Press Releases

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Benny D. Antiporda is hopeful for the distribution of a land parcel in Lupang Arenda in Taytay, Rizal within President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's term with the continuous conduct of dialogues between concerned agencies and the informal settlers who have been appealing for ownership.

Antiporda, Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units (LGU) Concerns, has been moving to expedite the land distribution process through the resolution of issues concerning the 20,100-square meter (sq. m.) lot in Barangay Sta. Ana.

"I'm trying to fast track this, but of course, it should be within the bounds of the law. I look forward that by the next time we meet, it would already be for the awarding of titles. I even hope to have our very own President Duterte to award these titles," Antiporda said during his meeting with the land claimants and officers of concerned government agencies on June 1, 2021.

It is only under the term of President Duterte that the case is being seriously dealt with and given attention.

Antiporda added Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has expressed concern over the many years of delay and is hopeful that a solution will soon be reached.

In the meeting held at the DENR Central Office, Antiporda settled the issue on the process of land titling with the help of the respective offices, which include the DENR regional office, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO)-Rizal, the local government of Taytay, and Samahang Masigasig Tapayan Homeowners Association, Inc. (SAMATHOA).

The said lot is part of the 50,300-sq. m. lot being appealed for ownership by the long-time informal settlers in Lupang Arenda who have been complying with the necessary requirements and clearances for titling of the lands.

Also during the meeting, Antiporda laid out the concerns on the 20,100-sq. m. lot, which was certified by the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) as above the reglementary 12.5-meter elevation and is outside the shoreland of Laguna Lake.

Under the residential free patent program, PENRO-Rizal is tasked to process the titling applications of the said lot for disposal.

Likewise, Antiporda instructed PENRO-Rizal and SAMATHOA to submit a report every 15 days on the progress of the actions undertaken or issues identified for monitoring and assistance of his committee.

DENR-Calabarzon Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria also committed "to provide technical assistance and oversight function over its field offices.”

PENRO-Rizal Officer Ernesto Diso Jr. reported that a total of 297 lots are included in the 20,100 sq. m. land parcel, of which 101 applications with carpetas have been submitted and evaluated by the PENRO.

However, he said that there are still 196 lots for application for the residential free patent.

He also reminded SAMATHOA to advise some of its members to submit their tax declarations on the lots they have been occupying as "tax declarations are a primary requirement in titling."

Speaking on behalf of SAMATHOA, Alliance of People’s Organizations in Lupang Arenda (APOLA) president Vicente "Enteng" Barlos said they are ready to comply with the payment of real property tax for the issuance of tax declarations.

Meanwhile, Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor Chairperson Alvin Feliciano is hoping that the municipality of Taytay will allow the exemption of the claimants from paying their real property tax.

Antiporda also tasked Diso to endorse the SAMATHOA position paper for consideration for land titling on the remaining 30,200-sq. m. to the DENR-Calabarzon.

The regional office will then give its recommendation to LLDA for the latter’s evaluation and investigation.

Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Assistant Secretaries Leira Buan and Avelino Tolentino underscored DENR's vital role in the peaceful resolution of land disposition and affirmed their partnership with the Department to help the Lupang Arenda community.

"We are all in this together to help our fellow residents in Lupang Arenda," Antiporda said. ###



After the successful closure of all 335 open dumpsites across the country, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny D. Antiporda urged Filipinos to take part in the clean-up of the country’s oceans to protect their marine resources.

Antiporda has taken the lead in organizing clean-up drives to encourage care for the oceans and to come up with preventive measures on the growing problem of marine pollution.

“If every person throws a piece of candy wrapper in the ocean, after just a few months, we would lose our oceans. This is the simplest form of explanation to this growing problem,” he said.

Marine pollution is one of the main reasons the DENR closed all illegally operating open dumpsites across the country as it is in line with the ongoing rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

Antiporda, who is also the head of the Manila Bay Anti-Pollution Task Force, pointed out that one of the objectives of the Manila Bay rehabilitation program, a priority program of the DENR, is to save the oceans.

“In cleaning Manila Bay, we have three objectives – to see is to believe, dapat wala na tayong makikitang debris. Second, to smell is to believe – dapat pag dumaan tayo diyan, ang simoy ng hangin ay amoy dagat na at hindi amoy kubeta, and third, to test is to believe – pag test natin ng water quality, dapat standard na siya,” he said.

Related to this, the DENR partnered with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Philippine National Police-Maritime Group (PNP-MG) to inspect marine vessels at the Navotas Fish Port and Del Pan Bridge on June 4.

