Taking off from the success of the Community PanTree introduced in celebration of Earth Day in April, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will launch the rolling Community PanTree project on June 21 in Barangay 163, Caloocan City.

“The idea of a rolling Community PanTree is the essence of going down to the grassroots to involve more people in DENR programs and projects just as I have instructed all DENR personnel during our 34th founding anniversary on June 10,” said Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

“Greening our communities is also one of the most helpful means to clean our air and mitigate the effects of climate change especially as we celebrate Philippine Arbor Day on June 25,” Cimatu added.

The rolling Community PanTree will be launched at the covered court of Bgy. 163 in Caloocan City by DENR Undersecretary for Finance, Information Systems and Climate Change Analiza Rebuelta-Teh and the DENR National Capital Region (NCR) Executive Director Jacqueline Caancan.

Barangay 163 is one of the participating barangays in the Tullahan-Tinajeros River System Rehabilitation in support to the Battle for Manila Bay.

The Community PanTree of DENR-NCR held in April was a successful project which saw people coming to get free seedlings of fruit-bearing trees and vegetables at the DENR Nursery in North Avenue in Quezon City.

The project was in support of voluntary efforts to provide people with sustainable sources of food following the imposition then of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in NCR Plus. It aimed to promote urban and backyard gardening and to help the public cope with quarantine fatigue and other mental health issues associated with the pandemic.

With the upcoming celebration of Philippine Arbor Day on June 25, the project will be brought closer to communities.

Plantitos and plantitas and the public residing in Caloocan City and nearby areas may go to Brgy. 163 for their free seedlings of guyabano, mangoes, langka, atis, avocado, sampalok, kamias, duhat, and pechay and mustasa.

“We are taking this initiative both as a concrete response of climate change adaptation and mitigation and as part of our cleanup efforts for the Tullahan- Tinajeros River System,” said Teh.

She added that trees are natural “carbon sinks” and are among the most popular weapons in fighting global warming.

Teh and Caancan hope to encourage more people to plant trees and to protect existing ones not only as a means of improving food security and climate resiliency of Metro Manila, but to increase our capacity as well to fight off diseases.

“A number of studies have shown that the presence of trees, especially in urban setting, can improve people's mental and physical health among other benefits,” Caancan said.

Proclamation No. 643 signed in 2004 declared every 25th of June as Philippine Arbor Day to be observed throughout the country by planting trees and ornamental plants. #