Regional Releases

Convenient access to clean water will soon be realized in the far-flung barangays of Caratagan and Marandig in the town of Calinog and Atimonan, Janiuay, Iloilo province as part of the Forestland Management Project (FMP) being implemented by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Western Visayas.

A groundbreaking ceremony of the Irrigation Pipeline System (IPS) Agroforestry Support Facility (ASF) was conducted in Calinog town recently, which is seen to boost the town’s agricultural sector and to slowly spur on economic growth.

The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Iloilo through its Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Barotac Nuevo have conducted ground breaking ceremonies of Irrigation Pipeline System (IPS) Agroforestry Support Facility (ASF) of the Caratagan Upland Sustainable Water Green Association (CUSWGA) in Brgy. Caratagan, Calinog, and of the Marandig Upland Sustainable Project Association (MUSPA), a People’s Organization (PO) in Brgy. Marandig, Calinog, recently.

Iloilo PENR Officer Salvador C. Manglinong, Jr. spearheaded the event with the presence of other PENRO staff, Philippine Army representatives, People’s Organization (PO) members, local government unit (LGUs) and project contractor.

Meanwhile, a groundbreaking ceremony of the Irrigation Pipeline System (IPS) of the Aktibong Mangunguma sa Barangay Atimonan (AMBA) and the Pre-Construction Conference was also recently conducted at Sitio Salay, Atimonan, Janiuay, Iloilo.

FMP Provincial Focal Person Antonio Latoza, Jr., Municipal ENR Officer of Janiuay, CENRO Barotac Nuevo staff, People’s Organization (PO) members, local government unit (LGUs) and project contractor attended the said activity.

The project costs over Php7 million and consists of supplies and installation of 5,202 meters of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes with a Standard Dimension Ratio (SDR) 17 located at Suage Sub-watershed in Janiuay, Iloilo.

“This project aims to improve our upland communities’ access to basic necessities such as water and agro-products thereby advancing their quality of life. Slowly but surely, the implementation of the Forestland Management Project is providing holistic solutions both for the people’s economic benefit while also improving our forest condition,” said Francisco E. Milla, Jr., regional executive director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6.

Forestland Management Project (FMP) is a ten-year DENR–Japan International Cooperation Agency project which began in 2012 and shall be completed by 2022. It aims to strengthen forestland management in three critical river basins in the country, namely: Upper Magat and Cagayan, Upper Pampanga, and Jalaur. The implementation is being done through collaborative and comprehensive Community-Based Forest Management strategies. It also aims to improve forest conservation and socio-economic conditions of beneficiaries/communities as well as to contribute in disaster risk mitigation efforts of vulnerable areas./DENR 6

The world class beacAgency Task Force (BIATF) led by its Chairperson, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, and co-chairpersons, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año and Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, approved the reopening of the island and the country to tourism with observance of health guidelines and protocol to ensure a healthy and safe travel experience.

Hotels, restaurants and marine/seaport activity were inspected for environmental and tourism compliance in light of the new normal and in support to environment sustainability of the island.

Based on the latest water-quality monitoring done by the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Region 6, the lowest fecal coliform level recorded was less than one (<1) most probable number per 100 milliliters (mpn/100ml) at Station 1 Front Beach Willy’s Rock formation. Moreover, Ilig-iligan Beach Shell Museum recorded a total of 4.5mpn/100ml; Boracay New Coast, with 7.8mpn/100ml; and Puka Beach, the common tourist go-to swimming areas, with 13mpn/100ml.

As Class SB, Boracay Island’s water is classified as suitable for swimming, diving and other water recreational activities. The safe fecal coliform level for Class SB water is set at 100mpn/100ml.

Thus, the recent water quality monitoring results conducted by the EMB shows Boracay’s waters has become cleaner for tourist and residents to take a dip.

“Test-Before-Travel” requirement was implemented for visitors to have a negative result of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test not more than 48 hours prior to travelling and also to undergo strict quarantine after the test until the time of travel to the island.

Tourists aged below 21 and above 60 years old are allowed to visit Boracay but without comorbidity or worse health conditions. There is no need for an RT-PCR test negative result for Aklanon tourists and aged 7 years old and below tourists. Every tourist should get a copy of Health Declaration Certificate (HDC) and QR code (quick response code) and must be presented to authorities in borders for scanning as well as within Boracay Island.

The local government will monitor people on the beach to avoid overcrowding.

All water sport activities should be booked through the front office of regulated tourist hotel and resorts. Tourist must avoid careless tourism activities like damaging the natural resources such as direct damages of coral reefs during water sports activities.