During the inspection, the team noted that many of the vessels docked alongside the Manila Bay area were rusted. Floating debris were also seen in the area. To check possible chemical contamination and to assess the water quality, the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) took water samples from the site.

“Despite our campaign to clean our oceans, if the sea vessel operators will not help in this endeavor, we will not be able to clean it up,” added Antiporda.

He also met with the captains of the wooden cargo vessels known as batil to discuss the wastewater discharge from the vessels, and their solid waste management system. He likewise sought the support of the shipyard owners in addressing the pollution in Manila Bay.

Aside from the inspection in the Manila Bay area, Antiporda also spearheaded online learning events from May 26 to 29 in celebration of the Month of the Ocean (MOO).

More than 560 participants from the Boy Scout of the Philippines, as well as elementary and high school teachers, and personnel from D’Triumph, the janitorial manpower agency of DENR attended the events.

“We are racing against time, and unless something is done and fast, then we could one day wake up and learn that we already lost our oceans and marine resource due to our neglect and irresponsibility. We need to take action now to save the environment,” Antiporda concluded. ###


The Philippines, through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), will host the 6th Meeting of ASEAN Task Force on Peatlands (ATFP) Meeting and 3rd Programme Steering Committee Meetings of ASEAN Peatland Programmes and Projects slated for June 28-30, 2021.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the meetings will "keep the country on track in conserving the peatlands as it aims to oversee the implementation and monitoring of the ASEAN Peatland Management Strategy (APMS)."

"We want to continuously educate the public about the importance of peatlands in our ecosystems, and we could only do this by being updated with the latest methodologies on how our neighboring countries also keep their peatlands sustainably managed," Cimatu said.

Peatlands are wetland ecosystems characterized by the accumulation of organic matter derived from dead and partially decomposed plant material that has accumulated under high water saturation or waterlogged condition.

A peatland covers only three percent of the Earth’s land surface but it can store twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests combined if kept wet, making it a globally important ecosystem in terms of carbon sequestration. It is also a rich ecosystem that supports biodiversity and plays an important role in climate change mitigation.

Currently, there are nine confirmed peatlands in the entire country which are listed as part of the tropical peatlands in the ASEAN region.

DENR Undersecretary for Special Concerns and concurrent Biodiversity Management Bureau Director Edilberto Leonardo said that one of the topics in the series of meetings would be the implementation of the ASEAN Programme on Sustainable Management of Peatland Ecosystems or APSMPE for 2014 to 2020.

"With the increasing effects of climate change, we have to strategize to protect our peatlands by preventing the conversion, draining and forest fire that might happen on such significant ecosystems," Leonardo said.

According to Leonardo, this is the reason why the Bureau of Fire Protection under the Department of the Interior and Local Government is joining the DENR in the activity and serves as one of the Philippine Delegation’s Alternate National Focal Point.

The ATFP was established as a subsidiary body of the Committee under the Conference of the Parties to the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution to oversee the implementation of the APMS, including the Programme.

The objectives of the APMS include enhancing the awareness and capacity on peatlands; addressing the transboundary haze pollution and environmental degradation; promoting sustainable management of peatlands; and promoting regional cooperation.

The DENR will chair the three meetings—Programme Steering Committee (PSC) 3 of the Sustainable Use of Peatland and Haze Mitigation in ASEAN, PSC3 of the Measurable Action for Haze-Free Sustainable Land Management in Southeast Asia, and the ASEAN Task Force 6 or ATF6 meeting.

Participants in the series of PSC meetings will include representatives from the ASEAN member-states; donors such as the International Fund for Agricultural Development, European Union, Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety; and implementing partners such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Center for International Forestry Research, Global Environment Centre, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, and World Resources Institute.

The meetings of the ATFP aim to coordinate and strengthen the efforts of ASEAN member states in the protection, conservation, and sustainable use of peatland in the region.

It also serves as a venue to update where the member states are in terms of the implementation of the APMS in relation to their respective National Action Plan on Peatlands. ###


Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has signed an administrative order for the establishment of the Environmental Law Enforcement and Protection Service (ELEPS) of the DENR that will focus on strengthening environmental law enforcement in the country.

The creation of ELEPS was spearheaded and the successor of the Environmental Protection and Enforcement Task Force (EPETF) under the direction of the Secretary and will serve as an interim service while the DENR awaits the approval of the proposed Environmental Protection and Enforcement Bureau (EPEB) bill that was filed in the Senate and House of Representatives.

"We have a growing number of fallen environmental heroes. This is how serious we do our jobs here at DENR, but I hope and pray that no more lives will be lost because of defending our environment," Cimatu said during the DENR's 34th founding anniversary celebration on June 10.

