Mangroves, nipa, and nilad were planted in Baseco, Tondo, Manila on Tuesday as part of the government program to rehabilitate Baseco and the Manila Bay.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu was joined in the tree planting activity by Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Danilo Lim, Baseco/Barangay 649 Captain Diana Espinosa, representing Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso, and officials and employees of the DENR-National Capital Region (DENR- NCR) led by Regional Executive Director Jacqueline Caancan.
Caancan said the DENR-NCR has adopted bio/phytoremediation or nature-based approach in enhancing the habitat and ecosystems of Baseco.
Since 2019, DENR-NCR reported that it has planted a total of 8,597 seedlings comprising of various species of mangrove and beach-type trees, with a survival rate of 87 percent.
Aside from habitat restoration through tree planting, the agency has also initiated the construction of a boardwalk in Baseco’s lagoon area.
The boardwalk, designed like a leaf of a mangrove, has a total length of 270 meters, with two view decks.
About 110 meters was completed during the first phase of the boardwalk construction, while the construction of the remaining 160 meters is expected to be completed before the end of this month.
Caancan noted that regular clean-up activities in Baseco are also being conducted by its personnel in the DENR-NCR and West Field Office.
“In compliance with the health guidelines, we have refrained from enjoining our regular partners in our cleanup activities in Baseco. Instead we relied on our personnel to do scheduled cleanup to ensure the observance of social distancing,” she said.
She also cited that “estero rangers” are deployed to conduct daily cleanup activities along the Aplaya-side of the Baseco beach and at the lagoon.
Caancan, however, stressed that while the Baseco beach has been cleared of floating garbage, the water remains polluted, urging residents to refrain from swimming in the beach.
The DENR-NCR, in partnership with the MMDA, is the lead agency in the rehabilitation of Baseco.
“The MMDA is our strong partner not only in the cleanup of Baseco lagoon and its vicinity but also in tree-planting,” Caancan said.