Press Releases

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has lauded the Philippine delegation for winning the “Most Useful Project Resources Award” at the Global Wildlife Programme (GWP) Annual Conference held virtually on November 30-December 2, 2021.

During the conference, Team Philippines presented seven video clips and nine text documents about wildlife, and bested 36 projects in 31 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

With the theme “Working Together for Wildlife Conservation,” the 2021 GWP Annual Conference focused on successfully collaborating, engaging, and empowering stakeholders to support wildlife conservation and sustainable local livelihoods.

The GWP is a World Bank-led, Global Environment Facility (GEF)-funded global partnership that seeks to reduce both the supply and demand that drives the illegal wildlife trade or IWT through various country projects and a broader global project.

“We will leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of illegal poachers, traders, and buyers. We will find and arrest the large-scale syndicates, the middle-men, the financiers, the ‘illegal wildlife lords’,” Cimatu said.

The DENR chief also said that the materials are produced “to encourage the audience to spread awareness about illegal wildlife trade and inspire them to partner with the agency in protecting, conserving, and managing our country’s resources for the present and future generations.”

“We are proud to share to a wider audience the fruits of our hard work and labor of love from the DENR-Asian Development Bank/GEF Project on Combating Environmental Organized Crime in the Philippines,” he added.

Held during the three-day annual GWP Conference, the contest aims to showcase lessons learned, good practices, innovations, and success stories through the knowledge products that they have developed, and to share them with other countries who might find it useful to the work that they do.

The partner countries presented samples of their knowledge products and resources to the organizing team.

The GWP Team, in turn, uploaded the materials in “HowSpace,” a digital collaboration platform open to all conference participants.

At the end of the event, all the conference participants voted for the country with the "Most Useful Project Resources," among other awards.

The award was part of a series of mini-competitions that included “Best Knowledge Market Pitch,” “Best Overall Knowledge Share/Need,” “Most Useful Project Resources,” and “Best HowSpace Collaboration.”

Team Philippines was also nominated in the “Best Knowledge Market Pitch” category and was represented by Atty. Theresa Tenazas, OIC-Chief of the Wildlife Resources Division of the DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB).

For its prize, the GWP Team will co-design a webinar with Team Philippines.

The DENR-ADB/GEF Project or IWT Project is a three-year initiative managed by the DENR-ADB-GEF on the ground.

The DENR-BMB acts as the executing agency of this project and is also tasked to set the strategic direction and lead implementation.

The bureau is also given enforcement functions through the Wildlife Resource Division and the Philippine Operations Group on Ivory and Illegal Wildlife Trade or Task Force POGI, which is now under the Environmental Law Enforcement and Protection Service.

The IWT Project is also a component of an ADB Regional Knowledge Support Technical Assistance on Protecting and Investing in Natural Capital in Asia and the Pacific and a support project under the GWP.

It aims to combat environmental organized crime in the Philippines through legal and institutional reforms, capacity building in the full law enforcement chain, and reduction of demand for illegal wildlife and wildlife parts and derivatives.

The knowledge products, consisting of seven video clips and nine text documents, can be accessed at DENR-BMB’s eLibrary https://bit.ly/3ymfzrI. The videos can also be viewed at DENR-BMB’s YouTube Channel. ###

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has issued an administrative order creating Metropolitan Environmental Offices (MEOs) in the National Capital Region (NCR) to strengthen the enforcement of environmental laws and solid waste management programs for the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.
 
Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the DENR field offices in Metro Manila will be transitioning to MEOs and tasked to strictly implement Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and comply with the Writ of Continuing Mandamus for Manila Bay issued by the Supreme Court in 2008.
 
"We have to strengthen our field offices to capacitate the local government units (LGUs) and to meet our audacious goals. Also, to take on more challenges that will be on our way this 2022," he said.
 
Cimatu also expressed hope that the MEOs will "serve as the DENR’s overseer in the different areas of the metro on a micro-level."
 
 "We hope the public would feel the presence of the DENR even in their respective barangays or residences so that they will be reminded of their responsibilities in the proper disposal of their wastes for the greater good of their communities," he pointed out.
 
 Under the DENR administrative order, each MEO will be supervised by an undersecretary, assistant secretary, and director.
 
 The functions of the MEOs include serving as frontline units for the enforcement of environmental laws, rules, and regulations in NCR; intensifying coordination efforts with partner government agencies and non-government organizations in cleaning up the rivers and other water bodies; and capacity-building.
 
 MEOs will also be providing technical assistance to the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and LGUs in monitoring the quality of water bodies and proper disposal of solid waste in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
 
 The offices are also mandated to coordinate with the Department of Health, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and water concessionaires, and LGUs to facilitate the completion of a sewerage system and achieve international standards of sanitation in the entire region.
 
