THE DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is bringing its community “PanTree” project, which gives out free vegetable and fruit seedlings, to Barangay 163 in Caloocan City on June 21.

Residents can visit the roving PanTree project, which will distribute seedlings of guyabano, mango, jackfruit, among other fruits and vegetables.

“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,” DENR Undersecretary for Finance, Information Systems and Climate Change Analiza Rebuelta-Teh said in a statement issued over the weekend.

Barangay 163 is one of the participating villages in the rehabilitation of the Tullahan-Tinajeros river system.

The mobile PanTree’s launch comes a few days before Philippine Arbor Day on June 25. On that day, government agencies and the public are mandated to participate in tree planting activities.

Previously, DENR-NCR Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan said they were planning to unveil a mobile seedling bank in the National Capital Region starting June, which is also celebrated as environment month.”

In April, the DENR-NCR started a community PanTree at its headquarters in Quezon City, which drew thousands of visitors who received free seedlings of fruit-bearing trees and vegetables.

“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,” the DENR said. — Angelica Y. Yang