Press Releases

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje has trained his eyes on central office personnel to clean up as he launched the DENR’s internal contest “Search and Recognition of Environment-friendly and Clean Offices” this month.

“All DENR offices nationwide have long been undertaking ecological waste management like waste segregation and recycling, and energy and water conservation as part of our mandate. However, this is the first time that we are going to give rewards to offices in the central office that have consistently been taking good environmental practices as an incentive,” Paje said.

According to Paje, the move is not only to boost productivity but also to promote the well-being of the personnel.

“The incentive that the monitoring group would come up with, will somehow be something that our people will be looking forward to, but the objective of the search program is primarily to boost our people’s productivity as we believe that a clean and well-organized work environment reduces stress and makes people happy and productive,” explained Paje.

In Memorandum Circular No. 2011-02, Paje designated Undersecretary Manuel D. Gerochi to head the Cleanliness and Orderliness Group (COG) which shall be responsible for monitoring the implementation of the program. DENR Assistant Secretary Corazon Davis shall serve as the group’s vice-chairman, with two representatives from the employees’ union, Katipunan ng mga Kawani ng Kalikasan as members, along with Directors Ramon Ezpeleta, Adeluisa Siapno and Ric Enriquez.

Under the directive, the group is authorized to conduct surprise inspections of the offices.

Among the criteria set for the contest include adherence to the principles of good housekeeping (40%), ecological waste management/environmental management system (40%), and records and materials disposal (10%).

Paje said there will be three winners, each of which will receive cash prizes. He, however, refused to say how much the cash prizes would be as the COG has yet to discuss it. Awarding of winners is slated in June in time for the celebration of Environment Month.The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has found another ally in the private sector in rehabilitating c


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has found another ally in the private sector in rehabilitating critical waterbodies in Metro Manila – the Skyway Operations and Maintenance Corp. (SOMCO).

“This time it’s the Maricaban creek situated at the boundaries of Taguig City and Parañaque that will be benefit from this clean up partnership between the DENR and SOMCO,” Environment Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said, representing the agency in the partnership.

SOMCO president and chief executive officer Ramon M. Borromeo signed the agreement with Paje, with Eduardo F. Nepomuceno, head of SOMCO’s Special Operations and Projects and External Affairs; Environmental Management Bureau Director Juan Miguel Cuna and Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) General Manager Rodrigo Cabrera as witnesses.

The agreement signing, held as one of the highlights in the recent celebration of World Water Day at the SM Mall of Asia In Pasay City, was in consonance with the DENR’s “Adopt-an-Estero-Program” which seeks to improve the environmental quality of rivers, creeks and other tributaries in the country through a public-private partnership platform.

“Most of the water bodies in Metro Manila can no longer be restored by government alone. To sustain our efforts, we need to work with the private sector, the local government and other stakeholders to address the huge volume of silt, wastes and other debris that have contlributed to the continuing degradation of our waterways. With SOMCO’s support and the active participation of the communities within the vicinity, we are assured of the sustainability of the clean up efforts, which the ultimate beneficiaries would be the next generations,” Paje stressed.

Under the MOA, SOMCO will undertake environmental improvement on a 2.6-kilometer stretch of Maricaban Creek traversing the cities of Taguig, Makati, Pasay and Parañaque. The company is also tasked to conduct dredging, information and education campaigns, community mobilization activities, and training programs for concerned stakeholders.

For its part, the DENR through its EMB-National Capital Region and the LLDA will intensify monitoring of industrial/commercial establishments, and undertake, among others, regular water quality monitoring. It will also provide the necessary technical assistance to concerned leaders and stakeholder groups in the area.

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.

Also present during the agreement signing were EMB Asst. Director Gilbert C. Gonzales, EMB-National Capital Region Director Roberto Sheen, DENR-NCR Regional Executive Director Laureano B. Lingan, Jr., and Laguna Lake Development Authority General Manager Rodrigo E. Cabrera.

SOMCO is the 5th company within Metro Manila that signified its commitment to join the 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 minor tributaries; San Miguel Corporation for portions of Tullahan River from MacArthur Highway all the way to Manila Bay; and AMKOR Technology Philippines Inc. for Palico Creek located at Brgys. Buli and Cupang in Muntinlupa City.

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has successfully cleansed half of all pending mining applications filed in its various regional offices nationwide.

This, after MGB Acting Director Leo Jasareno reported to him that the bureau was able to act on a total of 1,150 mining applications, or 53% of the 2,180 pending mining applications nationwide as of end of February 2011.

