Semiconductor firm, Muntinlupa LGU to join DENR in clean up of Palico Creek

A leading semiconductor company in the Philippines is joining the Department of Environment  and Natural Resources' (DENR) "Adopt-an-Estero Program" in a bid to save the Palico Creek in Muntinlupa City.

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje is set to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on Friday (March 4)  with AMKOR Technology Philippines, Inc. represented by its president Jaesung Kwak, and Muntinlupa City Mayor Aldrin San Pedro.

“AMKOR now joins the ranks of Manila North Tollways Corporation, San Miguel Corporation and the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association for playing an active role in the rehabilitation and protection of rivers and creeks in the country,” Paje said. 

The undertaking, Paje said, is part of the “Linis Estero/Ilog” Program which encourages the private sector to extend support in cleaning up waterways in urban centers. 

“Most of the water bodies in Metro Manila can no longer be restored by government alone.  We need the private sector, the local government units and other stakeholders to help address the huge volume of silt, wastes and other debris that have affected our waterways,” Paje stressed.

With Amkor's support and the communities ensuring that this creek remains clean, we can pass on to the next generation, a much cleaner and safer Palico Creek," he added.
Under the MoA, the parties will undertake expanded environmental improvement, including the dredging of Palico Creek as well as conduct information and education campaigns, community mobilization activities, and trainings for concerned stakeholders in support of the program. 

AMKOR has been implementing its Community Right-To-Know Program to sustain the Palico Creek Rehabilitation Project. By signing the MoA, the company seeks to expand its efforts to further improve the state of Palico Creek.

For its part, the DENR, through the Laguna Lake Development Authority and the Environmental Management Bureau, will intensify monitoring of industrial/commercial establishments, and undertake, among others, regular water quality monitoring and provide the necessary technical assistance to concerned leaders and stakeholder groups in the area.

In addition to this, the concerned parties also agreed to determine the necessity of, and to the extent possible, plan for more dredging and desilting of the creek, introduction of interventions such as phyto-remediation thru constructed wetlands, planting of bamboo and other plant species along the river banks, rip-rapping or coco-matting, construction, and greening of linear parks.

AMKOR is the fourth company that signified their commitment to join the Linis Estero/Ilog Program. The first was Manila North Tollways Corporation for portions of the Tullahan River at Barangays Ugong in Valenzuela City and Talipapa in Quezon City; followed by the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association for Diliman Creek and its  tributaries; and San Miguel  Corporation for portions of Tullahan River from MacArthur Highway all the way to Manila Bay.

Paje condemns killing of DENR field official in Tacloban City

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje condemned the killing of Community Environment and Natural Resource Officer (CENRO) Pierre Gillo of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) last Friday (Feb. 25) by unidentified gunmen at his residence in Tacloban City.

“If this killing turns out to be related to the government’s effort against illegal logging, then it would be a validation of our fear that the brazen  response of illegal loggers have become increasingly brutal and are spreading across regions,” Paje said.

In 2010, three forestry officers were killed in the province of Apayao and in the Caraga region  involving a DENR tree marker, forest rangers and a DENR-deputized officer manning DENR checkpoints. 

Last July, forest ranger Kennedy Eber Bayani was shot dead in Luna, Apayao. Then DENR tree marker and forest ranger, Rolando Sanchez and Rolando Sinaday, respectively, were gunned down in separate incidents in Surigao del Sur in December last year.

Earlier this year, DENR  forest ranger Jacinto P. Dragas, 55, became the fourth casualty in six months after the DENR  embarked on a sustained offensive  against illegal logging in the Caraga Region in August last year, prompting Paje to describe the Caraga region as a potential “killing field for forest protection workers.”

“It compels this administration  to lead the way in repelling this affront on our environmental law enforcers, which is why the creation of an anti-illegal logging task force is one of the salient aspects of Executive Order 23,” Paje said, baring that his agency has been closely working with other national agencies, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police  to speed up the activation of  regional anti-illegal logging task forces.

EO 23, which was issued by President Benigno S. Aquino III early this month, declared a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in the natural and residual forests in the country.  

It likewise provided for the creation of anti-illegal logging task force to be composed of the secretaries of the DENR, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of National Defense, the chief of the Philippine National Police, and the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

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