WATER QUALITY MONITORING PARTNERSHIP
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), represented by DENR-Calabarzon Executive Director Reynulfo A. Juan (2nd from left) recently forged a memorandum of understanding with (from left): Department of Science and Technology – Calabarzon Director Alexander Madrigal, Mataas na Kahoy, Batangas Mayor Jay Ilagan and PUSOD, Inc. Executive Director Ann Hazel Javier for the development of a prototype water quality monitoring system for Lipote River in Mataas na Kahoy, Batangas, and Taal Lake. Juan said the partnership also calls for the development of an automated measuring equipment capable of measuring the river’s pH (acidity/alkalinity), temperature, dissolved oxygen and total suspended particulates.
Parents look on appreciatively as GREENY, the mascot of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Region 5, inspires kids as they try to create an image of their environmental hero during a drawing competition held Tuesday as part of the national celebration of Earth Day in Legazpi City.
DENR to operate checkpoints 24/7 during Holy Week in Davao
Despite the long holiday break in observance of the Holy Week, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will be manning all checkpoints and monitoring stations in Davao region on a 24/7 basis in coordination with the Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force and other partner agencies.
In a memorandum dated April 4, 2014, DENR-Region 11 Executive Director Joselin Marcus E. Fragada told his Provincial and Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PENROs and CENROs) to be extra vigilant in the conduct of their forest protection and law enforcement activities in their area of jurisdiction.
Fragada also instructed the maintenance of a skeletal force in every provincial office of the department in the region, and to ensure that the mobile phones of all field officers are open 24/7 in order to have a quick and efficient mobilization of personnel in cases of emergency such as forest fire incidents.
“Specifically, I want them to strictly check the transport of all forest products to ensure that none is illegally-cut or transported,” he said.
Fragada also stressed that harvesting is only allowed for planted tree species and anyone caught transporting logs or lumber coming from the residual and natural forests will be dealt with pursuant to Presidential Decree 705 or the Revised Forest Code of the Philippines and Executive Order No. 23 which declares a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in the natural and residual forest.
EO No. 23 was issued by President Benigno S. Aquino III on February 1, 2011 to ensure the protection of the remaining forest cover of the country, preserve biodiversity, protect threatened habitats and sanctuaries of endangered and rare species as well as allow natural regeneration of residual forests, among others.
He also called on the public to also be vigilant on any violation of environmental laws within their area, adding that the “Bantay-Lasang” Text Brigade project of the regional office will also be operational during the holidays to provide them easy access to report not just any forest destruction activities but any environmental concerns as well.
“Bantay-Lasang” Text Brigade mobile numbers are 09478910391 for Smart and 09178806286 for Globe. #
WORLD WATER DAY FOR PHL ARMY
What better way to celebrate the World Water Day than to clean up the country’s coastal waters as shown in the photo, with members of the Philippine Army hauling garbage afloat the waters off Legazpi City last March 22, 2014. This year’s national celebration of World Water Day, organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, carried the theme “Water is Power” to raise public awareness on the close relationship between water and energy.
PROTECTING LAKE BATO
DENR-Region 5 Executive Director Gilbert C. Gonzales signs in the Covenant for Lake Bato Conservation Project being implemented by Camarines Sur provincial government, manifesting full support to the project, which seeks not only to conserve the country’s 7th largest freshwater lake but also to improve the plight of some 34,000 fishermen in the 16 lakeside barangays of Bato town. Gonzales told the residents during the covenant signing that adopting best practices in household waste management as mandated under Republic Act No. 9003 would have immediate positive impact on the lake’s health as pollution-causing substances have already been minimized, if not eliminated, at source. He also stressed the role of Lake Bato in biodiversity conservation as it also serves as habitat for endemic birds, fish and plant species.
More than 13,000 migratory birds counted in Region 11
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has counted more than 13,000 migratory birds last January in Davao region, comprising mostly of Little Egret, Black-winged Stilt, Whimbreal and Common Tern.
Of the total, 4,699 birds were found in Malalag, Davo del Sur; 4,848 in Carmen, Davao del Norte; and 3,500 birds in Banaybanay in Davao Oriental.
