Press Releases

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has found a partner in the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) in the country’s all-out war against garbage problem.

“I see a bright light in this situation wherein DBP will really be a big help to the DENR when it comes to environmental issues,” said DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny D. Antiporda in a virtual meeting with DBP officials on Friday (Feb. 5).

The DENR met with DBP in response to the latter’s interest for a collaboration given its previous engagements with the DENR on environmental protection.

"We are looking forward to a collaboration with the DENR because ever since DBP is very much involved into the different projects or thrust of the DENR," said Paul Lazaro, DBP Lending Program Management Group Head.

Lazaro added that the meeting will give the DBP “a better approach in terms of solid waste management.”

In the meeting, Antiporda proposed the private-public partnership (PPP) approach to address the lack of sanitary landfills (SLF) across the country.

"The establishment of 300 SLFs used to be an impossible dream. But with DBP, I know it will not be impossible anymore," Antiporda said.

Earlier that day, the DENR facilitated the creation of the SLF operators’ coalition aimed to expedite collaboration with the DENR and to identify strategic areas where they can operate.

“Now that the country’s solid waste management service providers are already organized as a coalition, they can strengthen their partnership for a better solid waste management in the country,” Antiporda said.

The DENR, he said, can link the local government unit (LGU) to the bank for the purchase of the land for the SLF site, and to the private sector who will construct the facility.

Elected members of the Executive Committee of the Coalition of Solid Waste Management Providers were: Atty. Senando Santiago, Integrated Solid Waste Management Inc.; Atty. Dwight Ramos, IPM Holding Inc.; Allen Macaraig, WasteCon Inc.; Engr. Arnold Espinoza, ARN CENTRAL Waste Management Incorporated.

Rene Santillan, Iwa Besu Corp.; Danilo Miranda, Pilotage Trading and Construction Inc.; Edwin Alea, Pyrotech Solution and Integrated Services Corp.; Engr. Chito Nombres, Phil Ecology Systems Corp.; and Victor Hontiveros, Metro Clark Waste Management.

On the other hand, Lazaro said the DBP can consider the PPP because it can finance both the local government and the private sector.

Meanwhile, DBP’s Program Development and Management Department Head Rustico Noli Cruz said the bank can provide financing solution to SLF operators through its Green Financing Program (GFP).

According to Cruz, the GFP is the bank’s umbrella program for all environmental and climate change projects, including solid and hazardous waste management, air and water pollution, resource conservation, and energy efficiency.

Antiporda also proposed possible assistance in the establishment of anaerobic digestion and composting facilities, and in the production of refuse derived fuel.

"DENR is solution-based. I think this meeting is the missing link. Every time I will come up with a project, I will always think that there is a DBP beside me. I am looking forward that we can have a very, very fruitful partnership when it comes to the environment," he said.

He further stated that the meeting was just an offshoot to the succeeding meetings and collaborations with DBP for the projects that will be developed. ###

 

In line with the order of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu to close all open dumpsites nationwide by end of March this year, DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny D. Antiporda on Friday (Feb. 5) terminated the operation of an estimated four-hectare open dumpsite being managed by the municipal government of Sta. Ana in Pampanga province.

Antiporda personally went to Barangay San Nicolas, Sta. Ana, Pampanga to see the blatant violation wherein he cited cases where the operation of open dumpsites is disguised as recycling facility.

“We are again in this situation that they use the term materials recovery facility (MRF) but in reality, it is an open dumpsite, which the law prohibits,” he said.

The Undersecretary was further exasperated when he found out that Sta. Ana Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (MENRO) Bryan James Garcia, a former employee of DENR-Region 3, prepared the report used as basis for the Notice of Violation (NOV) issued to the municipal government of Sta. Ana in 2018. The NOV was relative to the operation of the dumpsite but the LGU did not act on the notice.

“Nagagalit ako kasi nalaman ko na ikaw pa pala ang gumawa ng report tungkol dito nung ikaw ay nasa DENR pa. Ano ang ginawa mo upang maiwasto ang mga violations na inisyu noon ngayong ikaw na ang MENRO dito?” Antiporda lamented.

Garcia was then the monitoring officer of the DENR-Solid Waste Enforcement and Education Program under the Environmental Monitoring Office.

The DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Region 3, together with the Philippine National Police-Maritime Group and Sta. Ana Municipal Police Station, served the cease and desist order against the open dumpsite located at Barangay San Nicolas, Sta. Ana, Pampanga, for violating Section 37 of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

Likewise, it also directed Sta. Ana MENRO to provide a safe closure and rehabilitation plan within seven days.

