Press Releases

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) launched Friday its nationwide Solid Waste Management Advocacy Campaign to spur behavioral change towards the environment and mobilize the public, especially children and young people, on the proper handling and disposal of solid waste.

Through the DENR's Strategic Communication Initiatives Service (SCIS), the campaign was developed to fast track its collective and ultimate objective of a healthier, greener, and cleaner Philippines amid the growing environmental threats in the country and the world.

"Creating a better and healthier environment through efficient solid waste management is one of the biggest challenges that we, at the DENR, are faced today," Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said during the campaign launch on Oct. 15 at the DENR Central Office.

"We really need the support of the people, especially our youth sector. It is important, therefore, to impress to them that unless we do something right today by diligently practicing sound solid waste management, the future will be bleak," he added.

To spread awareness and encourage public support to the campaign, the DENR will strengthen partnerships and collaborations, technology, as well as information, education and communication.

"While this program is intended to be a whole-of-nation approach, we designed this to be more focused on the youth who would later serve as our environmental champions," said Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units (LGUs) Concerns and SCIS Supervising Undersecretary Benny D. Antiporda.

Included in the DENR's solid waste management campaign is the Basura Buster, a free, web-based game application for children ages 5 to 8 years old.

The application, which can be downloaded on Android devices through the Google Play Store, allows players to earn points by properly segregating different kinds of trash in an educational and entertaining way.

Through its social media accounts, the DENR also hopes to influence behavioral change through a series of videos that show proper solid waste management practices in day-to-day situations.

These include segregating garbage, bringing of own eating utensils in restaurants, and selling trash for cash or “Pera sa Basura."

The SWM Advocacy campaign was launched via a blended platform with officials and personnel of the DENR Central Office, regional and field offices, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices, Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices, bureaus and attached agencies.

Department of the Interior and Local Government Assistant Secretary for Special Concerns–Local Government Sector Atty. Odilon L. Pasaraba and Mother Earth Foundation chairperson and National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) Alternate Representative of non-government organizations Sonia Mendoza have also expressed their support through video messages.

Also present were representatives from the NSWMC, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, LGUs, and other stakeholders.

Meanwhile, as part of the Manila Bay rehabilitation, the DENR-NCR in partnership with the Basic Environmental Systems & Technologies Inc. will bring the recently-launched Trash to CashBack program to the DENR-NCR field offices in Metro Manila.

The Trash to CashBack program has set up a drop-off center called "My Basurero Eco-Community Center" at the DENR National Ecology Center in Quezon City where the public can exchange segregated and recyclable waste for environmental points that can be converted to consumer goods by partner outlets.###

 

 

The Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force (AILTF), led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), has seized P4.5-million worth of illegally-cut premium Philippine wood species in three separate operations in Valenzuela City and Bulacan province last week.

The operations also led to the arrest of 13 individuals and the confiscation of two luxury vans used to transport the illegally sourced logs.

DENR Undersecretary for Protected Areas and Special Concerns Edilberto DC. Leonardo, who is also the Executive Director of the newly-reactivated AILTF, said the confiscation of the undocumented forest products is pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 23, Declaring a Moratorium on the Cutting and Harvesting of Timber in the Natural and Residual Forests, and Section 68 of Presidential Decree 705, as amended by Republic Act 7161 or the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines.

"The AILTF has been recalibrated so that it can move forward with greater strength from its creation in 2011 with the issuance of EO 23 so that it can further strengthen the forest protection capability and boost the government campaign against violators of environmental laws especially illegal loggers," Leonardo said.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte directed the revival of the AILTF on Jan. 30, 2021, in the wake of widespread flooding caused by Typhoon Ulysses in November last year.

During the buy-bust operations conducted in Parada, Valenzuela City on Sept. 22, the AILTF has confiscated 33 flitches of undocumented narra, yakal, molave, and mahogany measuring 3,503 board feet and valued at P4 million.

The DENR-National Capital Region (NCR) provided the overall technical support to the operation consisting of identification, assessment, inventory, scaling and hauling of the apprehended forest products.

Six individuals, who were caught in possession of the undocumented forest products, are presently detained at the Valenzuela City Police Station.

The contraband have likewise been turned over to the DENR-NCR which has administrative jurisdiction over the seized forest products as per Department Administrative Order 97-32.

Seven suspects have also been arrested in two separate buy-bust operations on Sept. 15 and 19 in Guiguinto and Norzagaray towns in Bulacan province, respectively.

In Norzagaray, two persons were arrested for illegally selling forest products consisting of 27 flitches of teak wood and seven flitches of kamagong measuring 230 board feet and valued at P35,750.

Meanwhile, the AILTF arrested five individuals in Guiguinto after they were caught in possession of 24 molave flitches valued at P424,850.

The contraband was found hidden inside two luxury vans boarded by the five suspects who were all residents of Ifugao province.

The AILTF is composed of personnel from the Philippine National Police, the DENR, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of National Defense, and Armed Forces of the Philippines.

It is clustered into AILTF for Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao with its command post at the office of the Undersecretary for Protected Areas and Special Concerns at the DENR Central Office in Quezon City.

Since its first operation in July, Leonardo said the “refurbished” AILTF has so far arrested and filed charges against some 30 violators in the 24 operations they have conducted as of Sept. 22, resulting in the recovery of some P9.5-million worth of contraband which included some P3-million worth of fossilized clamshells (Tridacna gigas), locally called "taklobo."

Of the 24 operations, eight were conducted in Davao del Norte, five each in Surigao del Sur and Northern Samar, two each in Bulacan and Metro Manila, and one each in Kalinga and Palawan. ###

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has successfully won a case against illegal miners apprehended in Batangas province in 2019.

