Press Releases

 

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has hailed the launch of a new anti-corruption program that is expected to provide a big boost to the DENR’s campaign against environmental crimes.

Last Sept. 3, the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and 49 state agencies including the DENR led the launch of the "Project Kasangga: Aksyon Kontra Korapsyon," creating anti-corruption coordinating councils (ACCC) within government offices and one at a national level chaired by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

The program is a holistic way of stamping out corruption in all levels of government and complements a task force led by the Department of Justice, according to the PACC.

The ACCCs will act as department-level committees to validate corruption reports and forward them to the national ACCC.

Cimatu said the initiative is especially vital in its mandate to combat environmental crimes as "corruption at the DENR unmistakably results in environmental crimes whose detrimental consequences can last for generations in terms of individual health, public safety and economy."

"I prefer standing trees to apprehended illegally-cut ones which is why my marching order is to strengthen prevention of environmental crimes like illegal logging," Cimatu pointed out.

"While our emphasis is on prevention, enforcement and detection approach should likewise play an important role through the creation of the Environmental Protection and Enforcement Bureau (EPEB) which will spearhead government’s efforts to bolster certainty of punishment," he added.

The proposed EPEB consolidates all enforcement functions and will institutionalize enforcement systems and strategies based on best practices and using the most advanced and reliable technologies.

"Project Kasangga has further highlighted the role of environmental law enforcers as key actors in fighting corruption," Cimatu said, noting that the project underscores the urgency for the establishment of the EPEB as its passage into law is being sponsored both in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Two bills creating the EPEB have been filed at the Senate. These are Senate Bill Numbers 1878 and 1959 filed by Senators Nancy Binay and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., respectively.

At the House of Representatives, House Committee on Government Reorganization adopted House Bill (HB) 6973 filed by Deputy Speaker and Antique Rep. Loren Legarda.

The House panel has likewise agreed to consolidate three other EPEB bills into a substitute bill, namely HB 7873 filed by Deputy Speaker and South Cotabato Rep. Ferdinand L. Hernandez; HB 7670 filed by Ilocos Norte Rep. Angelo Marcos Barba; and HB 8028 filed by Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund "LRay” Villafuerte. ###

 Photo PR DENR EMB recognizes game changer communities 09 09 2021 web

The Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)—through its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)—has given recognition to public and private organizations for their environmental initiatives at the 1st Game Changer Communities Award.

"Protecting the environment is always a shared responsibility. We are proud of the winners for their ingenuity in resolving challenging environmental and health concerns that impact their very own communities,” said DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

The award recognizes individuals or groups whose initiatives are "beyond the usual and not business-as-usual approach on addressing the pressing issues on environmental management."

"A game-changer must showcase innovativeness, sustainability, and leave positive impacts to the environment and the community where they belong," DENR-EMB Director William Cuñado said in his welcome message during the virtual awarding ceremony on Sept. 1.

Three top winners and seven consolation winners were announced during the virtual event.

Coming in at first place was San Carlos City Environment Management Office with its Ecological Solid Waste Management Lifestyle Change Project.

The initiative was used to promote behavioral change among the city’s residents towards environmental responsibility through effective communication and education.

The office also established an eco-center that serves as a one-stop-shop disposal and recycling option for San Carlos City residents and businesses.

The eco-center contains a state-of-the-art sanitary landfill for municipal solid waste, centralized material recovery facility, composting facility, and wastewater treatment facility.

The Provincial Government of South Cotabato placed second with its South Cotabato Health Care Waste Treatment Facility, which is used to treat infectious and hazardous waste from healthcare providers. The province is the first in the country to have such facility using Filipino technology.

Third place was the city government of Santiago, Isabela with its Barangay Empowerment and Synergy for Poverty Reduction Network or BESPREN Project, which effectively implemented various national laws related to the environment.

Cuñado said the awardees are "game changers" as they exhibited out-of-the-box solutions to environmental challenges such as air and water pollution, solid waste management, climate change, and environmental education.

"We hope that the example you have set will also lead the way for other communities all over the Philippines to be game-changers in their own simple ways," he added.

Consolation prize winners were the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office of Lebak (Sultan Kudarat); local government of Donsol, Sorsogon; Grachelle Andrea Bello Guevara of I Can Make A Difference, Inc. (Zamboanga City); Camille M. Agotana of Lupon Ng Mga Inidibidwal Na Nangangalaga Ng Kalikasan Inc. (La Union); city government of General Trias, Cavite; Raoul T. Bacalla of DBSN Farms Agriventure Corporation (Leyte); and municipality of Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte.

Launched in April 2021, the DENR-EMB Game Changer Communities Award was opened to Filipino individuals, civil society, women’s and youth groups, and local government units that led innovative projects on waste reduction; climate change mitigation; water quality conservation and protection; information, education, communication; and environmental education. ###

 

The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), chaired by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), has approved the adoption of the total solid waste management solution to help optimize waste recovery and utilization in sanitary landfills (SLFs).