 In 2019, the DENR has created four field offices in Metro Manila to strengthen the enforcement of environmental laws in the country’s most densely populated regions and make government services more accessible to the people, particularly those in the NCR. ### 

 

The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), chaired by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), has issued a resolution adopting the guidelines for the establishment of the National Ecology Center (NEC) in compliance with Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

The Commission approved NSWMC Resolution No. 1500, series of 2021, which finalizes the functions and requirements for the NEC body, during its virtual en banc meeting on December 7, 2021.

Under the resolution, the NEC is mandated for the "consulting, information, training and networking services for the implementation of the provisions of RA 9003."

"I’m elated that another achievement under solid waste management will finally soon come to fruition. It’s been 20 years since the enactment of RA 9003 which mandated the establishment of NEC," said DENR Secretary and NSWMC Chair Roy A. Cimatu.

The resolution was signed by DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units (LGUs) Concerns and NSWMC Alternate Chair Benny D. Antiporda.

One of the NEC's tasks is to facilitate training on integrated ecological solid waste management through "education, replication, and advocacy programs," as well as give "expert assistance in pilot modeling of solid waste management facilities."

The Director of the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau in his ex-officio capacity will head the NEC composed of solid waste management experts, such as academicians, inventors, practicing professionals, and those from the business and industry, youth, and other concerned sectors that will effectively implement the NEC functions.

The NSWMC resolution also states that the NEC, in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry, will establish a solid waste management database system on solid waste generation and management techniques, resource recovery approaches, and recycling industry data, and consolidate best solid waste management practices of other countries for possible adoption of similar practices in the country.

The NEC is also mandated to develop a model for waste minimization and reduction auditing procedures for evaluations and establish a "national recycling network" that will build a recycling market to enhance opportunities in recycling.

Information dissemination on proper solid waste management will also be done through TV, radio, print, and online media.

To further implement its functions, the NEC will have training programs on proper solid waste management and on the technical operations of solid waste management facilities across various sectors involving enforcers, implementers, LGUs, and private organizations, among others.

It will also develop an accreditation and certification system for the conduct of solid waste management programs of training institutions.

Moreover, partnerships with national government agencies, businesses, and private and development organizations to conduct solid waste management programs and activities will also take place.

In collaboration with the Department of Education, the NEC will form an education program on effective solid waste management systems for students.

The NEC will also be a hub for LGUs, non-government organizations (NGOs), and industries for networking as well as function as a "clearing house for cleaner production or cleaner technologies on solid waste management."

"With the eventual establishment of the NEC as the prime organization for information dissemination, consultation, education, and training, solid waste management in the country will certainly progress. LGUs and industries will be further capacitated, SWM systems will improve, the public will be educated and contribute to the overall goal of environmental protection for the country," Antiporda said.###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has lined up activities this January to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the enactment of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu emphasized that the observance of RA 9003 anniversary should be a "constant reminder to the public to be mindful of segregating their wastes and disposing them properly."

"Now more than ever, the public should be mindful of their consumption as more wastes are produced during the pandemic. May this observance be not just a reminder this month but the start of a long-term habit and behavioral change among Filipinos," Cimatu said.

Signed into law on January 26, 2001, RA 9003 mandates the adoption of a systematic, comprehensive, and ecological solid waste management program in the country.

The DENR, through the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) and the Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service (SCIS), will be conducting various activities leading up to the anniversary of the signing of RA 9003.

A webinar on the 3Rs (Reduce, Re-use, Recycle) will be conducted on January 14, which will be participated in by the DENR-EMB central and regional offices, National Solid Waste Management Commission, and local government units (LGUs).

Topics will include backyard and home composting, home recycling, and upcycling.

On January 17, another webinar will be conducted on the "Introduction to an Ecological and Sustainable Lifestyle," and on January 21, on "Knowing More About Alternative Packaging."

The ceremonial turnover of yellow trash bins for healthcare wastes, signing of the memorandum of agreement and deed of donation for solid waste management equipment, and the awarding of 143 LGUs with best practices on solid waste management will also be conducted per region starting February.

The culmination activity will be held on February 2 to celebrate the anniversary of the signing of RA 9003.

As part of the celebration on February 2, the DENR will also be launching the Twelve Comics on Solid Waste Management by the DENR-SCIS and the Photo Story and Video Contest on Solid Waste Management by the DENR-Task Force Tayo ang Kalikasan.

Likewise, on March 25, the DENR will re-launch a campaign called "Basura-Free Election 2022."

DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and LGUs Concerns Benny D. Antiporda said the activities will also serve as a "wake-up call for the legislators to amend the two-decade-old law on solid waste management."

"We have always emphasized that solid waste is the last and the least when it comes to any list of priorities," Antiporda said.

