Press Releases

Tulad ng aming naipangako, ipagpapatuloy po natin ang pagsasaayos ng Manila Bay.

Tututukan po natin ngayon, ang paglilinis ng tubig sa Manila Bay upang sa ganon hindi na lamang pasyal ang maaaring gawin ng ating mga kababayan sa dolomite area, kundi pati ang pagligo at paglangoy, sa nalalapit na panahon.

Bukod sa paglilinis ng tubig, tatapusin na rin po natin ang mga iba pang proyekto sa Manila Bay, kagaya po ng mga sumusunod:

1. Pagsasaayos ng Drainage System sa mga outfalls ng Padre Faura, Remedios at Abad. Sa gagawin po nating ito, lahat po ng maduming tubig na nanggagaling sa mga kabahayan at industriya ay “ida-divert” po natin para linisin sa ating STP at yun naman pong tubig ulan, upang hindi magbaha sa kalakhang Maynila ay papadaanin sa malaking HDPE Pipe na may habang 400 metro mula po sa sea wall.

2. Gagawin din po natin ang outfall na malapit sa Dolomite Rock Garden, kung saan nakitaan po ng mataas na fecal coliform level, ayon sa ating EMB NCR. Lahat po ito ay tatapusin natin ngayong taong 2021 kung magkaroon man ng pagbabago sa Alert Level sa NCR o hanggang sa unang quarter ng 2022.

3. Ang Phase 2 po ng dolomite project ay magsisimula naman ngayong lingo. Ito po ay mula 140 metro hanggang 500 metro. Maglalagay din po tayo ng mga geo- engineering interventions kagaya ng geotubes sa loob ng 360m area. Ito po ay matatapos din ngayong taon.

4. Gagawin din natin ang pagsasaayos ng mga fishing area sa bahagi ng Manila Yatch Club. Kasama rin dito ang maliit na beach area at playground para sa mga bata.

5. Gagawin din ngayong taon hanggang Disyembre ang dalawang “Solar powered comfort rooms,” souvenir shop at isang Mandamus Office na itatayo sa gitna ng baywalk area para mangasiwa sa operasyon ng Manila Bay.

6. Lalagyan din ng lighting and landscaping work sa kahabaan ng Baywalk Area na matatapos din ngayong taon upang sa ganoon na kahit sa gabi ay maaaring makita ng ating mga kababaayan ang kagandahan ng Manila Bay walk.

Dahil sa mga nasabi naming gawain at rehabilitation works na ipapatupad sa mga darating na mga araw, nais po naming ipabatid sa lahat ng ating mga kababayan na ang Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach ay mananatili pong nakasara. Hinihingi po ang inyong pasenya at pang-unawa.

Maraming salamat po.

 

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary and Task Force Build Back Better (TF BBB) chair Roy A. Cimatu is hoping to complete the dredging of a "mega" island sandbar along the Cagayan River by early next year.

Cimatu said that so far 81,807 cubic meters or 8.43 percent of the targeted 970,962 cubic meters of sandbar has been dredged since the dredging operations in Barangay Dummun, Gattaran town, Cagayan province started in June.

"With its sheer size measuring 134.7 hectares, it is practically an island which is why this sandbar is a priority of the task force like the Magapit Narrows in (barangay) Lallo, Bangag (town) to widen the Cagayan River," Cimatu said.

He added that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines have expressed commitment to deploy additional equipment and workforce to complement the dredging operations.

Cimatu said the dredged materials are being transferred to the eroded portion of Cagayan riverbanks in Barangay Dummun to restore the ideal alignment and speed up the water flow toward the river mouth in Aparri, Cagayan.

According to DENR-Region 2 Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan, the Cagayan River did not overflow during the passage of severe tropical storm "Maring" (Kompasu) in October.

In a report to Cimatu dated October 14, Bambalan said only localized floods were reported in Cagayan as a result of the overflowing of lakes and rivers that drain into the Cagayan River
“Despite the massive flooding in different locations, the Cagayan River did not overflow. It did not reach its maximum capacity,” Bambalan noted.

