Press Releases

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has added the municipality of Abucay and the city of Balanga in Bataan among its roster of Project TRANSFORM recipients, the Department’s program that engages the whole of society in implementing programs to alleviate poverty, strengthen community resilience, and promote strong public-private partnerships in the country.

Through the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on July 31, the DENR has forged two Project TRANSFORM partnerships where the DENR and public and private partners will implement the Mangrove Adoption and Protection Project in the two areas aimed to enhance the province’s resiliency amid natural disasters and climate change impacts.

Project TRANSFORM or Transdisciplinary Approach for Resilient and Sustainable Communities through Multistakeholder Engagement was launched in the municipalities of Limay, Mariveles, and Orion in the same province as pilot sites in Luzon on May 9.

TRANSFORM aims to bring together best practices from the government and private sectors to create an inclusive, science-based, and data-driven template that all stakeholders, partners, and local government units (LGU) may utilize to combat the escalating climate emergency.

Bataan Governor Jose Enrique “Joet” S. Garcia III said that Project TRANSFORM is a “timely and welcome catalyst” in the province’s journey towards resiliency and growth that results in stable and empowered families. The provincial government of Bataan has been pushing for the rehabilitation of mangrove forests as part of its primary and continuing efforts through the aid of various organizations.

The Bataan province, composed of 11 municipalities and 1 city is surrounded by the West Philippine Sea and Manila Bay. With a coastline of approximately 177 kilometers, mangroves play a vital role in the protection of Bataan against natural disasters as these serves as a natural barrier against storms and floods. Furthermore, it provides habitats for various marine species such as fish, prawns, and crabs, which consequently provides income for fisherfolks. Mangroves are also known to significantly aid in the fight against climate change as it has the ability to capture and store carbon four times greater than other tropical forests.

Under the partnership, the DENR will collaborate with the San Miguel Foundation Inc. (SMFI) and SM Prime Holdings, Inc. for the adoption and protection of mangrove areas in the municipality of Abucay and city of Balanga respectively.

The SMFI and SM Prime Holdings, Inc., through their corporate social responsibility programs, will provide the necessary funding as well as participate in all mangrove planting activities in the municipality of Abucay and Balanga City respectively.

The maintenance, conservation and enhancement of the adopted mangroves forests will also be supported by the Bataan provincial government, Abucay and Balanga LGUs, DENR Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office-Bataan, and DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources Office-Dinalupihan.

The Abucay Mangrove and Adoption Project is also in partnership with community-based organization Samahan ng Mananahong ng Sitio Bakawan. It will be carried out in Sitio Bakawan in Brgys. Wawa and Calaylayan, involving an estimated area of five hectares suitable for mangrove plantation.

Meanwhile, the Balanga City Mangrove Adoption and Protection Project will be in Brgy. Puerto Rivas, Ibaba comprising an estimated area of eight hectares and in partnership with community-based organization Tinig ng Mandaragat.

Specifically, activities under the agreement include the identification of mangrove areas to be protected and areas to be enhanced and rehabilitated, collection of mangrove propagules, the conduct of enrichment planting in the adopted site, provision of technical assistance in mangrove protection and evaluation, coordination with concerned national government agencies, and the conduct of information, education, and communication related to mangrove protection and the governing environmental laws.

Under DENR Administrative Order 15-90, the government promotes the conservation, protection, rehabilitation, and development of mangrove resources in the country and the active participation of organizations in its utilization and development.###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) renews the call on the private and public sector to forge stronger multistakeholder collaboration to implement risk-informed and inclusive actions that will enhance the country’s resilience.

“The DENR is committed to supporting everyone in implementing informed and inclusive action and facilitating investments for climate and disaster resilience through multi-stakeholder partnerships. These partnerships have a vital role in playing and accelerating an integrated, inclusive and transformative resilience agenda,” said DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga.

The DENR chief emphasized that although the Philippines has made significant progress in the fields of disaster risk reduction and climate action, it still remains one of the most vulnerable countries to natural and man-made hazards, as well as the impacts of climate change.

"What is happening to our ecosystems, in our communities is now indisputable--referring to the fact that humans have caused these problems--and in some cases, our ecosystems are at the point of being irreversibly damaged," Loyzaga said.

The key findings of the Working Group II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) showed that increases in the frequency and intensity of climate and weather extremes worldwide have had “widespread and pervasive effects on ecosystems, people, settlements, and infrastructure”. These climate change impacts have been attributed to human activities.

The IPCC report further stated that with increased global warming, climate change threats to cities, communities, and critical infrastructure will increase significantly in the mid- and long-term, particularly in areas already exposed to high temperatures, near coasts, or with high vulnerabilities.