"Hopefully, with these activities, we can remind the legislators about the importance of amending RA 9003 for stricter penalties for violators, so that once and for all, hindi na last ang solid waste," he added. ###

 

The initial report of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) has shown that air pollution levels in two Metro Manila cities have exceeded the safe standards during the first two hours of January 1, 2022.

The DENR-EMB report showed that the air pollution levels in the cities of Marikina and Manila went beyond the standard of 150 micrograms per normal cubic meter (ug/Ncm) of particulate matter 10 or PM10.

Meanwhile, it is still conducting manual monitoring of 11 stations and is expected to come out with the laboratory analysis results on January 7.

"Now more than ever we should work together to correct this way of celebrating New Year revelries as we are all aware of the pulmonary health risks these firecrackers carry,” DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said.

To prevent spikes in air pollution levels, Cimatu encouraged the local government units to strictly enforce Executive Order No. 28 series of 2017 or the Regulation and Control of the Use of Firecrackers and Other Pyrotechnic Devices.

The DENR chief also called on Filipinos to use alternative ways to welcome the New Year such as making noise with pots and pans and blowing party horns or trumpets.

PM10 in firecrackers consists mainly of residues of the explosive powders wrapped in paper which consists of a mixture of sulfur (S), carbon (C), and potassium nitrate (saltpeter, KNO3), and other fine minerals which contain heavy metals.

According to health experts, particles in PM2.5 are able to travel deeply into a person’s respiratory tract and can cause ill health effects and worsen the medical conditions of people with asthma or heart diseases.

Based on the data from the DENR-EMB, Marikina City's PM10 peaked at 347 ug/NCM around 2 a.m. of January 1, 2022, with an average concentration of 271 ug/NCM monitored from 12 a.m. to 2 a.m., or a 215 percent increase compared to the 2021 New Year’s eve PM10 data.

In Manila, PM10 reached 156 ug/NCM between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. but with an average concentration of 116 ug/NCM from 12 a.m. to 2 a.m., or a 68 percent increase compared to the 2021 New Year’s eve PM10 data.

The short-term limit for 24-Hour Averaging Time for PM10 is 150 ug/Ncm under the National Ambient Air Quality Guideline Value (NAAQGV) of Republic Act 8749 or the Clean Air Act.

For PM2.5, only the Manila monitoring station in Mehan Garden recorded a maximum concentration of 113 ug/Ncm and an average concentration of 84 ug/Ncm from 12 a.m. to 2 a.m. on January 1, 2022.

The reading accounts for a 71 percent increase from 49 ug/Ncm obtained during the same period in 2021.

The short-term limit for PM2.5 is 35 ug/Ncm under the NAAQGV.

Outside Metro Manila, five air quality monitoring stations (AQMS) recorded an increase in the average concentration of PM10 between 12 a.m. and 2 a.m. of January 1, 2022, compared to 2021.

These are the San Fernando City Station in Pampanga at 77 percent (from 86 ug/Ncm in 2021 to 152 ug/Ncm in 2022); Antipolo City Station at 188 percent (from 16 ug/Ncm in 2021 to 46 ug/Ncm in 2022); Biñan City Station at 27 percent (from 11 ug/Ncm in 2021 to 14 ug/Ncm in 2022); Puerto Princesa City Station at 34 percent (from 32 ug/Ncm in 2021 to 43 ug/Ncm in 2022) and Calinan, Davao City Station at 55 percent (from 20 ug/Ncm in 2021 to 31 ug/Ncm in 2022).

On the other hand, a drop in concentration of PM10 was recorded in the Zamboanga City Station at 22 percent (from 9 ug/Ncm in 2021 to 7 ug/Ncm in 2022); Iligan City Station at 3 percent (from 34 ug/Ncm in 2021 to 33 ug/Ncm in 2022); and Davao International Airport Station at 32 percent (from 25 ug/Ncm in 2021 to 17 ug/Ncm in 2022).

In terms of PM2.5 concentration, three air quality monitoring stations recorded an increase in the average concentration of PM2.5 from 12 a.m. to 2 a.m. of January 1, 2022, namely the Calinan, Davao City Station at 217 percent (from 6 ug/Ncm in 2021 to 19 ug/Ncm in 2022); Iligan City Station at 67 percent (from 15 ug/Ncm in 2021 to 25 ug/Ncm in 2022); and Zamboanga City Station at 13 percent (from 8 ug/Ncm in 2021 to 9 ug/Ncm in 2022).

Three AQMS recorded a decrease in the concentration of PM2.5 in the ambient air, namely the Puerto Princesa City Station at 46 percent (from 37 ug/Ncm in 2021 to 20 ug/Ncm in 2022), Davao International Airport, Davao City Station at 20 percent (from 10 ug/Ncm in 2021 to 8 ug/Ncm in 2022); and Sta. Rosa City, Laguna Station at 11 percent (from 27 ug/Ncm in 2021 to 24 ug/Ncm in 2022). ###