“In Sta. Teresita Cagayan, a flashflood was reported due to the overflow of Mission, Bulasing and Luga rivers, Pacac creek and irrigation canals. Flood height reached to 1 to 2 meters at Barangay Simpatuyo, while the flooding in other municipalities were localized flooding only affecting agricultural lands,” said Bambalan.

Phase 1 of Cagayan River dredging activities, which focused on the constricted section of the river, called the "Magapit Narrows," started in February and was completed on October 4.

A total of 364,143 cubic meters of materials have been dredged, which occupied some 11 hectares along the riverbank and restored Magapit Narrows’ riverbank depth by three meters. This has exceeded the target of 344,304 cubic meters of dredged materials.

The TF BBB, co-chaired by the DPWH was created on November 18, 2020, under Executive Order No. 120. It is an inter-agency body that conducts post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation efforts in areas ravaged by typhoons "Rolly" and "Ulysses." ###

 

 

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) assured that it is recalibrating its crowd management measures to ensure visitors' adherence to the health protocols implemented while the Manila Bay Dolomite Beach is closed until Nov. 3.

While the DENR enjoins the public to appreciate the beauty of the dolomite beach project, Secretary Roy A. Cimatu emphasized that keeping people safe from the coronavirus remains the top concern of the agency.

"The public’s health is still of paramount concern for us. This is the reason why we at the DENR are studying the guidelines to make sure that the public can still appreciate the beauty of the dolomite beach while keeping them free from sickness," Cimatu said.

“I would like to put on record that the Manila Bay Task Force (MBTF) will conduct an investigation on the said incident to assure the people that this will not happen again in the future,” said Cimatu in his opening statement during a press conference on October 27.

Cimatu said this to address the crowding incident last October 24 where an estimated 121,744 people visited the dolomite beach, nine days after the "soft re-opening" of the beach along Roxas Boulevard in Manila City.

The DENR chief also apologized, saying that the agency “will confront the things that need to be corrected.”

To prevent overcrowding at the dolomite beach, the DENR has decided to close the area simula noong Oct. 29 to Nov. 3 in conjunction with the long holiday weekend.

Cimatu assured that further investigation will be conducted during the beach closure to decide if the area will be reopened to the public after Nov. 3.

If not, the DENR chief said the dolomite beach will remain closed until the completion of the second phase of its rehabilitation and expansion.

Cimatu has also designated retired Philippine Army Brigadier General Reuel Sorilla as the new MBTF Ground Commander of the dolomite beach.

Sorilla is also concurrently serving as the DENR OIC Director of Environmental Law Enforcement and Protection Service (ELEPS).

“I will immediately start the ground dashing. I’m grateful for the trust and confidence given by our Secretary. I feel excited to contribute not only in the enforcement of environmental laws but also of crowd control here in the dolomite beach,” said Sorilla.

“My initial plan is to ensure security and safety of all stakeholders and identify ways on how to improve emplaced system,” he added.

Sorilla has since ordered the deployment of several ELEPS personnel as added manpower for stricter security patrolling and monitoring in the area.

Aside from these measures, the DENR is also considering several strategies to help ease the crowding situation in the dolomite beach.

"We are aware that if this [overcrowding] situation continues, and the minimum health standards are ignored, this may bring us to a scenario of a possible super spreader event," DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning, and International Affairs Jonas R. Leones said.

According to Leones, the DENR has already "implemented the temporary ban on minors to enter the dolomite beach, consistent with COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ protocols."

Children 11 years old and below will not be allowed at the dolomite beach.

The DENR is also considering the "cinema approach" for those who want to visit the dolomite beach, he pointed out.

"[Through the cinema approach] visitors will only be limited to the capacity of the dolomite beach area and will only have up to two hours to stay and enjoy the scenery. The area will then be cleaned and prepared for an hour, after which another batch will be allowed to enter," Leones explained.

He said visitors may be given "stubs" just like in movie houses, which will then give a "fair chance for everyone to enjoy the beach."

Also recommended is the designation of a special lane for persons with disabilities, pregnant women, and senior citizens.

