Press Releases

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has begun planting matured coconut palms along the Manila Baywalk on Roxas Boulevard as part of the government's efforts to rehabilitate Manila Bay.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said around 60 matured coconut palms will be planted along the shore to complement the agency's beach nourishment project, which aims to bring back the "tropical aura" of Manila Bay.

During the ceremonial planting held last Wednesday, the DENR chief said that based on the assessment conducted by their field office in the National Capital Region (NCR), coconut palms were previously planted in the area but were cut down due to over maturity or have withered away through time.

"This area has been planted with coconuts before. Subalit sa ginawang assessment ng ating field office, marami na ang mga naputol o namatay sa paglipas ng panahon," said Cimatu when he led the initial planting of 10 coconut palms that are around three-four meters high.

"So we will undertake coconut planting today as part of our restoration and continuing rehabilitation of Manila Bay," he added.

He noted that decades-old photos of Manila Bay have shown that coconut palms used to line up the stretch of Roxas Boulevard.

"These coconut trees or palms will add to the aesthetic value of the area because they will give an otherwise plain landscape a distinctly tropical aura, the way this area was years ago," Cimatu said.

"It will not only beautify the baywalk portion of the Manila Bay coastline. It will also serve as a living reminder of how much the coconut tree has contributed to our way of life," he added.

Cimatu said the maintenance of the project will be monitored by the DENR-NCR in collaboration with the Parks Development Office of Manila.

The activity was led by the DENR-NCR in collaboration with the Philippine Coconut Authority, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the city government of Manila.

Department of the Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Marjorie Jalosjos, MMDA General Manager Jose Arturo Garcia, and Manila Department of Public Service Director Kenneth Amurao also joined the ceremonial planting of the coconut palms. ###

 

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary and Task Force Build Back Better (TF BBB) chairperson Roy A. Cimatu said that the dredging activities in one of the three priority sandbars along the Cagayan River will be completed by July this year.

"We are pressing on to stay on track despite the roadblocks brought about by the onset of the rainy season and the logistical hurdles posed by the coronavirus pandemic. But we are pushing forward to finish clearing the sandbar in Lal-lo, Cagayan by the second or third week of July," Cimatu said.

He noted that 253,743 cubic meters (cu. m.) or 74 percent of 44,304 cu. m. that make up the 11.4-hectare sandbar in Lal-lo, Cagayan has already been dredged.

The dredging operations in two other critical sandbars in the constricted portion of Cagayan River called the "Magapit Narrows" is also being fast-tracked.

"We will more than double our current dredging capacity at Lal-lo sandbar from 308 cubic meters per hour to 713 cubic meters at a six-hours-a-day dredging schedule to dredge the remaining 90,558 cubic meters," Cimatu said.

He pointed out that the dredging of the sandbar in Brgy. Dummun, Gattarran town has already started on June 14 involving an estimated volume of 882,707 cu. m. to be dredged within the projected project period of 170 dredging days.

The third priority sandbar is located at Brgy. Casicallan Norte, also in Gattaran town.

Cimatu noted that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has already deployed its biggest excavating equipment.

The 474.42-horsepower Doosan DX800LC-5 crawler excavator has a bucket capacity of 4.5 cu. m. with a maximum digging depth and a digging reach of some seven meters and 11.5 meters, respectively.

According to DPWH-Bureau of Equipment Director Noel Ilao, the convoy transporting the giant excavator from Bicutan City is expected to reach Lal-lo either on June 16 or 17.

He said the DPWH is also planning to deploy up to five more high-capacity dredging equipment to the priority areas along the Cagayan River.

"With Secretary Mark Villar at the helm, the DPWH has incredibly played its part in the Task Force beyond expectations on top of its being able to keep President Duterte’s 'Build, Build, Build' program on track despite the pandemic," Cimatu said.

"It is really our good fortune at the task force that we have Secretary Villar as my co-chairperson," he added.

Of the 19 sandbars constricting the Cagayan River, Cimatu said the DPWH had recommended the immediate dredging of the three sandbars in the Magapit Narrows as these significantly hinder the flow of floodwater to the Aparri Delta and finally to the Babuyan Channel. ###

 

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has gained a strong ally in the government’s reforestation program after the Lions Clubs International (LCI) Multiple District 301 Philippines has committed to plant 10,000 trees nationwide during the 34th anniversary of the DENR on June 10.

"The DENR welcomes the initiative of Lions Clubs International Multiple District 301 Philippines to help in the National Greening Program, a priority program of the government, which addresses deforestation and helps in climate change mitigation and adaptation,” said Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

LCI Multiple District (MD) 301 Council Chairperson Dra. Elisa B. Valdez said that in pursuit of the partnership, the organization is committing to plant 10,000 trees all over the country to support the National Greening Program of the DENR. She also confirmed that LCI MD 301 will also take part in “coastal cleanup, outreach programs, and information, education and communication initiatives.”

The commitment and partnership, sealed through a memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed by Cimatu and Valdez during the DENR’s 34th anniversary, aims to strengthen the spirit of volunteerism and promote behavioral change towards environment protection.

It also aims to collaborate on environmental activities aligned with DENR programs and encourage citizen participation such as the clean-up of esteros and rivers, the rehabilitation of Manila Bay, the rescue of wildlife, and the education of the citizenry in care for the environment and natural resources, among others.

The partnership was initiated by DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny Antiporda, who is the governor of LCI District 301-A2.

Even prior to the MOA signing, the DENR, through Antiporda, has worked together with LCI districts in various environmental activities such as tree planting and the Manila Bay and river clean-ups, as well as in its programs for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and other stakeholders.