In a two-page decision penned by Judge Librado Chavez, the 5th Municipal Circuit Trial Court in Talisay-Laurel, Batangas province has found Elmer Portugal, Lindley Miranda, Jeremy Caramoan, Gualberto Eser, Calisto Quimio, and Geron Yambing guilty of illegal quarrying and extraction of 14,430 cubic meters of palanas minerals.

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu welcomed the decision, saying that the prosecution of the illegal miners is "very timely to inspire the enforcement team to train well and continue this success."

"After the launch of our special course on enforcement at our Environment and Natural Resources Academy (ENRA), this development serves as a benchmark into making sure that the laws are strictly and properly promulgated," Cimatu said.

The palanas minerals, with an estimated value of P2.46 million, were extracted in a quarry operation at Barangay Banga in Talisay, Batangas without the necessary permits from the local Provincial Mining Regulatory Board and the DENR’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Region IV-A.

The suspects were arrested on Dec. 16, 2019, after being caught in the act of extracting and disposing soil and minerals from an area that is a part of the Taal Volcano Protected Area Landscape and classified as timberland.

They were charged in violation of Section 103 of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 or Republic Act 7942 and Section 20 of the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act of 1992 or Republic Act No. 7586.

In the court decision, the suspects were ordered to pay a fine of P10,000 each with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.

DENR Undersecretary for Enforcement Benito Antonio De Leon said the recent accomplishment "can be taken into new heights once the Environment Protection and Enforcement Bill or EPEB is passed."

"We are seeing promising developments in the area of environmental law enforcement. Hopefully, these developments may inspire our legislators to mark this bill as urgent," De Leon said. ###

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has installed the 12th director of the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) and new supervising undersecretary in a simple ceremony held at the BMB Training Center on Sept. 23.

Sultan Datu Tungko Saikol officially took the helm at the DENR-BMB from the Bureau's outgoing Director Edilberto DC. Leonardo. BMB is a staff bureau of the DENR.

During the recent turnover ceremony, Saikol vowed to "uphold the mandate of the Bureau in conserving the country’s biological diversity and realizing a Philippine biodiversity that provides natural resiliency and sustained benefits for all."

Before his appointment at the DENR-BMB, Saikol served as DENR-Environmental Management Bureau-SOCCSKSARGEN Regional Director, DENR-SOCCSKSARGEN OIC Executive Director, and DENR-SOCCSKSARGEN Assistant Regional Director for Management Services.

Saikol was also Deputy Minister-designate of the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

For his part, Leonardo thanked all the BMB staff who helped him in his four-month stint as the director of the bureau.

"I have relished the joy and triumph in the realization of my advocacies through project and program launch, successful enforcement operations, approval of policies, and the promotion and regularization of some BMB employees," Leonardo said.

"I have also experienced the sorrow and grief of our employees as we mourn the loss of a colleague and some of their loved ones who succumbed to COVID-19," he added.

Leonardo will now assume the position of Undersecretary for Special Concerns and Protected Areas and will be the Supervising Undersecretary for BMB.

Leonardo served as chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Regional Field Unit in Region 11 before being assigned to the DENR as an undersecretary and BMB director.

In his message during the turnover ceremony, DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu emphasized that government service is a "matter of choice while deciding to stay in it is a matter of destiny."

"May our life’s mission be in sync with our Department’s mission of mobilizing the citizenry in protecting, conserving, and managing the environment and natural resources for the present and future generations," said Cimatu in his speech delivered by DENR Undersecretary for Legal, Administration, Human Resources and Legislative Affair, Atty. Ernesto D. Adobo Jr., who is the outgoing Supervising Undersecretary for BMB. ###

 

In a landmark move, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Monday, Sept. 27, started using Filipino Sign Language (FSL) interpreters in online lectures for its environmental awareness campaign.

During the online lecture for Persons with Disability/Senior Citizens (PWD/SC) Desk titled "Perfect 10 in September," FSL interpreters from the Philippine National Association of Sign Language Interpreters joined the lectures on the 10 priority programs of the DENR and its Tayo ang Kalikasan campaign.

Through the lectures, the DENR creates an inclusive atmosphere for special sectors toward the protection and conservation of the environment, said DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny D. Antiporda, who is a staunch supporter of PWD/SC rights.

"We in the Department are very serious in integrating activities to our priority programs that will provide platforms for our special sectors to be part of our initiatives in protecting, conserving, and managing our country’s environment and natural resources," Antiporda said.

He also acknowledged the contribution of the senior citizens and PWDs among DENR personnel.

"To our colleagues preparing for their retirement, allow me to thank you, from the bottom of my heart for the valued public service you have rendered," Antiporda said.

"To our colleagues with special needs, know that your contribution to our country is valuable and appreciated," he added.

DENR Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service Director Hiro V. Masuda said the activity is the pilot launch of incorporating Filipino sign language in the DENR’s environmental lectures in support of Republic Act 11106 or the Filipino Sign Language Act.

The law declares the Filipino Sign Language as the national sign language of the Filipino deaf and the official sign language of government in all transactions involving the deaf, and mandating its use in schools, broadcast media, and workplaces.

Masuda initiated the inclusion of FSL in the Department’s information, education, and communication campaigns in accordance with RA 11106.

He also noted that the activity is in line with the celebration of the 121st anniversary of the Philippine Civil Service.

In support of the Linggo ng Pasasalamat for the Civil Service Commission’s month-long celebration, the DENR recognized employees "to express gratitude to the valuable support of the DENR civil servants who are about to retire."

The month of September is declared as the Civil Service Month pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 1050, series of 1997.

The PWD/SC Desk is under the DENR Stakeholder Management and Conflict Resolution Division. ###