Press Releases

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has partnered with the local government units (LGUs) of Cavite for effective pollution reduction and solid waste management in Manila Bay.

"Manila Bay has a wide range of environmental problems that need to be addressed, one of which is the accumulation of solid waste coming from different waterways," said DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

Pollution reduction and solid waste management activities in Cavite province are part of the ongoing efforts to rehabilitate Manila Bay.

DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and LGUs Concerns Benny D. Antiporda led the inspection of rivers in Cavite, including Imus River in Bacoor and Ylang-Ylang River in Noveleta on June 23 where he observed floating debris that led to the waters of Manila Bay.

Cimatu has instructed DENR-Calabarzon Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria to prioritize the management of solid waste that comes from the coastal areas within the province of Cavite.

Antiporda, who also heads the Manila Bay Anti-Pollution Task Force, noted that the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) and the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) will be coming up with strategies to solve the solid waste problem in the province.

According to Antiporda, the top priority is to build a clustered sanitary landfill as a temporary solution to Cavite’s garbage waste disposal problem.

During the Cavite Cluster Task Force meeting last June 24, Governor Jonvic Remulla admitted that the province failed to establish its own sanitary landfill due to land limitations.

"We came up with a coalition of sanitary landfill operators wherein we told them that we will no longer tolerate sanitary landfill operators only, but they need to implement what we called the total solid waste management solution to the problem," Antiporda said.

A total solid waste management solution to the problem calls for landfill operators to be complete with a composting facility, recycling facility, and residual diversion. Through this, less garbage could end up in the sanitary landfill itself.

Creating clustered sanitary landfills could make a big difference in controlling Cavite’s solid waste going to the rivers, after Remulla bared that about 2,000 tons of garbage a day goes to the river due to lack of solid waste management facility.

"We will study and try to come up with a very strategic approach in different municipalities and cities para po masiguro natin na once and for all, ma-solve po natin ang problemang ito," Antiporda said.

He also encouraged the LGUs of Cavite to help in the employment of environmental marshals in each barangay to ensure that residents comply with solid waste management laws particularly in the segregation of waste.

They may also monitor neighboring barangays to encourage them to do the same especially when a water body flows through several barangays.

Moreover, Antiporda called for trained and competent river rangers who will not only help in the cleanup of waterways but also guard the rivers from illegal environmental activities. ###

 

Amid the setbacks posed by the pandemic, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) remains optimistic that the agency could achieve its 10-point priority environmental agenda for 2021.

"True, there are key activities under the DENR’s 10 priority programs that have been stalled or slowed down due to COVID-19 restrictions, but many of these targets have been accomplished already beyond expectations," Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said during the mid-year assessment of the DENR's priority programs last July 5.

The DENR conducted the assessment of its 10 priority programs—the Enhanced National Greening Program (ENGP); Manila Bay Rehabilitation; Forest Protection and Anti-illegal Logging program; Clean Air; Clean Water; Solid Waste Management; Enhanced Biodiversity Conservation; Scaling-up of Coastal and Marine Ecosystem; Geo-Hazard, Groundwater Assessment and Responsible Mining; and Improved Land Administration and Management—covering the period between January and May 2021.

Despite the "restricted conditions," Cimatu said that seven regions managed to undertake plantation establishment activities under the ENGP.

These involved 17,696 family-beneficiaries for the planting and maintenance of about 1.97 million seedlings.

"Although hampered by the health protocols and travel restrictions brought about by the COVID-19, the implementation of ENGP is on track in most of the regions," DENR Undersecretary for Field Operations and Environment Atty. Juan Miguel T. Cuna explained.

He noted that about 98 percent of the total annual target area is set for plantation establishment in the third quarter as "the seedlings become plantable and ready for outplanting."

Cuna also reported that the DENR was able to conduct 923 apprehensions in illegal logging which resulted in the confiscation of 1,444 sacks of charcoal, 721,500 board feet of undocumented forest products valued at P24.7 million, and some 400 conveyances and implements.

Moreover, through the Lawin Forest and Biodiversity Protection System, 53,040 kilometers or 61 percent of the annual target of 86,868 kilometers were patrolled by 3,532 forest patrollers.

This has resulted in the detection of 3,367 potential illicit activities, of which 1,479 cases were classified as "requiring post-patrol responses" and responded to by teams dispatched from the nearest DENR field offices.

