DENR Chief Leads Planting of Nilad, Bakauan, Nipa in Baseco
Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy A. Cimatu led the planting of nilad, various species of mangrove and nipa in the lagoon of Baseco in Manila during his visit on Tuesday, December 22.
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 Department of Environment and Natural Resources National Capital Region (DENR NCR) led by Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan.
The DENR NCR is the lead agency in the rehabilitation of Baseco, which is part of the bigger program on Manila Bay Rehabilitation, in partnership with the MMDA. “The MMDA is our strong partner not only in the cleanup of Baseco lagoon and its vicinities but also in tree planting,” said DENR NCR Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan.
Caancan said her office has adopted bio/phytoremediation or nature-based approach in enhancing the habitat and ecosystems of Baseco. Since 2019, when the project began, the regional office 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 DENR NCR 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. Of the total length, some 110 meters, which comprised the first phase of the boardwalk, were completed in 2019, while the remaining phase of 160 meters long will be completed by end of this year.
Caancan said that as part of Baseco rehabilitation, regular clean-up activities are being conducted in the area by personnel of DENR NCR and its 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,” Caancan said.
She also said some 25 Estero Rangers under the employ of DENR NCR are deployed in the area 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 waters remain polluted, and urged Baseco residents, particularly the children, to refrain from swimming in the beach.