The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) extended its gratitude to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for his "immeasurable support" to the environmental programs and projects of the agency, as it committed to double its efforts until his term ends in 2022.

"We at the Department have the utmost gratitude to our honorable President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for his immeasurable support to the initiatives of the DENR and for reinforcing the need to protect and conserve the environment," said DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu after President Duterte's final State of the Nation Address (SONA).

"The DENR’s programs and projects will not be successful without the President’s trust and confidence that we can deliver on his instructions," Cimatu added.

In his last SONA on Monday, July 26, the President raised some of the DENR's accomplishments under his term such as the rehabilitation of Manila Bay pursuant to the Supreme Court continuing mandamus in 2008.

Compliance and action to the order was only undertaken in 2019 after the President issued Administrative Order 16, Expediting the rehabilitation and restoration of the coastal and marine ecosystem of the Manila Bay and creating the Manila Bay Task Force.

He “urged the DENR to continue working with the LGUs to restore Manila Bay to its former glory.”

The President also reported on the closure of all 335 illegally operating open dumpsites in the country, and the establishment of 151 sanitary landfills for various local governments.

The DENR shut down all 335 open dumpsites following the strict enforcement of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 ordered by Cimatu.

The chief executive also mentioned that establishments “have been forced to comply with environmental laws and ordinances while those who did not, have been closed.” This resulted in reduced pollution, and coliform levels which have not been achieved in years.

The President also raised the successful return of the illegal shipment of garbage to Canada. These wastes arrived in the country in 2013 but were returned only in 2019.

Cimatu said that the task to protect, conserve, and manage the country’s environment and natural resources is a gargantuan task but is made "possible and doable by a firm, fearless and determined leader” in the person of the President.

He assured President Duterte that the DENR will work even harder to accomplish its mandate and mission in the remaining months of his term.
"With the untiring support of President Duterte, we can assure the Filipino people that all personnel of the DENR will continue doing his and her responsibility to conserve and protect the country’s environment and natural resources," Cimatu said.

"However, we also appeal to all Filipinos to join us in this crusade as part of the whole-of-nation approach. It is equally our duty and responsibility to do our share, " Cimatu concluded. ###