She cited anew the importance of collaboration with the other member of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council and all other sectors in the transformation towards adaptive and inclusive governance and resilient communities, in view of the linkage between human development, economic development, natural hazards, climate change, biodiversity, water and health.

"Our course of action must be unified and this can only be done by understanding the interdependence between our social, engineered, and natural systems. This interdependence has given rise to multiple and dynamic complexities, and we need to constantly balance our evidence-informed decisions, policies and our actions," Loyzaga pointed out.

"Leadership and governance are integral parts of resilience in building a system, and a network of decisions that lead to specific outcomes and impacts that we would all like to achieve," she added.

As a testament to its continuing commitment to build disaster resiliency and environmental sustainability through multistakeholder partnerships, the DENR recently launched the latest initiatives under Project TRANSFORM (Transdisciplinary Approach for Resilience and Environmental Sustainability through Multistakeholder Engagement) in the municipality of Abucay and Balanga City in Bataan.
Under Project TRANSFORM, The DENR will implement the Mangrove Adoption and Protection Project in Abucay in partnership with San Miguel Foundation Inc. and Samahan ng Mananahong ng Sitio Bakawan. Meanwhile the same initiative in Balanga City is in partnership with SM Prime Holdings, Inc. and Tinig ng Mandaragat.
Mangrove forests are natural barriers that reduce the force of incoming waves and storm surges and also serve as a breeding for fish, crabs, and other marine species.

DENR’s Project TRANSFORM engages the whole of society in implementing initiatives to alleviate poverty, improve community resilience, and promote public-private partnerships. Pilot sites of Project TRANSFORM in Visayas is in Ormoc City, Leyte launched on January 18, and then in Luzon with the municipalities of Limay, Mariveles, and Orion in Bataan province on May 9, followed by the municipalities Malimono, San Francisco, and Burgos in Surigao del Norte in Mindanao launched on June 23.

 The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is refocusing government’s water security strategy to optimize and maximize utilization of the country’s water resources through infrastructure that enables “multi-tasked” usage of the national resource. Aside from this, government is also looking to tap other water sources and to recycle wastewater. This, as the need for stable and steady water supply increases on the back of growing demand and the threat from the El Niño weather condition.

Environment Secretary Antonia Loyzaga said the DENR will be working closely with other concerned government agencies such as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the National Economic and Development Authority, the Local Water Utilities Administration, and the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System on the possibility of building public water supply facilities for multiple usage including irrigation, power generation, industrial and commercial use as well as domestic consumption.

“We are looking at our respective budgets and our programs to see how we can design multipurpose infrastructure to actually serve the different needs of agriculture, power, water for domestic use, and for industry,” Loyzaga said.

Loyzaga said the DENR and DPWH are jointly studying the construction of more water collection and impounding systems as well as flood control structures as mitigation approaches to climate change and its impacts.

Loyzaga added that water conservation and efficiency, along with multipurpose water infrastructure such as dams, reservoirs, sewage treatment plants, associated irrigation canals and water supply networks which may be used for more than one purpose for economic, social and environmental activities will address the different dimensions of water security in the country.

The DENR is also working with the Department of Finance to see how the government can incentivize public-private partnerships for bulk water supply and other projects that can deliver water where it is most needed. Meanwhile, the World Bank has expressed interest in funding multipurpose infrastructure to address sectors that are critically in danger because of climate change. ###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) teamed-up with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for a nationwide campaign that will drive the recovery of waste materials and prevent leakage of waste into the environment. The campaign is in line with the implementation of Republic Act (RA) 11898, otherwise known as the EPR Act of 2022.

Dubbed as “LOOPFORWARD: Linking Opportunities and Partnerships Towards Circular Economy through EPR,” the campaign aims for full compliance and effective implementation of the EPR Act of 2022 by industries and other entities through attainment of time-bound waste recovery targets. It highlights the relevance of the EPR concept and law, gain better understanding among its stakeholders, and convene and gain commitments from the country’s biggest private firms referred to as the “obliged enterprises” under the law. It also seeks to gather support and open possible areas for collaboration among national government agencies, local government units, and development partners.

The EPR Act, which lapsed into law in July 2022, amended RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. It places full responsibility throughout the entire life cycle of waste on its producers and requires large companies to adopt and implement policies for the proper management of plastic packaging wastes. The law’s Implementing Rules and Regulations were approved in January 2023.

The EPR approach is practiced in many countries around the world. It focuses on waste reduction, recovery, and recycling, and the development of environment-friendly products that advocate the internationally-accepted principles of sustainable consumption and production, and the circular economy.

