December 6, 2023

Those with smartphones visiting the City Hall park may soon scan the QR (quick response) code in individual stands near matured trees for identification of species; common and scientific names, ecological significance, and origin.
This is a step for digitalization from the previous descriptive tree literature in laminated form which withered in the park for years.
The use of QR codes was standardized in the past three years for contactless transactions, individual identification and business purposes. Now a matrix barcode or an optical label containing specific identifying details about anything, including trees, may be captured through the use of a smartphone. 
The idea of QR-coded trees was broached by City Environment and Parks Management Office head Rhenan Diwas after visitors in parks ask the names and other details about local trees, many of which are unknown to many, except to foresters and plant experts.  
The details were worked out by Cepmo Administrative Officer Sandra Almag and forester Floro Bastian, with one month for the codes to be completed. A forester friend overseas who requested anonymity donated an amount enough for 30 QR codes printed in fiberglass which could withstand wear and tear than ordinary plastic, Bastian said.
The first set of tree IDs will probably be at the City Hall grounds before the Holy Week, Bastian said. 
Other tree planting groups have expressed plans to replicate the project at the Botanical Garden, arboretum and other parks, he said. – Julie G. Fianza