“The DENR is grateful to LCI Multiple District 301 for the spirit of volunteerism, imbibed among its members, that it will bring into the DENR and its stakeholders. This is much needed now more than any other time. We want to eliminate the culture of indifference among many Filipinos which relinquishes all environmental responsibility to the government alone,” said Antiporda.

He added that volunteerism is in itself the prime example of behavior change.

“When you have changed your behavior towards the care and protection of the environment, it becomes second nature for you to volunteer for environmental activities,” Antiporda expressed.

LCI is a service, civic, non-political organization with thousands of members nationwide. It is involved in community service to help improve the lives of people, and promotes the principles of good government and good citizenship.

In the agreement, the LCI will mobilize its members and its service community within their area of jurisdiction to participate in the environmental voluntary activities of the department related to DENR priority programs in line with the campaign "Tayo ang Kalikasan."

Tayo ang Kalikasan is the DENR's advocacy campaign that aims to raise the level of awareness of Filipinos and promote behavioral change towards the effects of their activities on the environment. ###

Secretary Roy A. Cimatu challenged the various offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to "go down to the grassroots level and involve more people and communities to the agency’s programs and projects," during the celebration of the agency's 34th anniversary on June 10.

"For instance, make as many people as possible aware that we have forest guards and other employees who put their health and lives at stake defending our environment," Cimatu said during the celebration held via face-to-face and web conference, which was attended by more than 1,500 DENR employees across the country.

This year marks a momentous occasion as this is the first time that the DENR celebrated its anniversary with all its employees—from the regions, bureaus, attached agencies, and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENRO) and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENRO)—attending the event online via Zoom telecommunication application.

"Let more people know how far we have gone in our Enhanced National Greening Program and other DENR programs and projects implemented in the field that resulted in communities' lives getting better," he added.

The DENR was created on June 10, 1987, by virtue of Executive Order 192 reorganizing the previous Department of Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources and transferring the energy matters to the Office of the President during that time.

With the theme "Celebrating with A Greener and Safer Environment," the 34th DENR founding anniversary also featured the Environmental Awards for Governance and Leadership Excellence or EAGLE Award 2020, which is conferred to the most outstanding regional executive director, regional director, and implementing and supervising officers of the PENRO and CENRO.

For the second time, Arleigh Adorable of DENR-Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) was hailed as the top-performing Regional Executive Director and was awarded a trophy and a cash prize of P100,000. Adorable was first conferred with the award in 2019.

Mario Ancheta of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) and Ma. Victoria Abrera of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) were recognized as top regional directors for their respective line bureaus. Abrera also won the same award in 2019.

Delia Benitez of PENRO-Eastern Samar was recognized as the top Supervising PENRO, while Merlyn Dumalahay of PENRO-Camiguin bagged the top Implementing PENRO.

Benitez and Dumalahay each received a trophy and a cash prize of P75,000.

Like Adorable and Abrera, Dumalahay also won the top Implementing PENRO for the second time around since she was first awarded in 2019.

A supervising PENRO heads a provincial office with sub-offices headed by the CENROs, while an Implementing PENRO heads a lone DENR field office in the entire province.

The top performing CENRO for 2020 was awarded to Imelda Casiwan from CENRO Pinukpuk in the Cordillera Administrative Region. Casiwan received a trophy and a cash award amounting to P50,000.

The EAGLE Award aims to "strengthen the culture of organizational and leadership excellence in the DENR as it carries out its important role in ensuring the conservation, management, development, and proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources."

It also aims to "assess the efficiency and effectiveness in delivering their official functions, and to recognize and commend the performance of the field officials for their exemplary leadership and major accomplishments and contributions in pursuing the department’s goals and objectives."

Two major areas have been the basis for the assessment of the nominees: physical and financial performance and environmental governance.

Using the major areas, the evaluation covers two phases—first is the determination of efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of services, product outputs, and results (60 percent), while the second phase is the determination of leadership abilities (40 percent). ###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Friday, June 11, renewed its commitment to remove the water hyacinths in Laguna Lake by collaborating with nearby local fishing communities.

Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns and Head of the Manila Bay Anti-Pollution Task Force Benny D. Antiporda said that the DENR will continue its project, which started in October 2020, to tap local fishermen in addressing the proliferation of water hyacinths, commonly known as water lily.

“The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has a project where we commission the labor or assistance of our local fishermen to harvest the water hyacinths in polluted waterbodies,” Antiporda said during the cleanup drive in Binangonan town, Rizal province initiated by Rotary Club of Binangonan on June 11.

He added that the project provides livelihood to the fisherfolk and at the same time “gives life to the Bay.”

Antiporda, who also committed to supervise the project, was confident that since the success of the Boracay rehabilitation, the feat to address the water hyacinth pollution in Laguna Lake will not be of a big task.

“I personally commit that in the coming weeks or so, we will be here in this lake to clean up all the water hyacinth and make sure that we will prevent incidents in the previous years where this lake is all covered with water lilies,” he pointed out.

“We have rehabilitated Boracay. We are cleaning up the Manila Bay. Laguna Lake is relatively not that big. Why not, we clean this up, too?” he added.

Water lilies can be a nuisance because these allow disease-spreading vector species of mosquitoes to breed freely in the static waters. Their decomposition results in an obnoxious smell, decreases the clarity of water and depletes the level of dissolved oxygen making it unsuitable for human use.

The pilot testing for the said project was introduced to the local government of Taytay in Rizal province where the DENR also met with members of the Samahan ng Mangingisda sa Lawa ng Taytay or SMALT. ###