Press Releases

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) continues to ramp-up efforts for the safe and responsible disposal of electronic waste and to raise awareness on its health and environmental impacts. The DENR-EMB has partnered with public interest and advocacy network EcoWaste Coalition for an e-waste exchange initiative geared towards consumers.

The "Together WEEE Can!" initiative calls on consumers to trade-in their e-waste for a concert ticket featuring some of the country’s leading performers like including Kean Cipriano, Chrstn, 7th, Shortone and Kenaniah. The concert will be held on November 5 at the Marikina Sports Center.

The concert is set to bring together environmentally-conscious individuals, young activists, community leaders, and organizations for a collective celebration of eco-friendly practices. Aside from live music from artists, there will be interactive workshops, and eco-friendly exhibits, aiming to educate and inspire attendees to incorporate responsible e-waste disposal into their daily lives.

“This campaign aims to tackle the detrimental effects of e-waste; enhance awareness regarding responsible e-waste management; and encourage individuals, businesses, and governments to take proactive measures in reducing e-waste and ensuring its proper disposal,” said EMB Director and DENR Assistant Secretary Gilbert Gonzales.

E-waste, also referred to as waste electrical and electronic equipment or WEEE, comprises discarded electronic products such as appliances, tools, toys, and telecommunication devices such as laptops, broken mobile devices, old batteries, desktop computers, and retired home appliances. Small items like a mobile phone is equivalent to one concert ticket, medium-sized item like toasters, small TVs, and microwaves equates to two tickets, and large items such as refrigerators and washing machines are worth three tickets.

To qualify for the tickets, the e-waste traded in must be a whole item and not spare or loose parts.

The public can bring their e-waste from October 23 to November 5 at designated drop-off points, including SM Malls, DMCI, PLDT/SMART offices or stores, Globe offices or stores, Ayala Malls, Ateneo, UP Circuit, the Department of Trade and Industry office, DENR Central Office, DENR-National Capital Region, Bagong Silang Treatment Storage Disposal Facility (TSD), Dampalit TSD Facility, San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan, Manila City, Marikina City, and Baguio City.

The E-waste can also be brought directly to the concert venue on November 5.

A report by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) showed that the Philippines is one of the top e-waste generators in Southeast Asia, with a per capita e-waste generation of over 4kg. The volume of e-waste is increasing due to higher consumption of electrical and electronic equipment, shorter product life cycles and limited repair options.

Although e-waste constitutes only around two percent of solid waste streams, it contributes to a staggering 70% of hazardous waste in landfills worldwide with devastating consequences on the environment and public health. These items often contain dangerous substances like polybrominated diphenyl ethers, commonly used as flame retardants, posing significant environmental and health concerns and emphasizing the critical importance of proper disposal.

The DENR has set-up three materials recovery facility (MRF) dedicated to electronic waste. These are located in Caloocan, Malabon and Baguio City. ###

Collaboration and cooperation between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) has been expanded in scope to include nature-based solutions (NBS) to conserve, manage and restore ecosystems and biodiversity, and to help reduce the impacts of climate change. The partnership between the DENR and EDC has been formalized through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga and EDC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Federico Lopez.

The MOA between the DENR and EDC, signed last July, broadens the partnership beyond the rescue and protection of more native tree species, saving them from extinction. Under the agreement, DENR and EDC will work together to restore denuded forests and other habitats, preserve and propagate threatened native species, and safeguard ecosystem services and biodiversity that protects against climate change.

On top of that, the DENR and EDC will conduct a stocktaking of NBS-related data, studies, methodologies, and policies; conduct a joint assessment of candidate NBS sites; and formulate the social, technical, biophysical, commercial, and other criteria to assess possible NBS sites, taking into consideration the opportunities for ecosystem conservation and restoration.

The DENR shall use its natural resources database to identify areas with minimal physical, legal, climate and social risks that are appropriate for restoration or conservation, and provide necessary information, including technical, legal and social information to assess the viability of the sites for the project, among others. On the other hand, EDC shall conduct feasibility studies on ecosystem development and carbon product opportunities among the candidate NBS sites. It shall also provide resources for the development and implementation of the project, and hold regular coordination meetings to report on the progress of the project, among others.

“This is a really unique opportunity to showcase how the government and the private sector can work together. There are definitely shared values and we have goals that we both pursue jointly,” Loyzaga said.