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said this new innovation “shall help the DENR to expedite the goals of strictly implementing Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Management Act of 2000.”

“Through the Total Solid Waste Management Solution, we will be able to augment the capacity of SLFs and make these more useful to the local government units (LGUs),” Cimatu said.

“This strategy will also help lessen solid wastes that go into coastal areas and waterbodies all over the country, and will support the ongoing rehabilitation of Manila Bay,” he added.

In a resolution signed by NSWMC Alternate Chair and DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and LGUs Concerns Benny D. Antiporda, the Commission will integrate processes and technologies for the management of biodegradable wastes, recyclable wastes, and residuals with potential for diversion, and the treatment of special wastes or household hazardous wastes before disposal.

He said the measure will help local LGUs to “enhance the processes by which they manage and treat their wastes."

"We took into consideration both the capability and capacity of the LGUs to implement their targets in accordance with their 10-year solid waste management plan until such time that they are able to meet their maximum waste diversion target through materials recovery, composting and other resource recovery activities," he explained.

Antiporda pointed out that the adoption of the concept of total solid waste management solution will ensure the optimum utilization of solid waste materials that enter SLFs.

"This enables SLFs to have an extended lifespan. As we are able to do so, we can maximize the land use in the different locations in each LGU," he said.

Antiporda said the specific directives under the NSWMC resolution will be handed over to the regional offices through the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau for the proper integration of the Total Solid Waste Management Solution in the design and operation of the proposed SLF projects.

To date, 52 SLF projects nationwide are pending approval.

"With this resolution, hopefully, we would be able to make sure that the future SLFs will be maximized. We also hope that this new strategy would complement our move to advance the prohibition of non-environmentally acceptable products,” Antiporda said. ###

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), has recently launched a family-friendly web series to teach children about Philippine biodiversity and its conservation.

Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said that despite the pandemic, the DENR is taking steps to continue educating young people through the use of modern digital technology.

"We should not let COVID-19 hinder the education of the next generation. Our teaching methods need to evolve to adapt to the constantly changing situation brought about by this pandemic," Cimatu said.

He emphasized that caring for the environment and natural resources should remain part of the curriculum especially after some studies showed that there may be a link between negligence and exploitation of the environment and the pandemic.

"We cannot take any more chances and allow another pandemic to happen," the DENR chief said.

"Samot-Sari" is a five-part web series shown in DENR-BMB’s online platforms, featuring "engaging, relatable, and playful content, especially targeted toward children and youth."

It features its hero, Super Sari, who helps the children know more about Philippine biodiversity and teaches ways to conserve it.

"We also hope that parents and educators can pick up strategies or innovations that will help them engage the target audience about the environment in creative ways possible," said DENR Undersecretary for Special Concerns and concurrent BMB Director Edilberto Leonardo.

The concept of Samot-Sari was adapted from the framework of "Dalaw-Turo" which started as a stage play in 1989.

Since then, Dalaw-Turo took on many forms from rural theatres to creative workshops, exhibits, ecological tours, and environmental games. It also progressed into an open forum with a panel of experts.

The show runs for 20-40 minutes following a narrative and participatory format.

Each episode takes the audience into "an educational adventure with an engaging mix of catchy, sing-along tunes together with stories, arts and crafts, and animation, among others."

The BMB Youth Desk and Communication Education and Public Awareness Core Group are behind the production of the creative educational materials. ###

 

The environmental frontliners of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) were able to rescue two wildlife species in Metro Manila and Rizal province last week despite the limitations brought about by COVID-19 quarantine restrictions.

Led by the personnel of the DENR Hotline under the DENR Action Center and the DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), a crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela) and peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) were rescued in separate operations last August 16.

The DENR Hotline received a report from a concerned citizen that an eagle has crashed through a house that was under construction in San Mateo, Rizal.

On the same day, a falcon was reported to have hit the windshield of a vehicle in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Secretary Roy A. Cimatu lauded the DENR employees for their hard work despite the limitations brought about by the quarantine restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

"Even with the implementation of ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), I am confident that our personnel, particularly those whom we call our environmental frontliners, can discharge their duties and show their commitment to their responsibilities," Cimatu said.

The DENR chief also gave the assurance that the department will continue to safeguard the country’s biodiversity amid the pandemic.

"We in the Department believe that our responsibility to take care and secure our wildlife does not end even with the implementation of the strictest lockdown," Cimatu pointed out.

"No lockdown can hamper our task to protect our wildlife resources," he added.

The rescued eagle and falcon were immediately brought to the BMB Wildlife Rescue Center in Quezon City for physical examination where they were found to be in good health.

After a few days of treatment for minor wounds, the eagle and falcon were released back to their natural habitat.

Cimatu encouraged the public to immediately report similar incidents and to support the DENR in caring for the country’s wildlife. ###