Every step of the life cycle of plastic contributes to greenhouse gas emissions—from extraction, transportation of fossil fuels through the energy and emissions, intensive refining, to its disposal as waste then leakage in the environment. The country’s Nationally Determined Contributions, which represents climate action targets to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change impacts, are anticipated to be achieved with the aid of this environmental policy.

During the LOOPFORWARD launch, Senator Cynthia Villar, who pushed for the passage of the EPR Act, will deliver her message of support while Secretary Loyzaga will be the keynote speaker. Meanwhile, Climate Change Commission Secretary Robert Borje and UNDP Philippines Resident Representative Selva Ramachandran will welcome the participants and give their respective remarks.

Among the highlights of the program are the talks on the social dimension of single-use plastic in the informal sector by Dr. Emma Porio of the Ateneo de Manila University, and another on climate financing by UNDP Climate Action Programme Team Leader Floradema Eleazar; as well as panel discussions on enabling EPR implementation by key officials from the Department of Finance, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Trade and Industry, with representatives from Holcim Philippines Inc., San Miguel Foods, Plastic Credit Exchange, Nestle Philippines Inc., Universal Robina Corporation, Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Materials Sustainability, and CEMEX Holdings Philippines.

There will also be a ceremonial signing of commitment on EPR.

Throughout the event, the DENR will facilitate onsite registration and submission from private companies of their respective EPR programs either as an Obliged Enterprise, Collective or Producer Responsibility Organization. Organizations with queries about EPR will be also be accommodated through the DENR’s in-house EPR clinic for one-on-one consultations. An exhibit on exemplary EPR programs from select enterprises and organizations will also be featured to help the attendees draw ideas for their own initiatives.

The DENR is the lead implementer of the EPR law and the LOOPFORWARD campaign. The campaign is supported by the CCC and the governments of Germany, Spain, and the European Union under the NDC Support Project for the Philippines, as well as the Government of Japan through the Accelerating NDC through Circular Economy in the Cities Project. ###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is exploring the potential of co-processing as a sustainable waste management solution towards the establishing of a circular economy and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

Co-processing is a method that converts residual waste, such as end of life plastics, into alternative fuel for cement manufacturing plants. Using co-processing, solid waste, including plastics and discarded tires, are substituted for coal, petcoke, or diesel as fuels. The waste is processed at 1450°C. This fuel substitution avoids methane emissions generated at landfill sites and partially decarbonizes the manufacturing process. Any waste by-products, such as ash, are also fully integrated into the microstructures of the clinker, a key ingredient of cement.

DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga visited the new shredder platform, which strengthens the waste-to-fuel co-processing operation of Republic Cement in Taysan, Batangas on the invitation of Aboitiz Group President and CEO Sabin Aboitiz. The company is a joint venture between the Aboitiz Group and Ireland-based CRH, one of the leading building materials companies in the world.

Through its resource recovery “ecoloop”, Republic Cement is the pioneer in the use of alternative fuel in local cement manufacturing, with over 20 years of experience using alternative fuels and raw materials. It has established capacity to reuse or recover the thermal and mineral properties of waste materials, such as residual plastic or rice husk, as alternative fuels.

The DENR is seeking strategic engagements with stakeholders in the private sector and other non-government organizations that will yield multiple benefits to communities, the environment and the economy, while complying with both the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and the Extended Producer’s Responsibility or EPR Law of 2022.

The EPR law requires large companies to collect, recycle and otherwise dispose of plastic packaging wastes by eighty per cent in 2028. Loyzaga signed the law’s implementing rules and regulations in January this year.

She also called all stakeholders to strictly adhere to the provisions of the EPR law not only for a circular economy, but to also achieve SDG 13, 14 and 15, namely, to limit and adapt to climate change and the protection and enhancement of life under water and all life on land. These actions are also in line with the National Plan of Action for the Prevention, Reduction, and Management of Marine Litter.

Loyzaga lauded Republic Cement for enabling the decrease of its partner LGU’s plastic packaging footprint from 2020 to 2022. Over 890 dump trucks filled with plastic waste have been processed through strong multi-stakeholder collaboration with materials collection and recovery groups and local government units. Using solid waste as fuel enabled the company to avoid potential methane emissions at landfill sites while at the same time decreasing the carbon intensity of their cement products.

In April this year, Republic Cement received the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award at a ceremony held in Malacañan. Among its other recognitions, the company also received the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Awards for Quarry Operations (Non-Metallic), which is the highest accolade in the industry. #