Press Releases

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) has expressed support for a proposal to tax the consumption of single-use plastics as a proactive measure to curb plastic pollution in the country.
 
“Imposing tax on single-use plastics is a positive development for the environment in several ways. It can promote use of reusable packaging, reduce single-use plastic wastes, and extend the life of sanitary landfills,” EMB Director William P. Cuñado said.
 
Cuñado was reacting to Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno’s proposal to impose a tax on single-use plastics as part of the country’s commitment to address climate change, as well as to allow the government to earn additional revenues.
 
He said that the DENR has been pushing for a similar tax measure to combat plastic pollution since the administration of former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
 
Cuñado pointed out that the measure will also prompt behavioral change among stakeholders towards proper waste management.
 
“With this proposal, it can potentially replace the ‘throw-away culture’ and address the long-standing problem of plastic wastes ending up in our oceans and waterways,” he said.
 
Single-use plastics are among the primary wastes collected during the DENR’s coastal clean-up campaigns.
 
However, Cuñado acknowledged that implementing the tax measure may need careful deliberations with other government agencies, as “imposing an additional expense on stakeholders need to be reasonable and beneficial.”
 
The EMB chief is hoping for the institutionalization of a circular economy that aims to reuse, re-manufacture, or recycle waste.
 
Republic Act 11898 or the Extended Producer Responsibility Act of 2022, which lapsed into law on July 23, 2022, aims to institutionalize the Extended Producer Responsibility or EPR system in Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
 
Under the EPR scheme, manufacturers will be responsible for the treatment, disposal, or recycling of their post-consumer products.
 
“As long as there is an abundant supply of disposable plastics produced, consumers will always use these out of convenience. But, if these will be taxed, it may serve as motivation for the public to opt for reusable or recyclable products, which can result in a waste-free behavior for the betterment of the environment,” Cuñado said.
 
Since the National Solid Waste Management Commission approved in February 2021 the inclusion of plastic soft drink straw and plastic coffee stirrer in the list of non-environmentally acceptable products, the EMB has been holding public consultations on the phaseout schedule of these single-use plastics. ###
 
 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB) has warned the public against releasing frogs and fish in swamps and stagnant water to fight the dengue outbreak, as it can disrupt the ecological balance of the surrounding environment.

BMB Director Natividad Bernardino explained that placing frogs and fish is not an effective solution to eliminate dengue-causing mosquitoes as they have “diverse diet from plant materials to small invertebrates.”

“While adult frogs eat a variety of things, mosquitoes do not appear to be a major part of the diet of any adult frog or toad,” she explained.

Citing a 2016 study by biologist Jodi Rowley on the effectiveness of frogs to combat the Zika virus, Bernardino said that “mosquitoes make up only less than 1 percent of the frog’s diet.”

According to the Bernardino, the cane toad, known as Rhinella marina, which is being released by some local government units supposedly to combat dengue, is one of the worst invasive alien species in the world

“When introduced to a new environment, non-native species of frogs and fishes may become invasive and alter the biodiversity of the area,” she warned.

The Convention on Biological Diversity defines invasive alien species as “organisms that are non-native to an ecosystem, and which may cause economic or environmental harm or adversely affect human health.”

She added that invasive species can negatively affect human health by directly infecting humans with new diseases, serving as vectors for certain diseases, or causing wounds through bites, stings, allergens, or other toxins.

The proliferation of mosquitoes is largely attributed to environmental conditions that encourage the reproduction of disease vectors. These conditions include dirty surroundings, stagnant man-made canals and interference to natural water flows and decline in the quality of wetlands such as streams, creek, rivers, swamps and marshes due to solid wastes, invasive plants, and structures.

“The existence of natural predators in these wetland ecosystems, given that they are kept in their natural state or properly maintained, should also help control population of mosquitoes and invasive alien species should never be an option,” she said.

In a joint advisory on the use of frogs and fish to combat the dengue-causing mosquitoes, known as Aedes aegypti, the DENR, Department of Health, and Department of the Interior and Local Government, stressed that improving the quality of the environment is among the solutions to this water-related vector borne disease.

The DENR advised the public to keep the surroundings clean, maintain unobstructed water flows of water ways, and keep freshwater ecosystems healthy to remove possible breeding grounds of mosquitoes. ###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) welcomed the nomination of Ma. Antonia “Toni” Yulo-Loyzaga as its new Secretary under the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
 
DENR OIC Secretary Ernesto D. Adobo Jr. expressed optimism over Yulo-Loyzaga’s nomination, as he envisions a more climate-resilient Philippines under her leadership.
 
“The DENR family looks forward to the effective and efficient implementation of the Department’s mandate under the new Secretary’s leadership. With her expertise and competence in climate and disaster resilience, I see better days ahead for the environment and for the Filipino people,” said Adobo, who is also the DENR Undersecretary for Legal, Administration, Human Resources, and Legislative Affairs.
 