Tourists are also encouraged to practice “Clean As You Go” policy and throwing trash directly to the trash bins to avoid garbage ending up in the waters of Boracay Island.

The government has been working on reviving the tourism industry, which has been hard-hit by the quarantine restrictions due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Responsible tourism should be practiced in Boracay Island. I am encouraging everyone to observe proper health protocols and avoid littering of trash especially in the beach areas. Let us continue to enjoy the pristine white sand beach and clear waters of the rehabilitated Boracay,” said regional executive director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.

Boracay rehabilitation is still one of the DENR priority programs and projects of Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu./DENR 6

Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world – Grant Petersen

Cycling has been the most sought-after exercise and mode of transportation since after lockdowns were eased in various parts of the country. In the Philippines, increase in bike sales has been noted since many people are now shifting to “bike-to-work” transportation mode.

Employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have joined the bandwagon and are now having fun trying this new commuting scheme. “Aside from burning calories, biking to work makes one happier,” one employee observes.

Indeed, biking to work allows one to observe his surroundings, to listen to the birds and be able to wave or smile at passing cyclists – these all help reduce stress from work and it saves money from commuting. It is a healthier, cheaper, and a greener alternative.

Thus, the Provincial ENR Office (PENRO) in Antique had donated bike rack to the DENR regional office. As an active cyclists himself, PENR Officer Andres T. Untal personally delivered and turned-over to Assistant Regional Director for Management Services Raul L. Lorilla the bike rack made of iron scraps which the PENRO employees has collected.

“This is a good example of re-using scraps. I would like to commend the efforts made by the PENRO employees headed by PENRO Untal for this brilliant project,” said regional executive director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.

Furthermore, PENRO Antique in collaboration with Antique Mountain Bikers Association, Inc. (AMBA) had also turned-over a bike rack to Mc Donalds, San Jose Antique Branch. This initiative aims to encourage LGUs and business sectors to install bike racks in their establishments to cater the increasing number of bikers throughout the province. /DENR 6


r13 advisory web2

Our environment needs humans’ tender loving care and we can do so by engaging in environmental activities that also improve our quality of living such as tree planting.

Trees have lots of benefits and tree growing is an essential way countries across the globe are doing to avert the harsh impacts of climate change. We have seen the damage it wrought upon us in the form of super typhoons, monsoon rains, landslides, and erratic weather conditions.

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) together with Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 had a joint tree planting activity in connection to the Linggo ng Kalikasan in observance of the 120th CSC Anniversary on September 25, 2020.

The CSC limits the participation of its personnel and other participants to observe health protocols to prevent contracting the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

DENR Region 6 also conducted a bamboo planting activity in celebration of the World Bamboo Day. The venue was in Calajunan, Mandurriao on September 18, 2020 done with limited participants such in this “new normal.”

Iloilo City, a highly urbanized city, acknowledges the importance and benefits of trees for a livable and sustainable community.

In the sides of the streets, parks and backyards, trees are grown as it brings an aesthetic and peaceful environment that also brings natural elements and wildlife habitat into urban settings. It also deflects sunlight in the cities thereby reducing the heat island effect.

Trees highly contribute to a clean environment as they improve air quality through the process of photosynthesis – producing oxygen and taking in carbon dioxide. It also filters air intercepting unhealthy particles by removing dusts and absorbing pollutants like carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide and letting the rain wash them after.

It also helps in climate amelioration by mitigating the effects of the sun, rain and wind as the leaves absorb and filter the sun’s radiant energy, acting as a shield from the falling rain and preserve warmth by screening off the harsh wind.

The roots of trees hold the soil in place as it fights erosion that causes landslide. It also absorbs and store rainwater that helps reduce runoff and sediment deposit after the storms. It also helps recharge ground water supply, prevents transport of chemicals into streams as well as prevents flooding. Its fruits provide food while its fallen leaves also make good compost and improve the quality of soil.

Being with nature improves cognitive function, enhances memory and discipline. A walk in the park full of trees can also relieve stress, empowering one’s state of mind.

“There is no doubt that engaging in tree planting activities strengthens the communities. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participants to our tree planting activities were reduced to observe social distancing and health protocols. But it is important to still take good care of our shelter by continuing to plant new seedlings that will help us attain a sustainable our future,” said regional executive director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.

Enhanced Biodiversity Conservation and Enhanced National Greening Program (E-NGP) are among the top ten DENR priority programs and projects of Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu./DENR 6/ASSC/JLR/LGGL