Press Releases

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Land Management Bureau (DENR LMB) was awarded for the second consecutive year as one of the “Top Requested and Performing Agencies” in the eFOI (Freedom of Information) portal for 2020 in a virtual ceremony organized by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Land Management Bureau (DENR LMB) was awarded for the second consecutive year as one of the “Top Requested and Performing Agencies” in the eFOI (Freedom of Information) portal for 2020 in a virtual ceremony organized by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).


Recognized for championing freedom of information, the LMB garnered the award due to its high rate of responses to information requests made by the public.
“I’d like to commend the LMB for exercising information transparency and responsibility amidst the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Your commitment in the service is truly admirable.  Let us continue this success for 2021,” said DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.


The LMB has managed to successfully process at least 90% of the information requests despite the imposed quarantine by establishing an FOI Desk in the Public Assistance Section (PAS) under the Records and Knowledge Management Division (RKMD) to answer land queries and requests.


“We are honored to be recognized again as one of the ‘Top Requested and Performing Agencies’ for this year.  This motivates us to continue working and providing Filipinos with access to information particularly on land matters.  We thank PCOO for recognizing our efforts on FOI,” said LMB Director Atty. Emelyne V. Talabis.


The FOI Awards is an annual event which aims to recognize the remarkable contributions of government offices in the executive branch, including government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), state universities and colleges (SUCs), and local water districts (LWDs) to the development and progress of the PCOO’s FOI program.


The 2020 FOI Awards with the theme “Committed, Responsive and Revolutionary,” rallies to: Commit—that government institutions shall continue to uphold the people’s right to access information and initiate important discourses in bridging current policy and implementation gaps; Respond—that government institutions shall pursue to make critical and informed decisions based on timely, credible, and verified information and take on an active role in addressing disinformation; and, Revolutionize— that government institutions shall seek and adopt innovative methods in building and reconstructing better systems and approaches which facilitate the effective disclosure of information all amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 


The FOI program is being implemented under Executive Order (EO) No. 2 series of 2016, which operationalizes in the Executive branch the people’s right to information and to do full public disclosure and transparency in the public service.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units (LGUs) Concerns Benny D. Antiporda has expressed his gratitude to the Manila City vloggers for their regular and accurate public updates on the ongoing rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

Antiporda, who is also the Supervising Undersecretary for Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service, noted that the vloggers have been continuously producing positive "vlogs" or video blogs and sharing updates since the Manila Bay rehabilitation, dubbed as "Battle for Manila Bay," started in 2019.

"Most of their posts have been viewed by thousands of people, which have contributed in informing the public on the status of the historic bay," he said. "The vlogs about Manila Bay have proven that they are very effective in informing and educating the Filipinos."

Antiporda also thanked Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso for his continuous support for DENR programs and projects.

In his recent meeting with the Manila-based vloggers, Antiporda took the opportunity to update them on the DENR's accomplishments during the second year of the Manila Bay rehabilitation program.

These include the decrease in the bay's fecal coliform level, establishment of a solar-powered sewage treatment plant on Roxas Boulevard, and mangrove planting activity at the BASECO lagoon in Tondo, Manila.

Antiporda also announced that the Manila Bay beach rehabilitation project is already about 30 percent complete. The overlaying of crushed dolomite along the 500-meter coastline of Manila Bay will be done in one to two months, he said.

“Sinasabi nilang dinagdagan ang dolomite. Hindi totoo iyon. Walang ganon. Wala pong na wash-out, na wash-in po ang black sand. Ire-reiterate po namin na pumasok po ang black sand, nilinis po nila iyon.” Antiporda said.

He added: “Maraming naririnig na haka-hakang negatibo na sinasabi, pero handa naman po kaming tanggapin. Let’s just wait for the project to finish and that’s the time siguro na bago sila humusga. That’s the time na we will face them kung sakali talagang may pagkakamali at pagkukulang. But based on our studies, perfect po ang proyektong ito para sa ating taong bayan.”