"Our Department has many laws to implement, but we are lacking when it comes to enforcement. While we are waiting for the passage of EPEB, our Secretary has allowed to craft this order to install an enforcement service for the effective protection of our forests and other natural resources," said DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning, and International Affairs Jonas R. Leones.

Under the DENR administrative order, ELEPS will cover "all environmental laws as enumerated in the Supreme Court Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases involving enforcement or violations of environmental and natural resources laws, rules and regulations," such as Terrestrial Laws, Coastal, Marine, and Aquatic Resources Laws, Aerial Law, and other Environment and Natural Resources Laws.

ELEPS was created as a defined authority that will promote effective and strong enforcement of environmental laws, establish coordinative mechanisms, utilize science and technology, and develop highly competent manpower that will encompass existing enforcement units, such as the EPETF, Philippine Operations Group on Ivory and Illegal Wildlife (POGI), and other enforcement task forces of the DENR.

With bigger scope and functions from the EPETF, enforcement units of DENR’s regional offices, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Environmental Management Bureau, Protected Area Management Office, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices, and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices will be under the operational control of ELEPS and its supervising officials.

DENR's bureaus and attached agencies will also maintain close coordination with ELEPS in networking with national and international organizations that address environmental crimes.
ELEPS’ lead team will be from DENR’s Central Office to complement its daily operations.

Among its several functions, ELEPS has end-to-end duties--from the enforcement, stoppage of ongoing violations, arrest, management of confiscated items, investigation, preparation for prosecution of environmental criminals until execution of decisions by the court.

ELEPS will also coordinate with the Department of Justice, the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the National Bureau of Investigation, and government-owned and controlled organizations to aid in the prevention and fight against environmental crimes.

Cimatu has directed DENR Undersecretary for Enforcement Benito de Leon to provide capacity building and enforcement trainings to enforcement officers. The DENR, however, will not issue firearms to the said officers pending the approval of the EPEB bill.

Through ELEPS, enforcement officers will be able to conduct intelligence operations, issue notices of appearance for investigation, as well as implement Cease and Desist Orders, Closure Orders, and Notices of Violation, and DENR Enforcement Orders for in flagrante violations, among others. ###


Taking off from the success of the Community PanTree introduced in celebration of Earth Day in April, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will launch the rolling Community PanTree project on June 21 in Barangay 163, Caloocan City.

“The idea of a rolling Community PanTree is the essence of going down to the grassroots to involve more people in DENR programs and projects just as I have instructed all DENR personnel during our 34th founding anniversary on June 10,” said Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

“Greening our communities is also one of the most helpful means to clean our air and mitigate the effects of climate change especially as we celebrate Philippine Arbor Day on June 25,” Cimatu added.

The rolling Community PanTree will be launched at the covered court of Bgy. 163 in Caloocan City by DENR Undersecretary for Finance, Information Systems and Climate Change Analiza Rebuelta-Teh and the DENR National Capital Region (NCR) Executive Director Jacqueline Caancan.

Barangay 163 is one of the participating barangays in the Tullahan-Tinajeros River System Rehabilitation in support to the Battle for Manila Bay.

The Community PanTree of DENR-NCR held in April was a successful project which saw people coming to get free seedlings of fruit-bearing trees and vegetables at the DENR Nursery in North Avenue in Quezon City.

The project was in support of voluntary efforts to provide people with sustainable sources of food following the imposition then of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in NCR Plus. It aimed to promote urban and backyard gardening and to help the public cope with quarantine fatigue and other mental health issues associated with the pandemic.

With the upcoming celebration of Philippine Arbor Day on June 25, the project will be brought closer to communities.

Plantitos and plantitas and the public residing in Caloocan City and nearby areas may go to Brgy. 163 for their free seedlings of guyabano, mangoes, langka, atis, avocado, sampalok, kamias, duhat, and pechay and mustasa.

“We are taking this initiative both as a concrete response of climate change adaptation and mitigation and as part of our cleanup efforts for the Tullahan- Tinajeros River System,” said Teh.

She added that trees are natural “carbon sinks” and are among the most popular weapons in fighting global warming.

Teh and Caancan hope to encourage more people to plant trees and to protect existing ones not only as a means of improving food security and climate resiliency of Metro Manila, but to increase our capacity as well to fight off diseases.

“A number of studies have shown that the presence of trees, especially in urban setting, can improve people's mental and physical health among other benefits,” Caancan said.

Proclamation No. 643 signed in 2004 declared every 25th of June as Philippine Arbor Day to be observed throughout the country by planting trees and ornamental plants. #