manila Bay," he added.

He noted that decades-old photos of Manila Bay have shown that coconut palms used to line up the stretch of Roxas Boulevard.

"These coconut trees or palms will add to the aesthetic value of the area because they will give an otherwise plain landscape a distinctly tropical aura, the way this area was years ago," Cimatu said.

"It will not only beautify the baywalk portion of the Manila Bay coastline. It will also serve as a living reminder of how much the coconut tree has contributed to our way of life," he added.

Cimatu said the maintenance of the project will be monitored by the DENR-NCR in collaboration with the Parks Development Office of Manila.

The activity was led by the DENR-NCR in collaboration with the Philippine Coconut Authority, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the city government of Manila.

Department of the Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Marjorie Jalosjos, MMDA General Manager Jose Arturo Garcia, and Manila Department of Public Service Director Kenneth Amurao also joined the ceremonial planting of the coconut palms. ###