We have great news: the Arroceros Forest Park, which is declared as the last lung of Manila, is now a permanent forest park.
The news was announced through a statement released by Manila mayor Isko Moreno, which stated that the city will allocate P1 million for the park’s operation. This will include the development of the Arroceros Forest Park Governing Committee, which will develop and oversee the plans for the park.
According to the statement, “The use and enjoyment of the Arroceros Forest Park must be consistent with the principles of sustainable development and the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology.”
Additionally, the ordinance has outlined the violations and the corresponding fines. Cutting trees, dumping waste, and performing any type of excavation will result in a P2,500 fine for the first offense, P3,500 for the second offense, and P5,000 fine and/or imprisonment up to one year.
In 2017, it was announced that the city was going to put up a gym inside the park. Located beside Pasig River at the foot of Quezon Bridge, it is home to over 3,000 trees including the endangered narra and molave, six varied bird species, and a colony of fireflies–which is a rarity in highly urbanized Manila.
Mayor Isko first shared his plans for preserving the Arroceros Park last August. He said, “I will withdraw a portion of Arroceros street for public use, then we will extend Arroceros Park. We are going to create an esplanade at the back of Arroceros. You will see the pilot of a green city in Lawton.”
He added that “I’ve always believed in an open park. Ang park hindi naka-preso. The solution is not to gate it but to put security and enough people to maintain and sustain the purpose of the park.”
Now, everyone can rest easy because it’s now a permanent forest park!
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