He added: “The previous DENR administration ended with significant achievements in its programs on solid waste management, biodiversity, rehabilitation of Boracay Island and Manila Bay, and restoration of heavily silted rivers under the Task Force Build Back Better. We assure the new Secretary that she has our full support. We will work with her for the effective implementation of environmental laws, programs, and projects under the new administration.”
 
Adobo pointed out that the environment is still faced with several challenges, such as disasters caused by climate change, environmental pollution, illegal wildlife activities, and various issues on land, mining, biodiversity loss and forestry.
 
He said that these issues have to be addressed not just by the DENR with Yulo-Loyzaga as its new Secretary, but by everyone being part of the solution.
 
Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles announced the nomination of Yulo-Loyzaga as the next DENR chief on July 12.
 
Known for her expertise in climate and disaster resilience, Yulo-Loyzaga has experience in leading and working with the National Resilience Council, Manila Observatory, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Command and General Staff College.
 
With the environmental expertise of Yulo-Loyzaga and support of President Marcos in prioritizing climate change issues, Adobo said he is certain that climate actions will be strengthened and that the compliance of the Philippines to the Paris Agreement on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will be fulfilled.
 
As the new DENR Secretary, Yulo-Loyzaga is tasked to uphold the Agency’s mandate that aims for the conservation, management, development, and sustainable use of the country’s ecosystems and natural resources. ###
 
 
 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) called on the public to support the Philippine national women’s wheelchair basketball team as it competes at the 11th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Para Games in Solo, Indonesia from July 30 to August 6.

The Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled (PHILSPADA) Lady Warriors paid a courtesy call on DENR Undersecretary Ernesto D. Adobo Jr. at the DENR Central Office on July 20 at the culmination of the 44th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week.

“We are proud of the hard work that our national athletes put in their trainings and games to represent our country on the international stage, especially that of our PHILSPADA athletes. Hopefully, more people will watch and support them in their competitions,” Adobo said.

He added: “The DENR is more than happy to support the Lady Warriors as one of its members, Cathreen Gem Tanyag, is an employee of the DENR-Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service.”

Lady Warriors head coach Vernon Perea said Tanyag is one of the first athletes to be part of the Philippine National Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team, which was formed last year in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We initiated the efforts to form the women’s team, and we are grateful for the support of PHILSPADA and the Philippine Sports Commission to go forward with this. It is a big challenge for us to train, but we are optimistic that our work will produce good results,” Perea said.

The DENR, through its Persons with Disability (PWD) Desk, has been actively supporting PWD groups to assure the inclusion of its differently abled personnel in activities in and out of the agency.

The National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week is observed every third week of July each year, pursuant to Proclamation No. 1870 issued on June 22, 1979. ###

 

The Association of Career Executives (ACE) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) welcomed the appointment of Ma. Antonia “Toni” Yulo-Loyzaga as the new DENR Secretary.

In the Board Resolution No. 2022-06 signed on July 19, the ACE national board members have agreed that Yulo-Loyzaga’s appointment will “greatly benefit the DENR, its clientele, and stakeholders.”

DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs and ACE president Jonas R. Leones said that the department gladly awaits the start of the new administration under the leadership of Yulo-Loyzaga.

“We are very happy that finally, the Office of the President has appointed a new DENR Secretary. We would like to assure Ms. Ma. Antonia ‘Toni’ Yulo-Loyzaga that we in the ACE will give our best support to her leadership in the department,” Leones said.

He added: “We in the DENR-ACE will continue in the pursuit of being champions for nation-building, public governance, and community transformation to back the new DENR chief.”

Leones also said that the DENR executive committee is already ready for the smooth turnover and briefing for the new secretary, especially on DENR’s priorities, plans and programs.

He pointed out that the DENR programs are aligned with the Philippine Development Plan, the country’s foundational guide for inclusive growth, a high trust and resilient society, and a globally competitive knowledge economy.

The PDP is also anchored on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The ACE resolution also noted that Yulo-Loyzaga’s appointment is a “welcome development as she will, no doubt, be instrumental in leading the Department in the implementation of its mandate of conserving, managing, developing, and using the country’s environment and natural resources, and ensuring equitable sharing of the benefits derived therefrom for the welfare of the present and future generations of Filipinos.”

Furthermore, the ACE said it “identifies its advocacies and programs with that of Ms. Yulo-Loyzaga’s,” as they both pertain to environmental protection and management for the greater and common good of the people.

With nine years of experience in the Manila Observatory as executive director, Yulo-Loyzaga “not only advocated but also advanced/implemented scientific research in climate and disaster resilience, which will redound to the benefit of the Department and its clients.”

Apart from her known background in several local and international organizations, Yulo-Loyzaga is a Master of Arts in Government degree holder from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

DENR-ACE is a corporation composed of third-level officials of the DENR who are Career Executive Service Officers and Career Executive Service Eligibles. ###