In the light of this positive result, Paje expressed optimism that the MGB will be able to complete its task by end of this year.
“We are treating this initial report of MGB a step forward in our drive to reform not only the mining industry but also our ranks as we try to eliminate all opportunities for corruption,” Paje said. He added that investors welcome the reform as it is expected to level the playing field as a result of the disqualification of non-performers and less serious investors.

It will be recalled, Paje ordered MGB’s regional offices until February 20 to cleanse 50% of all their pending and inactive mining applications, and until December 2011 for the remaining 50%.

Of the total, Paje said the bureau was able to deny or dispprove some 903 mining applications and favorably endorsed some 247 mining applications, bringing the total to 1,150 mining applications acted upon by the bureau.

Aside from pending mining applications, exploration periods of mining contracts that have already expired for five years or more, and mining contracts whose three-year work programs have not been implemented for two consecutive years are also subject of final action, according to Paje.

Further, Paje said, the suspension in the acceptance of new mining applications is also part of the reforms in the mining sector to enhance the management of the country’s natural resources and that the implementation of the ‘use it or lose it policy’ means cancellation of mining applications that were unable to comply with all the requirements set by the government including mining tenements that have remained inactive and unproductive through the years.

In cleansing their respective offices of pending mining applications, however, Paje reminded his field officials to strictly observe the “three-letter-policy” in exacting compliance by applicants with all the requirements, with a minimum of 30 days between these letter- notices. Among these requirements include the acquisition of Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) from the rightful indigenous peoples concerned, proof of consultation with the LGU’s Sanggunian, and the completion of publication, posting and radio announcement within one year from the date of acceptance of the mining application.


Any minute now, the world will be covered with darkness. But not for naught. For through an hour of darkness do we conserve energy; of relieving our only home, the Planet Earth, of destructive build-up of carbon stress. For an hour of darkness, we are assured of man’s perpetuity, living life in full colors of Nature.

Earth_Hour_DENR_Pledge-webWe, in Department of Environment and Natural Resources, as the primary agency tasked to protect, conserve, and manage the country’s environment and its resources, do hereby pledge to go beyond the Earth Hour and level up our individual and agency efforts for a greener tomorrow:

Conserve electricity by eliminating wasteful or inefficient energy consumption
Give greater preference to energy resources that are cleaner alternatives to fossil fuel
Go for green products and services
Plant a tree. Join the National Greening Program
Practice the 3Rs of solid waste management
Clean our rivers, creeks and other waterways
Conserve water at all times
Let us not wait for time to run out, or for global warming to become irreversible. The lifestyle of ecological responsibility and discipline that Earth Hour promotes deserves habitual and universal application. Let us adopt and practice environmental citizenship.

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje has raised the urgency of setting up Water Quality Management Areas (WQMA) to address water pollution, citing the role of local government units in rehabilitating the country’s dying rivers, lakes and other water bodies.

In a forum held Thursday (March 24), Paje, represented by DENR Assistant Secretary Analiza Teh, underscored the need for active support from local government units to properly address the degrading water quality of rivers in Metro Manila and other urban centers nationwide.

“Designating water quality management areas is an important tool in enforcing the Clean Water Act. It also allows focused interventions to address water quality issues to be developed and implemented in a particular locality,” Paje explained.

Dagupan City Mayor Benjamin Lim shared the local government’s perspectives on WQMA and their responsibilities in the implement Republic Act 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act. The regional directors of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) from Regions 1, 3, 6 and 12 likewise presented their experiences as well as the challenges they have encountered in designating WQMAs.

“We are working towards designating more river systems as water quality management areas. But more importantly, we are currently working closely with key stakeholders in these areas to mobilize their governing boards which can be quite a challenge in itself,” Paje said.

The WQMA Governing Board is composed of mayors and governors of concerned LGUs, and representatives of relevant national government agencies, duly registered non-government organization, water utility sector and business sector. The DENR representative chairs the Governing Board.

To date, the DENR has designated four WQMAs, namely the Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando River System, Sarangani Bay and Silway River, Tigum-Aganan River System and the Iloilo-Batiano River System.

Under the law, the DENR, in coordination with National Water Resources Board (NWRB), shall designate certain areas as water quality management areas using appropriate physiographic units such as watershed, river basins or water resources regions.

For an area to be designated as WQMA, the rivers comprising the system must have similar hydrological, hydro geological, meteorological or geographic conditions which affect the physical, chemical, biological and bacteriological reactions and diffusion of pollutants in the water bodies, or otherwise share common interest or face similar development programs, prospects or problems.

The designation of WQMA may be initiated by concerned government agencies or the civil society, or by DENR regional offices.