DENR starts rehabilitation of Malandog river in Antique

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 is gearing up for the massive clean-up and rehabilitation of Malandog river in Hamtic, Antique.

This, after receiving a marching order from DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, who earlier visited Iloilo to inspect and learn from the city government of Iloilo of how it has rehabilitated and sustained the environmental integrity of the Iloilo river.

“I want to make the Iloilo river to be a model of how we can rehabilitate our rivers nationwide, especially in Metro Manila,” Cimatu said.

In his talk to DENR regional officials and personnel, Cimatu underscored the mandate of the agency and the laws it has to enforce to ensure the protection of the environment.

“The DENR is mandated to implement the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act. These (laws) were passed to protect the environment.”

Last April 28, the DENR through its Environmental Management Bureau-Region 6 has enjoined the local government of San Jose, Antique and the Advance Central College (CAA) to undertake a regular and sustained cleanup and rehabilitation of Malandog river under its “Adopt-an-Estero” program

“Malandog river was recently a beneficiary to a joint clean up agreement among the local government of San Jose, Antique, the Advance Central College and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) – Region 6 under the department’s Adopt-an-Estero program,” DENR-Region 6 Jim Sampulna said.

Sampulna described the Adopt-An-Estero program as a collaborative undertaking between and among the estero communities near the river; the donor partners which will provide the workforce for clean-up activities - San Raphael & San Antonio Ice Plant and Cold Storage, ACC, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) Philippines-International; LGU San Jose; and the DENR-EMB, to achieve a cleaner, safer and healthier Malandog river.

Under the agreement, a comprehensive program on pollution reduction will be implemented, including the conduct of dredging and desilting, as the river has deteriorated due to siltation and pollution.

Part of the planned rehabilitation of Malandog is the adoption of combined eco-friendly and engineering interventions like phyto-remediation, construction of wetlands, planting of bamboos and other plant species along the river banks, rip-rapping or coco-matting and construction and greening of linear parks.

To Antiqueños, Malandog River is historically important to them as this is where the first Malayan settlers landed in 1200 A.D.

The river has also served as a venue of Antique’s annual festival called Tiringbanay which means “tiringub” or “to be together” – a celebration of the homecoming of San Josenhons (residents of San Jose) and the togetherness of families in honor of its patron saint, St. Joseph the Worker. ### 


DENR leads Environment Month, 5 other events in June

June is a busy month for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), as it leads the celebration of six important events that all aims to promote environmental protection and sustainable development.

The DENR has packed a schedule of activities for the celebration of the Philippine Environment Month, the Philippine Eagle Week (June 4-10), the World Environment Day (June 5), the World Ocean's Day (June 8), the DENR founding anniversary (June 10), and the Philippine Arbor Day (June 25).

This marks the first Environment Month under DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, who, upon his assumption of office last month, vowed to prioritize environmental protection through full implementation of existing laws on clean air, clean water and solid waste management.

All DENR regional offices and line bureaus have prepared a number of activities -- including water clean-up, tree-planting, conferences and exhibitions -- to raise awareness for the environment.

Meanwhile, the local celebration of the World Environment Day with the theme, "Connecting People to Nature," seeks to encourage people to go outdoors, appreciate the beauty and importance of nature, and take part in the call to protect Mother Earth.

It also aims to add consciousness to the relationship of people with nature, underscoring the connectivity and dependency of human on nature in many ways.

The DENR's Environmental Management Bureau (DENR) is in charge of the celebration of both the Philippine Environment Month and the World Environment Day.

The Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), on the other hand, will hold a photo exhibit at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City to commemorate the Philippine Eagle Week under the theme: "Strengthening the hope for saving the Filipino Heritage: The Great Philippine Eagle."

BMB Director Theresa Mundita Lim said the celebration intends to strengthen the public's commitment in ensuring the continued survival of the country's national bird.

"We enjoin each one of you to become part of our crusade, to heed the call and work towards the conservation and protection of one of the country's greatest living heritage, the majestic yet critically endangered Philippine Eagle," Lim said.

The BMB chief also emphasized the importance of the national bird in regulating the population of smaller animals that could pose danger to humans and destroy crops.

"Undeniably, the Philippine eagle's presence is an indicator of a rich forest ecosystem, which can sustain and provide for our needs," Lim said.

In line with the observance of the World Ocean's Day, the BMB's Coastal and Marine Division will host the Tri-National Workshop on Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Eco-region (June 11-15) and Mangrove Summit (June 29-30).

Also this month, the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau will hold the Research and Development Congress on Sustainable Urbanization in the Course of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Integration on June 26-30 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City.

For the Philippine Arbor Day, the Forest Management Bureau will conduct an activity dubbed "Bike. Hike. Plant" on June 24 on Mt. Arayat in Pampanga province. The activity also coincides with the celebration of the Philippine Forestry Service.

The DENR central office will host on June 3 a mangrove planting activity in Calatagan town in Batangas, along with the employees of the Social Security System.

On June 9, the DENR will celebrate its 30th founding anniversary with an awarding ceremony recognizing the officials and employees who have served the agency for at least 30 years. A cheer dance competition among DENR workers will be held at the BMB Amphitheater on June 8.

Other activities lined up by the EMB for the Environment Month are: Launch of knowledge products for Sustainable Development Goals, highlighting on the theme- Fostering Partnership in Sustainability thru Education at Crowne Plaza in Ortigas Center (June 6); Training on Monomers and Polymers by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and America Chemistry Council at the EMB office in Quezon City (June 7); Memorandum of Agreement Signing of EMB-DENR with Nestle Philippines for the 2017 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-friendly Schools, in Nestle, Makati (June 8); Infographics for the Environment Design Contest (deadline on June 15); National Water Quality Management Area Conference on June 21 at the Manila Ocean Park, Manila; 9th Annual Clean Air Forum at the Great Eastern Hotel in Quezon City (June 22-23); Simultaneous Clean Up of Adopted Water Bodies nationwide, in support to the Adopt-an-Estero/ Water Body Program (June 24).

"A Fair with Nature" with symbolic human leaf formation, environmental exhibits and concert at the University of Philippines Sunken Garden in Diliman, Quezon City (June 23); 3rd Integrated Ecological Solid Waste Management Expo and Environment Summit on June 28-30 at SM Aura; Exhibit on recycling and solid waste management at the Green Technology Center within TESDA Complex in Taguig City (June 28); and a public consultation on the Polymers' Policy and Exemption at the EMB office (June 29).

The celebration of June as the Philippine Environment Month is by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 237 signed in 1988 by then President Corazon Aquino. ### 


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