 

Aside from the Manila Bay rehabilitation, the DENR official also shared the programs on solid waste management, one of which is the turnover of composting machines to the local government units to convert food wastes into soil conditioners.

Antiporda said the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau is also planning to seek assistance from the Department of the Interior and Local Government to come up with guidelines on managing food wastes. ###

 

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary and Task Force Build Back Better (TFBBB) co-chair Roy A. Cimatu said the government is all set for the removal of sandbars along the constricted section of Cagayan River called "Magapit Narrows" by late January or early February.

"This is a strategic move in the short-term while medium- and long-term solutions for the flooding in Cagayan Valley are still underway," Cimatu said during the Jan. 7 meeting of the TFBBB, which he co-chairs with Secretary Mark Villar of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The three sandbars are located in Magapit Narrows, which is being described by the DPWH as the "constriction point" in the mid-stream portion of the 500-kilometer Cagayan River.

The DPWH reported that the three sandbars have a total estimated volume of seven million cubic meters, covering 235 hectares of sandbars.

These are located at Barangay Bangag in Lal-lo town covering 11.4 hectares with 334,305 cubic meters of sand; Casicallan Norte, Gattaran that covers 89 hectares with 2.7 million cubic meters of sand; and Dummun, Gattaran covering 174.70 hectares with 4.04 million cubic meters of sand.

Of the 19 priority sandbars, Cimatu explained that the DPWH has recommended the immediate dredging of the three sandbars in the Magapit Narrows as these significantly hinder the flow of flood water to the Aparri Delta and finally to the Babuyan Channel.

The DENR chief said the TFBBB is tapping the resources of other national agencies to fast track the removal of the three sandbars, which the DPWH estimates to be completed after a year.

Six units of dredging equipment, which are modular type for ease of transport and assembly in the dredging sites, will be deployed by the DPWH in Magapit Narrows.

The removal of sandbars will be done in 250-meter segments or blocks, while the use of geotubes is proposed for the management of dredged materials.

"This is another showcase of whole-of-government approach," Cimatu said, stressing that the strategy "will drastically reduce the flooding problem in Cagayan Valley."

Twenty-four dump trucks, five bulldozers, five scoop loaders, four prime movers with long bed, and two backhoe loaders from the Armed Forces of the Philippines are on stand-by for deployment to augment the equipment of the DPWH.

Cimatu also ordered DENR-Cagayan Valley Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan to coordinate with her local counterparts at the Department of Labor and Employment and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to ask for assistance from the beneficiaries of Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/ Displaced Workers program as well as TESDA-trained heavy equipment operators and mechanics in the dredging activities.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar welcomed Cimatu's move to beef up DPWH’s manpower needs with the project operating in two three-hour shifts. ###

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has ordered the establishment of engineering interventions and strict enforcement of environmental laws to stop illegal wastewater discharge along Roxas Boulevard amid the ongoing rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

“In order to solve the pollution in the waters of Manila Bay, we at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) should trace all the illegal pipes that directly drain polluted wastewater to the bay,” Cimatu said.

The DENR chief issued the statement after a culvert or drainage pipe discovered hidden behind boulders at Station 640 along the Manila Baywalk on Roxas Boulevard was found to be discharging untreated wastewater directly into the bay.

Based on water analysis, fecal coliform count in the area was significantly high at 50 million most probable number per 100 milliliters (MPN/100ml).

After further inspection, three more alleged culverts along the baywalk were discovered. Pipes were found beside the Remedios drainage outfall across Aristocrat Restaurant, Station 240 beside the Padre Faura outfall, and near the Estero San Antonio de Abad outfall.

The coliform level, specifically at the Remedios outfall, was measured at 32 million MPN/100 ml. A total of 33 intake drainages were also observed from the US Embassy to the Manila Yacht Club.

Water coming from these drainages flow into a line drainage canal along the baywalk, drain towards the Remedios outfall, and eventually to Manila Bay.

