DENR declares over 70-year-old ‘balete tree’ in Pasig City as heritage tree

The Pasig City local government announced on Wednesday, July 3, that a more than 70-year-old balete tree in the city was declared as a Pamanang Puno, or heritage tree, by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).



The balete tree is located at the Maybunga Rainforest Park in Maybunga, Pasig.

According to DENR National Capital Region (NCR) Regional Director Michael Drake P. Matias, the balete tree was the 42nd tree declared as heritage tree in the NCR, and the fourth in Pasig City.

After the declaration, a marker was unveiled on the importance of the tree not only for the environment but also for the history of Pasig City.

City Environment and Natural Resources Office OIC Allendri Angeles said they will continue to support all programs to maintain cleanliness and care for the environment.

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto expressed the continued solidarity of the city government with the DENR for the protection of natural resources.

“Lahat ng Pasigueño ay dapat protektahan at ipaglaban ang kalikasan para mai-preserba pa ito para sa mga susunod pang henerasyon, at ang heritage tree sa Maybunga Rainforest Park ay magsisilbing paalala sa bawat Pasigueño sa tungkulin nitong pangalagaan ang kalikasan (All Pasigueños must protect and fight for nature to preserve it for future generations, and the heritage tree in Maybunga Rainforest Park will serve as a reminder to every Pasigueño of their duty to protect nature),” Sotto said.

Vice Mayor Dodot Jaworski called on Pasigueños to make the balete tree an inspiration as he said that despite the storms and floods that have passed, it remains strong. And like the tree, Jaworski urged city residents "to plant deep roots of goodness and concern for fellow citizens."

Two workers at Maybunga Rainforest Park shared how strong the tree is, stating that despite many storms, it has not suffered any damage, not even a broken branch.

Pasig City Representative Roman Romulo reminded the public not to forget historical events in the city and to document and take pride in them.

Meanwhile, the head of Maybunga Rainforest Park, Patrick Plandiano, shared plans for the park, aiming to make it not only as a recreational area but also a center of knowledge and an educational hub.

Aside from the balete tree, the city government noted that two acacia trees at Rizal High School in the city were also previously declared heritage sites.

In 2023, another acacia tree, estimated to be more than 100 years old and located at the Pasig Catholic Cemetery, was also included in the list of heritage trees in Pasig.

The DENR's declaration of the balete tree as a heritage tree is part of the Araw ng Pasig celebration this year and was made possible through the Maybunga Rainforest Park, the City Environment and Natural Resources Office, and in coordination with DENR-NCR.