Based on the recent investigation of EMB-Region 3, the open dumpsite is adjacent to the MRF owned and operated by the municipality. However, further investigation showed that the MRF is also being operated as an open dumpsite.

“They are not really using the MRF. They just used the name but still make and use this as an open dumpsite," Antiporda stressed.

He further stressed that the open dumpsite is located in a farmland, which causes degradation of environment and poses health hazards to the residents living within the area as the leachate from the dumped waste goes to the ground and contaminates the groundwater.

“You can see napakaganda po ng ating kabukiran then lalagyan mo ng basurahan sa gitna, malalason po ang tubig sa ilalim ng lupang ito kung kaya’t kailangang ma-safe closure and rehab ito,” Antiporda emphasized. ###

 

The Manila Bay Anti-Pollution Task Force (MBAPTF) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has commenced work to develop a comprehensive approach that will hasten the rehabilitation and restoration of the coastal and marine ecosystem of Manila Bay

"We have to get down to business and jumpstart the task force as we mark the second year of the Battle for Manila Bay," DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said.

The task force, headed by DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny D. Antiporda, held its first meeting on February 3.

Antiporda stressed the importance of the task force's work to complement the actions taken by Cimatu as chair of the Manila Bay Task Force (MBTF).

"The issue of pollution is the core of the Battle for Manila Bay. We are here to provide support to the Secretary and the MBTF," he said.

"The main objective is to stop further pollution in the whole of the Manila Bay region. By hook or by crook, we will stop them (polluters). We can defy these environmental issues." Antiporda told task force members.

The MBAPTF is composed of the Manila Bay Coordinating Office (MBCO), River Basin Control Office (RBCO), Pasig River Coordinating and Management Office (PRCMO), National Water Resources Board, Laguna Lake Development Authority, and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) regional offices in Central Luzon, CALABARZON, and National Capital Region.

Antiporda directed the PRCMO to examine the riverbanks of the Pasig River for illegal drainage pipes and to trace their source from the Laguna de Bay outlet in Napindan Channel all the way to Manila Bay.

The only outlet of Laguna de Bay is the Napindan Channel, which is connected to Manila Bay via the Pasig River.

"Not all of the pipes that you find in the riverbanks or creeks are illegal. Some of those are storm drains," Antiporda added.

He also instructed the EMB to provide technical assistance through water quality assessment to verify if the water discharge is from floodwater or effluent from residential, commercial, and industrial establishments.


Meanwhile, the MBCO, with the assistance of the EMB, was asked to check and monitor the water quality in port areas in coordination with the Philippine Ports Authority and Philippine Fisheries Development Authority.

The RBCO was tasked to identify rivers where trash traps could be installed to prevent solid wastes from polluting waterways further downstream.

"I am optimistic that with the help of this task force, we can at least minimize pollution coming from the rivers and creeks," Antiporda said.

Cimatu created the MBAPTF on Jan. 6, 2021 pursuant to the mandate of Administrative Order No. 16 issued by the Office of the President for the rehabilitation and restoration of Manila Bay.

The creation of the task force aims to ensure the compliance of all government facilities and other establishments within the Manila Bay region to connect on existing sewerage systems or construct their individual sewerage plant to stop the pollution in Manila Bay.

It is also tasked to develop remedial measures using engineering and technological interventions to address the bay's current water quality, and strictly monitor the enforcement of Republic Act 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004. ###

The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) has approved the plastic softdrink straw and plastic coffee stirrer in the list of non-environmentally acceptable products (NEAP), which may be banned soon as part of the implementation of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

The draft resolution declaring plastic softdrink straw and plastic coffee stirrer as NEAP was deliberated through a virtual en banc meeting on Tuesday (Feb.2), which was presided by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units (LGUs) Concerns and NSWMC Alternate Chair Benny D. Antiporda. It concluded with 11 votes for approval and three votes for disapproval of the two items.

"I am elated that after 20 years since the birth of RA 9003, the NEAP listing has now commenced. This is long overdue and we need to catch up with the demand of solid waste management in our country,” Antiporda said.

He added: “This is a significant milestone for NSWMC, and for the Filipino people. We have long been fighting for and we are committed in having a NEAP list to comply with the law to combat environmental damage.”

