Isko Moreno declares Arroceros as ‘permanent forest park’
In a statement sent to reporters on Tuesday, March 3, Moreno said the city would allocate P1 million for the park’s operation. Manila City will choose its “peace officers” for the park, and will create an Arroceros Forest Park Governing Committee, which will be tasked to formulate plans for the park.
“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,” the ordinance reads.
The ordinance prohibits cutting trees, dumping waste, and any form of excavation in the area. Violators will be slapped with P2,500 fine for the first offense, P3,500 for the second offense, and P5,000 fine and/or imprisonment up to one year, depending on the court’s discretion, for their 3rd offense.
The Arroceros Forest Park is a riverside park in Manila, Philippines, located on Antonio Villegas Street (former Calle Arroceros) in the central district of Ermita. Developed in 1993, the 2.2-hectare (5.4-acre) urban forest on the south bank of the Pasig River, at the foot of Quezon Bridge, consists of secondary growth forest with 61 different tree varieties and 8,000 ornamental plants providing a habitat for 10 different bird species. Despite its small size, it is considered an important feature of the city in providing fresh air to the Lawton area, which is transversed by many commuters from other cities in the region.  It lies in a historic area of Manila and has been called “Manila’s last lung”, being the city’s only nature park. The park is administered by the City Government of Manila in partnership with private environmental group, Winner Foundation.