The bird count was part of the Annual Asian Waterfowl Census (AWC) which seeks to obtain information on the population of migratory birds in wetlands, as well as to monitor on an annual basis, the status and condition of wetlands. Initiated in the Indian subcontinent in 1987, the bird census has grown rapidly covering more than 32 countries worldwide today.
According to the National Wetlands Program, many species of waterbirds fly in droves during winter to go to warmer and more hospitable tropics, such as the Philippines, in search for food. Afterwhich, they go back to their country of origin in summer.
The Philippines is part of the East Asian Flyway. A total of 77 species of migratory birds use this flyway annually, making one of the most important flyways in the world.
Local movie industry’s ‘bad boy’ turns ‘green’
Philippine cinema’s ‘bad boy’ Robin Padilla and brother Royette have thrown their support to the National Greening Program (NGP) by signing a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Region 3 for the reforestation of some 200 hectares of denuded forestland in Bamban town in Tarlac.
Signing the agreement for the DENR was Region 3 Executive Director Maximo Dichoso, while the Padilla brothers signed for Utopia International Inc., a non-government organization based in Angeles City which is being headed by Royette.
Under the agreement, Utopia and the DENR shall partner with the Bamban Aeta Tribal Association (Bata), represented by its chairman Oscar Rivera, in setting up a nursery and forest plantations for the next three years inside the Aeta tribesmen’s ancestral domain.
Dichoso said Utopia will provide funds to support and sustain the reforestation effort while Bata shall raise the required 100,000 indigenous forest tree seedlings under the technical guidance of the DENR. “This reforestation project is not only beneficial to our environment amid the threats of climate change but also to the Aeta community as this shall provide them additional source of income and livelihood,” he said.
Sofio Quintana, deputy director for forestry said the DENR will provide technical assistance, particularly on nursery operation, plantation development, to ensure the survival of newly planted seedlings.
Last year, the DENR has planted 21,135 hectares of denuded forest and watershed areas throughout Central Luzon, bringing the total number of rehabilitated areas under the NGP to 72,163 hectares since the program’s launching in 2011 by Pres. Aquino III. This year, DENR regional office is set to reforest another 20,885 hectares in CL, Quintana said.
MARIKINA SUPPORTS NGP
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) continues to draw support from local government for its National Greening Program (NGP), with the recent signing of a memorandum of agreement between Assistant Secretary and concurrent Executive Director of DENR-National Capital Region Marcial Amaro (2nd from left) and Marikina City Vice Mayor Jose Fabian Cadiz (2nd from right) and Councilor and chair of Environment Protection Samuel Ferriol (left). The MOA calls for the DENR-NCR to provide appropriate seedlings to green Marikina’s barangays. Also in photo is DENR-NCR Forestry Technical Director Antonio Manila (extreme right).
NEW DENR BUILDING
The Bicol regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) starts the year right by opening its new building in Legazpi City to the public (inset). Photo shows Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal (right) and Guinobatan Mayor Glenda Ongjoco cut the ribbon during the building’s inauguration, as DENR Region 5 Executive Director Gilbert Gonzales (center) looks on in high spirit.
2013 MOST ECO-FRIENDLY UNIVERSITY
Dr. Jose Bacusmo (6th from left), president of the Visayas State University (VSU) in Baybay City, Leyte, together with some university officials, stands proud as he receives the plaque of recognition for his school having been declared as the “most sustainable and eco-friendly university for 2013” during the awarding ceremony held recently at the SM City North in Quezon City. On hand to present the award and a cash prize of P50,000 to Bacusmo were representatives of agencies behind the 2013 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools to include (from left): DENR-Environmental Management Bureau Director Juan Miguel Cuna, DENR Undersecretary Analiza Rebuelta Teh, Department of Education-National Capital Region Environmental Education Division head Victoria Mayo, and Commissioner of Higher Education and National Board of Judges chair Ruperto Sangalang. Representatives of partner companies, namely One Meralco Foundation Program Officer Eddielyn Addun (right) and Nestle Philippines Vice President and Corporate Environment Officer Engr. Jesus Reyes (3rd from right) also graced the event.