The DENR-EDC partnership also aims to promote public-private collaboration on the conservation and expansion of natural habitats through encouraging private sector participation to amplify government efforts, and formulating a one-stop-shop process to facilitate and ensure the successful implementation of local NBS projects.

“Our MOA is quite instrumental and it’s a great step that we’re all doing this together because I think the one phrase that we always like to hear is, ‘we can’t do these things alone. That’s why we’re always looking for collaborative pathways so that we can all come together to get to the same goals,” said Lopez.

EDC—the world’s second largest producer of geothermal power and the largest renewable energy firm in the country, has been one of DENR’s committed environmental partners. In 2019, it worked together with DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau and launched the “Native Plants of Boracay Wetlands,” a reference manual on forest restoration that served as a useful tool for the government’s National Greening Program.

Last year, EDC partnered with the DENR to collaborate on Project TRANSFORM or the Transdisciplinary Approach for Resilience and Environmental Sustainability through Multistakeholder Engagement, a resilience and sustainability program for local government units. The EDC has been collaborating with regional and community DENR offices through its BINHI program, the largest private-sector led forest restoration initiative in the Philippines. ###

The Philippines will be the host country for the 2024 Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (APMCDRR), to be held in Manila from October 14 to 17, 2024. The launch of the biennial conference coincides with the celebration of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Officials of the United Nations led by Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, H.E. Mami Mizutori, joined Philippine government officials, led by Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro and Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga in formally launching the 2024 APMCDRR. Representatives from the national and local government, private sector, academe and scientific institutions, civil society, international development partners, and other stakeholder groups also joined the formal launch event.

Convened by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction is the primary regional platform which brings together global leaders to monitor, review and enhance cooperation for the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 at the regional level.

“The APMCDRR 2024, hosted by the Philippines, is the first conference in the region after the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework, from which a long list of challenges emerged. For example, there is this issue on how we can better localize risk reduction and engage local governments—this will be discussed during the conference in Manila,” SRSG Mizutori noted.

“The Philippines, as a hazard-prone country, is a role model for the region with its commitment to disaster risk reduction and management,” added SRSG Mizutori.

As the Philippines hosts the largest conference on disaster risk reduction in the region, UNDRR emphasized the unique opportunity for the country to exhibit its role in the region as a leader in public-private partnerships for climate and disaster resilience, as well as the application of science and technology and nature-based solutions, and the promotion of resilient investments and infrastructure.

“While both a privilege and responsibility, this is also a testament to our country having emerged as a model for science-informed, public-private partnership, and whole-of-society approach to the complex risks we face. The challenges we face are complex and they do not affect everyone equally. They require a convergence of efforts, synergies from across sectors so that we are able to respond to each of the different exposures and vulnerabilities,” said Secretary Loyzaga.

The conference next year is expected to draw over 3,000 high-level international delegates. The Conference will be organized around the pillars of disaster risk reduction financing, gender responsive and inclusive disaster risk governance, and localization and urban and rural resilience.

For further details about the 2024 Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, please visit ###

Over 500 barangay officials, local government leaders and development partners from across the country joined the Barangay Leaders Resilience Forum, aimed at strengthening local disaster management and resilience against climate change impacts. The forum also commemorates the 32nd anniversary of the passage of the Local Government Code of the Philippines which recognizes local government units as the frontliners for disaster risk reduction.

Recognizing the pivotal role of barangays as the first line of defense in disaster management, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in collaboration with the Department of National Defense-Office of Civil Defense (DND-OCD), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the National Resilience Council (NRC), spearheaded the forum titled "Barangayan Para sa Kalikasan at Bayang Matatag." This gathering aimed to enhance the involvement of barangay officials in devising context-specific, innovative, and responsive approaches to risk reduction, risk management, and resilience-building.

In the Philippines, the barangay is the most basic unit of government and one that hits the grass root as it is the fundamental political unit, serving as the primary planning and implementing body for government policies, plans, programs, projects, and activities within the community.

There are over 42,000 in the Philippines, spread across 145 cities and 1,489 municipalities. Each barangay comprises a Punong Barangay, seven Sangguniang members, the Sangguniang Kabataan Chair, a secretary, and a treasurer. The barangays are also empowered to employ personnel to provide basic services such as peace and order, humanitarian and disaster response and health care.

“All disaster risk is local while the impacts would cascade globally. Disaster resilience has no natural constituency. Resilience may appear and manifest differently in each and every barangay and community. Unfortunately, barangays that are most vulnerable to extreme events and multiple hazards are also most likely to be underinvested in, and this puts them more at risk,” said DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga.

