AN ORDINANCE has been proposed declaring Arroceros Forest Park , dubbed as the last lung of Manila, as a permanent forest park. Draft Ordinance No. 7981, filed in September last year and published on Jan. 9, mandates the city government “to protect and conserve the integrity of the last environmental frontier of the city.” The 2.2-hectare land located in Arroceros Street beside the Pasig River is considered significant for “scientific, educational and recreational use.” The forest park was developed in 1993, following a memorandum of agreement signed by then mayor Alfredo S. Lim and the Winner Foundation, Inc. for the creation and enhancement of an ecological environment of the nation’s capital. Republic Act No. 5752 or the Local Autonomy Act states that each municipality or city must initiate the establishment of a permanent forest tree parks in their jurisdiction equivalent to 2% of the entire area. Arroceros Park came under threat when former mayor Joseph E. Estrada planned to build a gymnasium inside it in 2017. The plan did not push through. Another ordinance, approved in November last year, already closed for public use a land near the park for future expansion. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas