Press Releases

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), has launched a data center that provides real-time monitoring of air and water quality, including the status of solid and hazardous waste management, facilities with environmental compliance certificates (ECCs), and online permitting system.

DENR Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna said the EMB Data Center unveiled on May 18 provides the most intensive services to “give the public quality environmental data that brings together real-time air, water and even solid waste data from across the country that will certainly empower our citizens to make informed health choices and strengthen the DENR’s capability to take immediate action against erring establishments.”

Sampulna noted that similar undertakings have been made in other DENR field offices in recent years but were “not as intensive as this one.”

He commended the efforts of the DENR-EMB as the funds for the establishment of the P10-million facility came from the savings of the bureau.

According to Stephen Roie Lee, head of the facility’s IT team, expenses for the facility’s programming and operation would reach almost P100 million if contracted out to a third party.

“This is the kind of leadership and management that I like. You’re given 10 and you accomplished much more than 10 pesos,” Sampulna said.

DENR-EMB Director William Cuñado said they have pooled together in-house talents of computer programmers both from its main office and regional offices to come up with an integrated platform for the facility which is housed in a 60-square meter room at the EMB executive building in Quezon City.

The data can be accessed at www.emb.gov.ph

Cuñado said the aggregate and validated data on air, water, and solid waste from all EMB regional offices are housed in the data center to efficiently monitor the compliance of various industries and establishments.

The facility strengthens DENR’s push for transparency and good governance as the platform allows for early detection of pollutive activities, as the center is equipped with a notification system which is set off once it records an exceedance in emission from a plant connected to its system.

A self-generated show cause order is sent online to the establishment, giving it 24 hours to explain why it should not face proceedings leading to a possible issuance of a notice of violation.

Other vital information stored in the data center includes online application and processing for wastewater discharge permits along with the names of applicant-firms that have been approved and denied, providing public transparency on the compliance of establishments to the DENR effluent quality standards.

The public can also access data on the status of solid waste management facilities including the materials recovery facilities (MRFs) at the barangay level and 10-year solid waste management plans that have been submitted by local government units (LGUs) to the National Solid Waste Management Commission.

Likewise, accessible from the data center are the location, status, respective capacities of operational sanitary landfills (SLFs) and the corresponding LGUs accommodated by these SLFs.

The DENR-EMB Environmental Monitoring Officers can also upload their reports on “uncleaned or validated cleaned” sites in public areas and report it to the concerned LGUs.

Included in the center’s data are the location and testing capabilities of 22 EMB operational laboratories nationwide.

Also shown in the data center are 61 environmental laboratories currently recognized by the DENR through EMB as a measure to augment the capacities of the 22 laboratories to address the increase in the demand for testing.

The location of these DENR-recognized laboratories are shown in the database, including the testing parameters for which they are recognized, expiration dates of their respective DENR recognition certificates, and rates for their testing services in water/wastewater, ambient air and stationary source emissions, sediments and biota, and transformer oil and waste oil. ###

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), will lead the Philippine celebration of the 2022 International Day for Biological Diversity (IDBD) on May 23, 2022, with protected areas (PAs) as the highlight of this year’s celebration.

Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna said the DENR continues to “work together with partner agencies and organizations to manage the PAs to ensure that the remaining biologically rich areas and the various ecosystem services they provide will be sustained.”

“PAs are sites for nature recreation and a water source for irrigation and households. They regulate the climate, mitigate the impact of climate change and reduce risk of disasters, critical for human survival in this modern age,” Sampulna said.

The theme for this year’s celebration, “Building a shared future for all life,” highlights the need to act for nature towards a future where people and biodiversity thrive.

It will feature two main events—the launch of the Year of the Protected Areas (YoPA) and the Kabahagi: An IDBD 2022 Capture Quest.

The YoPA will commemorate the 90th anniversary of the enactment of Republic Act No. 3915 or the National Parks Act, which established the national parks system in the Philippines in 1932.

With the theme “Protected Areas for a Protected Future,” the YoPA campaign will launch a massive information drive that will highlight the need to conserve and protect PAs, encourage people to travel locally and consider PAs as travel destinations.

“The series of PA promotions can greatly help in generating additional revenues from tourist visits which will help boost not only the financial aspect of PA management but also ensure the continuity of conservation efforts within these biodiversity-rich areas,” said DENR-BMB Director Natividad Bernardino.

The DENR will spearhead the signing of a joint declaration that will support the celebration of YoPA, a year-long awareness raising-campaign to promote Philippine national parks.

The YoPA campaign kick-off will feature six PAs in different regions namely, Bongsanglay Natural Park in Masbate, Apo Reef Natural Park in Occidental Mindoro, Samar Island Natural Park in Northern and Eastern Samar and Samar, Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park in Negros Oriental, Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in Davao Oriental, and Mt. Timpoong Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument in Camiguin.

The Philippines has so far named 246 PAs across the country under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS).

Meanwhile, the Kabahagi: An IDBD 2022 Capture Quest which started on May 20, 2022 gives DENR regional, field, and protected area management offices staff the chance to showcase the beauty of their chosen protected areas in their regions, as well as their photography skills.

The photo contest is the DENR-BMB’s first simultaneous one-day shoot photo contest where the participants in different locations will set their cameras to the same date and time and take photos in their respective PAs interpreting the five given categories namely, flora and fauna, symmetry, movement, details, and creative.

DENR-BMB has partnered with Canon Philippines, USAID- Investing in Sustainability and Partnerships for Inclusive Growth and Regenerative Ecosystems (INSPIRE), Gerry Roxas Foundation along with USAID-Sustainable Interventions for Biodiversity, Oceans and Landscapes or SIBOL project, DENR-UNDP-Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) project and DENR-UNDP/GEF Project on Integrated Approach to Management of Major Biodiversity Corridors in the Philippines (BD Cor) project for the photo competition inspired by Canon’s Photo Marathon contest.

Since the year 2000, the IDBD has been annually celebrated every 22nd of May around the world to raise awareness on the values, relevance, and importance of biodiversity to human lives and all life forms.

As a member state of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, the Philippines is one of the 196 countries around the world that celebrates IDBD. ###

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has underscored the mining sector’s potential to contribute to economic recovery through sustained support for responsible mining and establishment of mineral processing plants.

DENR Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna cited the contribution of the mining industry to the country’s economy in recent years, during the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Joint Consultative Meeting on Mining Concerns in Northern Mindanao and Zamboanga Peninsula on May 5.

“Even during the pandemic, the mining industry was able to boost our country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by P102.3 billion in 2020, and by P22.3 billion in the first quarter of 2021,” Sampulna said in his speech read by Undersecretary for Legal, Administration, Human Resources and Legislative Affairs Ernesto D. Adobo Jr.

Adobo, who is also the Supervising Undersecretary for Mining Affairs, pointed out that if responsible and sustainable utilization of resources continues, the mining industry’s contribution to GDP would be “100 percent of what the sector is contributing today, and maybe more.”

“There are even numbers saying it would be in trillions,” Adobo pointed out.

However, Adobo emphasized that mining activities should be done with due regard to the environment.

For his part, MGB Director Wilfredo G. Moncano said the DENR aims to reach a globally competitive mineral sector with the establishment of mineral processing plants across the country.

“The economic contribution of having mineral processing plants in the country is 7 to 12 times more than the current setup, and that is, direct shipping of minerals produced. If we have these processing plants, we will have bigger shares of exports, revenues, taxes, and fees,” Moncano said.

He added: “We aim to reduce the direct shipping of our ores and instead have the processing here. Right now, we are only processing nickel, but if we have more mineral processing plants, we can recover other minerals like chromite, scandium and cobalt.”

Moncano said the DENR-MGB is now coordinating with the Senate and the House of Representatives to push for legislation pertaining to the establishment of mineral processing plants in the country.

The consultative meeting held in Cagayan de Oro City gathered mining companies in the Zamboanga Peninsula and Northern Mindanao identified by the MGB with mining priority projects in Phases 1 and 2.

Phase 1 covers companies in the development and construction stage whose commercial operations are expected to become viable within six months, while Phase 2 includes companies in the process of filing for declaration of mining project feasibility and those in the advanced exploration stage.

The event served as an avenue that linked mining companies and national government agencies, such as the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform, and Department of Public Works and Highways, to discuss issues and concerns during the filing of mining applications, securing of certifications, and approval of permits, and to clarify and expedite processes. ###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has hosted a two-day multi-sectoral consultation to draft the country’s national report that will be part of a United Nations (UN) global report on the current status and preparedness of 58 countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The stakeholder meeting is one of several national consultations being held around the world in the lead-up to the Stockholm+50 international meeting, with the theme “A healthy planet for the prosperity of all—our responsibility, our opportunity” taking place in Stockholm, Sweden, on June 2-3, 2022.

DENR Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna thanked the organizers of the national event as the DENR once again took the lead in the facilitation of discussions as part of the country’s commitment to the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment.

“After 50 years of significant milestones that the country has undertaken to address the Stockholm Conference, the DENR is pleased to once again take the responsibility of facilitating the discussions among relevant national government agencies to gather inputs needed for the formulation of our national report on Stockholm+50,” Sampulna said during the national consultation on May 6.

The 1972 Stockholm Conference positioned the environmental concerns at the forefront of the international agenda and called for commitments on international and national environmental governance, resulting in the Stockholm Declaration on the Human Environment, which gave birth to the establishment of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Environment Day on June 5.

Sampulna said the Philippines started on the environmental track early enough and has translated most of these commitments into national policies and legislation with the issuance of the Philippine Environmental Code in 1977, the Philippine Impact Statement System of 1978, and the Philippine Environmental Policy in 1979.

“Likewise, noteworthy to mention is the 1987 Philippine Constitution that specifically promulgates policy of the state to protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accordance with the rhythm and harmony of nature,” Sampulna said.

DENR Focal Person for International Affairs Albert Magalang said the Philippines is more focused on what transpired after the 1992 Earth Summit or the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) meeting held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 1992, to reconcile worldwide economic development with protection of the environment.

“Most of the environmental laws that we now have and also those of other developing countries were crafted and adopted in keeping with the three Rio commitments on biodiversity loss, climate change and desertification which are covered by multilateral agreements with developed countries,” he explained.

Magalang said that developing countries stepped up to operationalize their commitments with these environmental laws and policies despite limited resources.

However, he noted that “financing is not getting to the ground despite the existing financial arrangement under these multilateral agreements.”

“This puts developing countries like the Philippines having to face limited financial flow to fully implement and operationalize these agreements, especially the more ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” Magalang said.

He pointed out that the Stockholm+50 meeting “may well be a forum to address this concern so developing countries can ably operationalize their commitments to the 2030 Agenda.”

The 2030 Agenda for SDGs contains 17 goals adopted by all UN member states in 2015 urging for a universal call to action to end by 2030 poverty and all forms of deprivation that breed inequality within the context of tackling climate change and protecting the world’s forests and oceans.

The Stockholm+50 international meeting will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment.

It will also assess how the historic event shaped international policies to safeguard the global environment in over half a decade.

At the top of the event’s agenda is to thresh out ways to speed up the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for SDGs and achieve sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.###

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through its “Handog Titulo” program, has awarded land titles to 415 qualified beneficiaries in Northern Mindanao on May 6.
 
During a ceremonial turnover at the DENR Region 10 Multi-Purpose Court in Cagayan de Oro City, Original Certificates of Title (OCTs) were distributed to 200 beneficiaries in Bukidnon, 10 in Camiguin, 20 in Lanao del Norte, 35 in Misamis Occidental, and 150 in Misamis Oriental.
 
Acting DENR Secretary Jim O. Sampulna expressed hope that the land titles will help improve the lives of the beneficiaries.
 
“More than just providing security of tenure to landowners, I encourage all patentees of agricultural lands to make their land productive. Make this a tool to improve the quality of your lives and that of your children,” said Sampulna.
 
The Environment chief said beneficiaries should safeguard their patents against any form of damage and destruction such as fire, rain, or loss. 
 
The distribution of land titles on May 6 was part of the 4,000 free patents targeted to be distributed in Northern Mindanao before the end of 2022.
 
Apart from agricultural free patents, the distribution also includes residential and special free patents.
 
DENR Undersecretary for Legal, Administration, Human Resources and Legislative Affairs Ernesto D. Adobo urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the land titles to help spur economic activity.
 
“This title—this piece of paper—is a good vehicle for the patentees to spark economic activity. There are financial institutions where you can get a loan and make use of your piece of land to the maximum and to be able for your piece of land to produce the desired revenue,” said Adobo.
 
DENR-Northern Mindanao Regional Executive Director Henry A. Adornado said the land titling program was undertaken in accordance with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive to expedite the processing and issuance of public land patents to qualified beneficiaries.
 
To support the government’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda, the Handog Titulo program of the DENR also aims to spur socio-economic development, especially in the countryside.
 
The program is governed by Republic Act (RA) 10023 or the Residential Free Patent Act, RA 11231 or the Agricultural Free Patent Reform Act, and RA 11573 or the Amendment to the Public Land Act and the Property Registration Decree.
 
For individuals who want to avail of land titling of alienable and disposable lands, they may visit the nearest DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources Office where the specific land is located. ###