The DENR also conducted the closure of all 335 open dumpsites in the country, exceeding its target of 219 dumpsites by 152.97 percent and the inspection and monitoring of 519 treatment, storage and disposal facilities registered nationwide or 390 percent of the annual target of 133.

On improved land management, a total of 11,167 agricultural and 7,902 residential patents were issued which already exceeded the annual target by 277.57 and 110.92 percent of 4,023 and 7,124, respectively.

"We are on our way towards the completion of our mission and those challenges did not deter you from giving your share in moving our 10 priority programs," Cimatu told DENR officials and some 650 field officers who joined the virtual event. ###

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will conduct the 4th National Environmental Law Enforcement (NELE) Summit on July 14-16, 2021, to provide updates on efforts to prevent and fight environmental crimes.

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said that holding the NELE summit during this health crisis is "a good opportunity to revisit the environmental law enforcement (ELE) components to make sure they are updated, and to make sure that the policies are relevant and timely."

"There could never be a much better time for holding the NELE summit, as it is during this quarantine that we have more challenges in apprehending environmental law violators who are taking advantage of the immobility and lesser resources that we have," Cimatu said.

According to Cimatu, holding the NELE Summit this 2021 is "especially significant, especially when most environment and natural resources (ENR) laws are already 20 years old and older, and during this time that the agency gears up for the creation of an Enforcement Bureau."

"The previous NELE Action Plan has already expired last 2020. With this summit, we hope to create a new Action Plan that would serve the needs of the ever-changing and evolving modern society," Cimatu said.

With the theme, "Sustaining inter-agency collaborations for intensified ELE towards a better environment amidst pandemic,” the NELE Summit has been a venue for updating the latest developments on ELE, such as new laws and policies, implementing guidelines, programs, and tools and technologies.

It has also been the venue for ensuring continuous coordination and cooperation among the agencies involved and giving recognition to partner-agencies and institutions, as well as individuals.

During the summit, participants are expected to share their respective agencies’ and branches’ major highlights or milestones on ELE for the last 15 years; identify the contribution of the agencies in mainstreaming environmental and natural resources protection in the national strategies and policies; and formulate responsive strategies that will expedite actions for urgent ENR concerns in support of Philippine development.

They are also expected to receive information on the state of the environment, that is, state of the forest and protected areas including the caves and wildlife resources, urban environment and marine and coastal areas including the fishery resources; review selected ELE technologies and identify needed advancement to cope up with the current enforcement needs and changes; and assess the implementation and update the ELE action plan. ###

 

As it continues to work to counter the climate change threats faced by the country's watershed areas, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has launched a nationwide campaign to expand watershed conservation and protection efforts involving grassroots communities.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the campaign dubbed Save Our Watershed (SOW) will serve as a platform to encourage partnerships and collaborations from the national down to the grassroots level.

"We hope that the spirit of the 'Save Our Watershed' ripples through to all our DENR regional offices, foreign-assisted projects, and local government units with initiatives on watershed conservation," Cimatu said.

He added that the campaign aims to encourage the creation of local ordinances to further promote the conservation and protection of watersheds.

"There are more than 130 critical watersheds in the country that desperately need immediate protection and rehabilitation to minimize erosion and improve water yield," Cimatu said.

"For us to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change-induced disasters, people’s support to government actions, therefore, is still the key," Cimatu said.

At the national level, the campaign seeks to craft a draft executive order (EO) that will serve as a blueprint for a harmonized and uniformed approach towards protecting, conserving, and sustaining the services provided by the country’s watersheds, such as water supply for irrigation and domestic use, power generation and biodiversity.

Cimatu said the most essential element of watersheds are the trees, pointing out that “a watershed cannot be called as such if there are no trees.”

DENR Assistant Secretary and concurrent Forest Management Bureau Director Marcial C. Amaro, Jr. expressed optimism that they will be able to finish the draft EO by the end of the year or within the fourth quarter for submission to the Office of the President.

Amaro said that all stakeholders, including national and local authorities, local government units, and coastal communities will be consulted for the draft EO in line with the DENR’s policy of adopting the reef-to-ridge approach in watershed conservation. ###

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)—through its Gender and Development Office and Climate Change Service—has announced the top three winners of this year’s "Mga Kwentong KLIMA-likasan Tungo sa Katatagan: A Climate and Disaster Resiliency Recognition Awards" during a virtual ceremony on July 2.