Measures of either closing the beach on weekends or closing it until the second phase of the rehabilitation is completed shall be carefully examined and will be based on the decision of the MBTF and the Alert Level status in Metro Manila. ###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has expressed grief over the untimely demise of a forest officer, who died after being swept away by strong river current while conducting a survey operation in Quezon province last October 28.

Secretary Roy A. Cimatu led the DENR community in extending condolences to the family of Rigor Santos, a forest monitoring officer assigned at the DENR-CALABARZON under the Enhanced National Greening Program (E-NGP).

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of one of our employees from CALABARZON who has put his life on the line to be of service to the people and the environment,” Cimatu said. “We sincerely honor the dedication of Mr. Santos to his work.”

Cimatu said the death of Santos highlights the dangers DENR field personnel face while performing their job of protecting the environment.

“This tragic incident just shows the danger our personnel in the field have to face just to carry out their duties,” Cimatu said.

Santos was swept away by the strong water current while traversing Kanan River located at Barangay Mahabang Lalim in General Nakar town.

He was with select members of the validation team who conducted survey, planning, and mapping activities at the proposed E-NGP site in the said village.

His body was recovered at 11 a.m. of October 30, Saturday.

Cimatu said the DENR will extend all forms of assistance to the forest officer’s bereaved family.

“Mr. Santos is an environmental hero,” Cimatu pointed out. “We mourn with his family and commit to providing all forms of assistance to the bereaved family of a great environmental worker.”

A native of Tanay, Rizal, Santos is a graduate of Bachelor of Agricultural Technology at the University of Rizal System. He has been in the DENR since 2014 where he started work at the DENR Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office in Rizal as forest extension officer. He then transferred to the CALABARZON regional office.

The 30-year-old forest officer is survived by his two young children.

“He is well liked by his peers due to his jolly disposition,” said DENR-CALABARZON Regional Executive Director Nilo Tamoria. ###

 

Six months after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has completed the closure of all operating open dumpsites in the country, Secretary Roy A. Cimatu prodded local government units (LGUs) to implement their plan of action for the safe closure and rehabilitation of these garbage dumps.

"After our successful feat to close dumpsites all over the country, I would like to reiterate to our concerned LGUs to ensure that all systems and engineering measures are carried out in their rehabilitation plan to prevent negative impacts and risks to the environment," Cimatu said.

The DENR and its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) had completed in May the closure of 335 open dumpsites nationwide following Cimatu's order to strictly implement Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

Cimatu is now appealing to the LGUs to implement their safe closure and rehabilitation plan (SCRP)--a requirement after the closure of the open dumpsite within their area of jurisdiction.

"Closing the dumpsite is just the first step. Your responsibility doesn’t end there. You (LGUs) have to proactively implement rehabilitation because it is a requirement for closure," the DENR chief pointed out.

He added that the concerned LGUs should accomplish the rehabilitation projects indicated in their SCRP.

Cimatu cited as an example the municipality of Sta. Ana in Pampanga province for having cleared its open dumpsite of all waste in September.

A closure order was issued to the Sta. Ana municipal government early this year after it turned its materials recovery facility or MRF into an open dumpsite.

DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and LGU Concerns Benny D. Antiporda, who led the closure of the four-hectare open dumpsite in Barangay San Nicolas last February, acknowledged the efforts of the Sta. Ana municipal government and its Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office for the immediate rehabilitation of the closed dumpsite.

"This development is an indication of the effective solid waste management program of the DENR and our thrust to address the solid waste management problem in the country in accordance with our mandate to strictly enforce RA 9003," Antiporda said.

He ordered the Sta. Ana municipal government to continue its SCRP implementation, which will be closely monitored by the EMB regional office.

Sta. Ana town has allocated P9.5 million for the clearing of the MRF where about 20,096.28 tons or 1,100 truckloads of waste have been disposed at the Metro Clark Waste Management Corporation Sanitary Landfill.

In a statement last Wednesday, DENR Region 3 Executive Director Paquito Moreno said local governments in the region “played a significant role in the closure of open dumpsites in the region and have been cooperative and supportive with the DENR campaign including implementation of Solid Waste Management Law.” ###