"The prohibition on these two single-use plastic items may be small steps in the NEAP listing, but it is a big leap when it comes to compliance with the provisions of RA 9003," added Antiporda.

Further, the approved resolution comes at a perfect time as the world celebrates International Straw Free Day on February 3. “This global celebration aims to encourage the public to go straw-free and say "no straw please" when ordering drinks,” Antiporda said.

The resolution was passed despite heavy resistance from some members of the Commission, such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the manufacturing and recycling industries.

Other members who participated in the en banc meeting were the Department of Health, Metro Manila Development Authority, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Agriculture, Department of Public Works and Highways, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Philippine Information Agency, League of Municipalities of the Philippines, League of Cities of the Philippines, and non-government organizations represented by the EcoWaste Coalition.

 

Pursuant to Section 29 of RA 9003, "Within one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act, the Commission shall, after public notice and hearing, prepare a list of non-environmentally acceptable products as defined in this Act that shall be prohibited according to a schedule that shall be prepared by the Commission.”

However, it was only two decades after the Act was passed when the Commission came up with a list of NEAP.

NSWMC held multi-sectoral consultations on the NEAP list last January 22 and February 1 with 169 and 178 participants, respectively, from the local government units, private sector, and key stakeholders from civil society groups.

The Department of Science and Technology, co-chair of the NSWMC Technical Working Committee, presented the results of its assessment on plastic softdrink straws and plastic coffee stirrers on both days. ###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has given recognition to the agency's environmental partners for their valuable contributions to help carry out the closure of open dumpsites and to prevent the dumping of waste in Manila Bay.

Secretary Roy A. Cimatu handed over the awards and certificates of recognition to government agencies, a non-government organization, and a private company for their support to the strengthened solid waste management campaign of the DENR during the celebration of the 20th year of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and culmination of Zero Waste Month on January 26.

"For the past years, we have been boosting our campaign to address the solid waste problem in our country," Cimatu said.

"The numerous achievements of our Department would not be possible without the help of our active partners," he added.

The Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation-Environmental Crime Division (NBI-EnCD), Ecological Waste (EcoWaste) Coalition, and Maersk Philippines were among the recipients of the award.

Since 2018, the awardees have been participating in the operations of the DENR to tackle the solid waste problem in Manila Bay and the closure of open dumpsites in Bataan, Pampanga, and Cavite.

Former PNP-National Capital Region Police Office Director and now Deputy Chief for Administration, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar led the roster of the awardees, alongside former Regional Police Office Central Luzon Director Maj. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia, who is now Directorate for Police Community Relations.

NBI-EnCD chief Czar Eric Nuqui, Brig. Gen. John Mitchell Jamili of PNP-Maritime Group, Col. Raynold Rosero of Regional Maritime Unit-NCR, Maj. Rommel Sobrido of Northern NCR Maritime Police Station, and Cpt. Randy Ludovice of RMU-NCR Intelligence and Investigation Branch were also given recognition.

Also recognized were Maersk Philippines head of delivery Cherryl Ann Dela Vega and EcoWaste Coalition, represented by board secretary Ramon San Pascual, for their support to DENR initiatives.

"We thank them for their relentless effort to help us in enforcing environmental laws, specifically RA 9003," said Cimatu, who is also the chair of the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC).

Cimatu said the DENR has been aggressive in its campaign on solid waste management and in the implementation of the provisions of RA 9003.

These include the closure of open dumpsites, establishment of materials recovery facilities (MRF), and provision of assistance to local government units (LGU) for the development of their 10-year solid waste management plans.

"Our action against open dumpsites has been relentless," Cimatu said.

He emphasized that, the DENR, through Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and LGU Concerns Benny D. Antiporda and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), has shut down 38 open dumpsites in one day, just ahead of the celebration of the 20th year of RA 9003.

Cimatu, however, directed Antiporda as the NSWMC's Alternate Chair, and the EMB to shut down the remaining open dumpsites in the country in two months.

"This is my directive to them (EMB) and to you Benny, all open dumpsites must be closed by end of March this year," Cimatu stressed.

The DENR chief also committed that the department will work hand-in-hand with the LGUs to increase the number of sanitary landfills (SLF) in the country and to review the implementing rules and regulations of RA 9003 to explore the establishment of bigger SLFs.

He also mentioned that the Commission is coming up with the list of non-environmentally acceptable products and packaging (NEAP) amidst the resistance from the plastic industry.

"We will make sure that NEAP will not be left behind in the waste management of our country," Cimatu said. ###