Seven entries were also given special citation for the categories of Youth Empowerment, Gender Empowerment, Originality, Sustainability Initiatives, Community Participation, Ecological Waste Management, and Disaster Risk Reduction.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the 2021 Resiliency Awards gives recognition to Filipino "movers and workers" who have been making change to bolster climate and disaster resiliency.

"We recognize all the winners as our environmental heroes. They, who tirelessly work to protect our environment and natural resources deserve honor and acknowledgment," Cimatu said.

"No work and no project to save our planet are ever too small or too big because everyone can make a difference and can provide a solution to climate change – individuals, organizations, communities, and local governments," he pointed out.

The first place winner was Annadine Marzinares of the local government unit (LGU) of Botolan, Zambales for her entry, "Women Leadership, Trailblazers of Environmental Sustainability," which showcased the programs and projects initiated by the Botolan municipal government in achieving environmental sustainability in their municipality.

These include fabrication and installation of artificial reef with coral transplantation, mangrove and forest reforestation, and solid waste management.

The second place winner was engineer Reynaldo Gonzales of the Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources in Zamboanga City for the "Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction (GHG): Zamboanga City Initiatives for Climate Change Mitigation."

The entry describes Zamboanga as one of the model cities that integrated the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as a component for their Local Climate Change Action Plan or LCCAP.

Maria Clarita Limbaro from the local government of Bayabas, Surigao del Sur was the third prize winner for her entry "Sagip-Wakatan Program: Kwentong KLIMA-likasan ng Bayabas, Surigao del Sur."

The Sagip-Wakatan program is an annual mangrove reforestation, replanting, and coastal cleanup initiative of the municipality of Bayabas that aims to maintain and improve the mangrove cover density to help protect the community against destructive effects of storm surges, tidal waves, tsunami, and soil erosion.

Special citations in seven categories were also given recognition during the virtual ceremony.

Youth Empowerment -- Carvel Acabal of National Anti-Poverty Commission's Children Basic Sector and Kalambulan Youth Organization (KAYO) in Zamboanga del Sur for "KAYO: Extraordinary Youths in Extraordinary Times."

Gender Empowerment -- Nyla Cordero of Kalayaan Organic Practitioners Association in Laguna (KOPA) for "Nyla Cordero’s Story: Empowering Women on Climate and Disaster Resiliency in the Community."

Originality -- Adela Jamelo of Panatao Plastic Waste Recycling Association in Surigao del Norte for "From Waste to Wealth Project."

Sustainability Initiatives -- Danielle Ann Ravalo of Graymont (Philippines) Inc. in Las Piñas City for "Juan Earth: Efforts in saving the only thing we all have in common."

Community Participation -- Auria Primaverde Gonzales of the Metropolitan Naga Water District (MNWD) in Camarines Sur for "MNWD Integrated Watershed Management Program: The Beginning of a Promising Story."

Ecological Waste Management -- Ian Chester Solver of the Parish Youth Ministry-Basud, Youth of Poblacion Uno-Basud in Camarines Norte for "Binhi ng Pag-asa (Seed of Hope)."

Disaster Risk Reduction -- Zia Sagoso from General Santos City for her entry "Green Initiatives: A Better Life and Environment."

The winners received P50,000, P40,000, and P30,000 for first, second and third prizes, respectively.

Meanwhile, special citation awardees received P15,000 each.

DENR Undersecretary Analiza Rebuelta-Teh congratulated the winners for their contributions, which she said were “nothing less than a mark of passion, dedication, commitment, and love for our campaigns and advocacies for the environment and our peoples."

DENR received almost 100 entries all over the country for the "Mga Kwentong KLIMA-likasan Tungo sa Katatagan: A Climate and Disaster Resiliency Recognition Awards."

The awards support the Global Good Stories Movement, which seeks to recognize the stories of individuals—both women and men—and groups on the impacts of climate change and disasters in their communities, and on how they are addressing them through pursuing relevant programs on environmental protection and conservation, climate change, and disaster risk reduction.

The Global Good Stories Movement is a movement of people who share the common belief that "we can change the story of the world by changing the storyline."

The judges for this year’s awards were Commissioner Rachel Herrera of the Climate Change Commission, Director Tecson Lim of the Department of National Defense-Office of Civil Defense, and Dr. Mahar Lagmay, Executive Director of the University of the Philippines Resilience Institute.

Entries were evaluated based on their Climate and Disaster Resiliency content (60 percent); visual appeal of the photographs and video (30 percent); and geographical reach of the initiative (10 percent). ###