“Local governments need to be engaged in the crafting of context-specific and responsive policies, programs and actions that put people and the environment that sustains them, first. We need to adopt a comprehensive risk management strategy, centered on prevention, rather than on relief and response,” she added.

The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction H.E. Mami Mizutori delivered the Keynote Address during the forum. SRSG Mizutori, who also heads the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), is a staunch advocate of climate change adaptation and mitigation and is driving the UN’s Early Warnings for All initiative.

Other sessions encompassed presentations on the Role of Barangays for Resilient Communities by OCD Administrator Ariel Nepomuceno, as well as panel discussions involving barangay leaders and experts on "Bakit Kailangan Maging Matatag."

Governor Jose Enrique Garcia III of Bataan province and Mayor Lucy Torres-Gomez of Ormoc City shared their insights on Ecological Resilience Imperative during the event.

Barangay leaders participating in the forum include those from the provinces of Bataan and Rizal, Ormoc City and Siargao, Surigao del Norte—pilot sites of the DENR’s Project TRANSFORM (Transdisciplinary Approach for Resilience and Environmental Sustainability through Multistakeholder Engagement). These barangays have been able to implement practices and programs in environmental protection, climate action, and disaster risk reduction through the DENR’s flagship initiative that engages the entire society in implementing programs focused on poverty alleviation, environmental protection, climate change adaptation and mitigation, disaster risk reduction, and public-private partnerships.

The "Barangayan Para sa Kalikasan at Bayang Matatag” forum aligns with the Philippines' preparations for hosting the 2024 Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (APMCDRR) in October 2024.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Antonia Loyzaga urged “obliged enterprises” to invest in building resilient communities as part of their Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) implementation by providing livelihood opportunities and capacity-building programs.

Obliged enterprises are product producers that are required to implement an EPR program under Republic Act (RA) 11898 or EPR Act of 2022. These are large enterprises that generate plastic packaging waste. Under the law, large enterprises refer to “any business entity whose total assets, inclusive of those arising from loans but exclusive of the land on which the particular business entity's office, plant and equipment are situated, are exceeding that of medium enterprises stated under Republic Act (RA) 9501, otherwise known as the "Magna Carta for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)".

The law states that MSMEs are not covered under the law. However, in case the total value of assets of all enterprises carrying the same brand, label or trademark exceeds that of medium enterprises stated under RA 9501, these enterprises shall be deemed obliged enterprises.

The DENR recently launched its nationwide EPR campaign aimed at boosting compliance to help eliminate plastic waste from the country's natural ecosystems. The EPR Act, also known as RA 11898, sets ambitious waste reduction targets, necessitating transformative, system-wide actions, and large-scale implementation.

“I call on our partners to include in their programs the improvement of livelihood of waste pickers in their communities through the development of alternative opportunities for livelihood and the incorporation into the evolving formal solid waste management industry,” said Loyzaga.

Loyzaga said resilient communities always include the vulnerable populations such as the informal waste sector and stressed the need to improve their status and work conditions, and invest in capacity building to transform their vulnerability. Apart from livelihood opportunities, other initiatives can include financial literacy programs and trainings to build entrepreneurship skills.

She added that it is necessary to capacitate LGUs and the other sectors working with them to implement a robust system on data recording, tracking, analysis, and reporting.

The EPR law places the responsibility for managing plastic waste on its producers, emphasizing waste reduction, recovery, and diversion through EPR programs. Obliged enterprises are initially required to recover 20 percent of their plastic product footprint, increasing it to 40 percent by 2024 and reaching 80 percent by 2028.

She highlighted that solutions for waste management must be coupled with approaches that enable systems become adaptable to climate change thus to consider investing in resilience. This includes integrating risks into business value cycles and investing in prevention and preparedness for hazards beyond the fence lines of business operations.

“The DENR recognizes the social dimension of plastics. What we are asking is for everyone to join us in a whole-of-government and whole-of-society effort towards sustainability and resilience through upcycling and repurposing wastes as we know it and removing plastics throughout our economy with a sufficient substitution.”

Meanwhile, Loyzaga reiterated the DENR’s commitment to ongoing dialogues with all stakeholders to enhance cooperation and overcome challenges in solid waste management. She also emphasized the importance of partnerships and support from LGUs, as well as key government agencies, including 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, and the Department of Trade and Industry.###