Regional Releases

The Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Bago City recently spearheaded the 7th cleanup of Sum-ag River in Brgy. Sum-ag, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

One hundred eighty five (185) participants from the Philippine Coast Guard, Sum-ag Elementary School, PCG Auxiliary, City Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council(CFARMC) Guardians Emigrant and barangay officials and residents joined the Sum-ag River Cleanup and gathered a total of forty three (43) sacks of assorted garbages.

DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr. thanked stakeholders for helping cleanup Sum-Ag River. He also appealed to the community to observe proper solid waste disposal and management.

“The Environment Department is very thankful for your active support in helping to improve the quality of our water bodies. Whatever we do to our environment will eventually affect us in many ways”, he said.


RED Milla also underscored that the conductof cleanup drive will need the involvement of community for them to realize the need tO reverse the worsening condition of rivers and other water bodies.

Clean Water is one of the ten (10) priority programs of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu which aims to improve water quality of priority rivers and other critical water bodies including lakes and bays through continuous massive clean up, monitoring of industries and rehabilitation of esteros and rivers./DENR-CENROBago

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)ZamboangaPensinsulathru the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Zamboanga City, in coordination with the office of the Register of Deeds and local government unit officials awarded186 land titles to qualified recipients from Barangay Tolosa under the HandogTitulo Program.

The awarding ceremony, held on September 18, 2019 in Zamboanga City, was attended by Zamboanga City Vice Mayor Atty. Rommel Agan (for Mayor BengClimaco), Register of Deeds Jayvee Baginda, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Dante Oporto, CENROfficerPilaritoMontebon, City Assesor Erwin Bernardo, Tolosa Barangay Chairman Joseph S. Lazareno, beneficiaries and residents of the said barangay.

Vice Mayor Agan congratulated the beneficiares and told them to take care of their land titles as this can be used as collaterals in times of need.

" Puedeyaustedesdurmienbuenamentetodo el noche y hindena man lingasa cay talyiya con ustedes el titulo del magatierradondeustedes ta queda o siembra," (You can now sleep soundly everynight and not worry anymore because you are now in possession of land titles for the lands where you stay or plant.) said Vice Mayor Agan.

CENRO Montebon, on the other hand, invited others who still do not have land titles to visit his office to apply as the office provides free land survey services to qualified applicants.

"Please feel free to visit our office for your titling needs or concerns,"CENRO Montebon said.

The beneficiaries were all happy and contented for finally receiving the titles to their lands.

A total of 186 land titles were awarded consisting of 90 Agricultural Patents and 96 Residential Free Patents.

The conduct of the HandogTitulo Program is in line with the mandate of the DENR to administer, manage and dispose public lands in favor of qualified beneficiaries pursuant to Act No. 218 dated September 2, 1901 entitled "An Act Creating the Bureau of Public Lands." It was also held in celebration of the 118th anniversary of the Land Management Bureau. (rt)


Apart from helping combat the effects of climate change, bamboo can also help increase the country’s forest cover, said Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu in his Keynote Speech during the Opening Ceremonies of the 1st ASEAN Bamboo Congress held at the Iloilo Convention Center in Iloilo City on August 12 to 16, 2019.

Bamboo, touted as the Earth’s tallest grass, has great potentials to pull the countryoff its environmental woes, especially as a strategic tool for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

“Bamboo has been proven to adapt well to the changing climatic conditions of the world and has made significant contributions to mitigate the causes and effects of climate change,” said Cimatu.

The environment chief said increasing bamboo plantations and making Panay Island the Bamboo Capital of the Philippines in terms of manufacturing engineered bamboo will ease the pressure on the country’s forests. He added that engineered bamboos are as sturdy as the lumber products.

Among the South East Asian nations, the Philippines ranked lowest in terms of forest cover, with an estimated 7,014,155.71 hectares or 23.38 percent of its official total land area of 30 million hectares covered with trees.

“Bamboo reduces the need for timber resources, enhances carbon sequestration, biodiversity preservation and low-cost rehabilitation of degraded lands. We envision producing engineered bamboo products as a substitute for actual lumber requirement of our country, instead of cutting trees from our forests,” Cimatu said.

Engineered bamboo, he said, will slowly increase the forest cover of the Philippines for the next several years or decades.

“We have already conducted surveys as to the available areas which are potential for bamboo plantations in the region. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 has also allotted a budget of Php 10 million for this year to implement the plan,”said Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.

The 2019 Php 10-M budget targets to prioritize the planting of bamboos under the Enhanced National Greening Program (ENGP) implemented by the DENR. The budget includes the expenditures for establishing three nurseries for priority provinces namely: Iloilo, Negros Occidental and Capiz; production of 100,000 bamboo seedlings; and capacity building for priority stakeholders and DENR personnel.

The bamboo industry has been considered a “sunset industry” but with the government’s plan to revive it, hopes are high that it will again prosper.

The local government of Bambang in Nueva Vizcaya has strengthened solid waste management as it recently inaugurated its PhP65-million sanitary landfill (SLF).

Sanitary landfills are engineered facilities that serve as final disposal site for solid and residual wastes providing a leachate management system simultaneously storing solid waste while decomposition process takes place thus, protecting the underlying groundwater against contamination. These facilities also prevent air pollution and diseases.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Cagayan Valley Regional Executive Director Atty. Antonio A. Abawag, who represented Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, led the inauguration of the engineered waste management facility which is the first of its kind in Region 2.

In his message delivered by Director Abawag, Secretary Cimatu congratulated the municipality for coming up with the SLF to address the garbage situation in the locality.

"Whether we like it or not, garbage will always be with us and its volume will increase correspondingly as the population grows, hence, we need a right place to dispose our garbage in a proper manner without any risk to public health,” Secretary Cimatu said.

The country’s environment top official also reminded the local officials that there must be a conscious effort to change the culture of insensitivity and indiscretion among the people. “Conceiving and enforcing ways to keep our surrounding clean will be futile as long as some people and entities remain thoughtless and wanton in the disposal of their wastes,” he added.

For his part, lawyer Abawag pinned his hope that other municipalities will follow suit in properly managing solid wastes for a clean environment. He also reported the river and estero cleanups which are now regularly conducted by the DENR with the stakeholders.

Bambang outgoing mayor, Atty. Flaviano Balgos Jr., said waste segregation should start at source for the facility to last. He also challenged the incoming administration to be forward-looking and always consider the future of the children as he emphasized that the government is serious in the enforcement of environmental laws.

To ensure the protection of public health and environment, the local government units (LGUs) are mandated to be primarily responsible in the implementation and enforcement of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management of 2000 within their respective jurisdictions. It likewise mandates the LGUs to construct, operate and maintain waste disposal site.###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources MIMAROPA has issued Cease and Desist Orders (CDOs) against business establishments in Palawan found polluting Bacuit Bay in El Nido and Coron Bay in Coron, two of the country’s prime tourist destinations undergoing massive rehabilitation.

Ordered to stop from undertaking any activity and/or from operating machines and equipment that cause pollution were View Deck Cottages, Lagun Hotel, Spin Designer Hotel, La Casa Teresa Tourist Inn, Inc., and Mansion Buenavista Guest House, all located in El Nido.

The establishments were found to be discharging wastewater that exceeds the allowable DENR effluent standards, a violation of Republic Act 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004.

The wastewater drains to Bacuit Bay through Masagana, Buena Suerte, Maligaya and Corong-corong outfalls which have recorded high fecal coliform counts.

On August 1, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año and Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat announced that El Nido shall remain open during its rehabilitation but swimming will not be allowed in selected areas in Bacuit Bay particularly those near the two outfalls.

The identified beach areas have been cordoned off and signages installed to remind the public of the “no swimming policy.”

In Coron, the DENR MIMAROPA also served a CDO against Busuanga Sea Dive Resort, Corto Del Mar, Coron Gateway Hotel, Sophia’s Garden Resort, and Pearl Vista De Coron Resort for releasing wastewater into Coron Bay that resulted to high coliform counts in portions of the bay.

Coron and Bacuit Bays are classified as Class SB waters suitable for ecotourism and recreational activities such as bathing, swimming and skin diving. However, the encroachment of easement zones and waterways by commercial establishments and households have led to the poor water quality of the bays and prevented their beneficial use.

“Makikita po natin na kagagawan din ng tao kung bakit marumi ang ating mga katubigan at hindi natin ito napapakinabangan ng husto,” said DENR MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Henry Adornado.

“Kung tao ang dahilan, tao rin ang makakagawa ng paraan para malinis ang ating karagatan. At gagawin natin ‘yan sa pagpapatupad ng batas sa sinuman napatunayang lumapastangan sa ating kapaligiran, tulad nga ng paghahain nitong mga CDO,” Adornado added.

In 2016, Coron Bay was designated as a Water Quality Management Area (WQMA), an integrated water quality management system designed to protect and save bodies of water through the collaborative efforts of the government and various stakeholders.

Bacuit Bay is in the process of being declared a WQMA. The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) MIMAROPA has conducted meetings to orient stakeholders on the stages of establishing a WQMA and the present water quality of Bacuit Bay.

“We have to start at educating our stakeholders on their duties in protecting the environment, and the accompanying sanctions should they fail to fulfill such,” said EMB MIMAROPA Regional Director Michael Drake Matias.

“We hope that the public, especially the business sector, would understand that what we are doing, the stakeholders forum as well as the issuance of the CDO against erring establishments, form part of our shared responsibility to protect nature and preserve it for future generations,” he concluded.

The CDO was served by a team from EMB MIMAROPA, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office of Palawan, Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Taytay, CENRO Coron, and the El Nido Protected Area Management Office with the Municipal Governments of El Nido and Coron.

A public notice on the nature of the violation was posted in the premises of the erring establishments and their water lines and facilities sealed to prevent wastewater discharge. (With reports and photos from EMB MIMAROPA and El Nido PAO) ###