“We will continue to examine more closely these culverts, illegal connections, and outfalls. Otherwise, these will continue to spew out pollutants that can impede our progress in the rehabilitation of Manila Bay,” Cimatu said.

He added that the DENR will conduct further investigation to determine which establishments are connected to the illegal pipes.

“We will study the legal actions we can pursue against these establishments to ensure that they are made accountable for their violation of environmental laws,” Cimatu said.

“We want to make all violators realize that laws shouldn’t be taken lightly if we want to see a behavior change in the next generations.”

At the same time, Cimatu ordered the immediate plugging of these illegal outfalls in order to stop the flow of untreated waters that continue to pollute the bay, and for concerned establishments to connect to official sewer lines.

He also instructed the Manila Bay Task Force to conduct desiltation and rehabilitation of line drainage canal to improve water flow in the Padre Faura and Remedios outfalls. ###

The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has lined up activities this January to celebrate Zero Waste Month and the 20th anniversary of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

"Solid waste management ranks among the priority programs of the DENR especially in the context of our cleanup efforts in Manila Bay," Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said.

"Proper disposal of solid waste will avoid the clogging of tributaries and prevent trash from being washed into the rivers and seas that affect aquatic ecosystems, livelihood and health," the DENR chief pointed out.

The DENR has also been at the forefront of the disposal of household healthcare wastes at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), chaired by the DENR Secretary, issued Resolution No. 1364 series of 2020 on the "Interim Guidelines on the Management of COVID-Related Health Care Waste" in April 2020.

The guidelines cover the proper handling and management of all COVID-19 related health care wastes generated by households and other facilities. It also ensures the occupational health and safety of waste workers.

DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units (LGUs) Concerns and NSWMC Alternate Chair Benny D. Antiporda said solid waste management has now been given the priority and the importance it needs.

This continues, he said, with the activities with LGUs and concerned government agencies and stakeholders.

"We will shatter the notion that solid waste management is the last and the least. Its relevance to the environment, our natural resources, and well-being of the people is primary," Antiporda said.

The month-long celebration will kick-off with a blended virtual and face-to-face seminar on the management of household health care wastes and special wastes on January 8.

A lecture on the Guide on the Conduct of Waste Analysis and Characterization Study (WACS) and guidelines on waste to energy for local government units (LGUs) will be also held on January 13.

DENR has also scheduled public consultations for the month of January on the possible list of Non-Environmentally Acceptable Products (NEAP).

This is in line with RA 9003 that the NSWMC “shall, after public notice and hearing, prepare a list of non-environmentally acceptable products as defined in the Act that shall be prohibited according to a schedule to be prepared by the Commission. The NEAP shall not be prohibited until the Commission finds there are alternatives available to consumers at a cost that is no more than ten percent (10%) greater than the disposable product.”

Likewise, a consultation on the Policy on the Procedural Guidelines for the Clustering of Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF) Among LGUs to Cater Household Hazardous Wastes (HHWs) and Health Care Wastes (HCWs) in an Environmentally Sound Manner will be conducted this month.

The procedural guidelines shall cover facilities deemed as safe shelters of front liners as well as residential units involved in the generation, management and handling of healthcare wastes and household hazardous wastes.

The third meeting of Sanitary Landfill Operators will be held on January 22 to finalize the procedures and strategies in the creation of the Sanitary Landfill Operators of the Philippines. The organization shall support the government in providing the proper disposal facilities to the LGUs in accordance with the provisions of RA 9003.

On January 25, EMB and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will roll-out the TESDA E-Learning Material on Practicing Solid Waste Management in the Workplace for public use. The material was developed by EMB-Solid Waste Management Division and TESDA.

A culminating activity will be held on January 26 to mark the 20th year of RA 9003 and to highlight the accomplishments of the national agencies which include the NSWMC members, and LGUs in the implementation of the Act.

In December last year, Antiporda and the EMB turned over the first batch of shredder-composter equipment to the local governments of Pampanga including San Fernando City and the towns of Apalit, Candaba, Guagua and Magalang.

EMB targets to distribute initially one unit each of the equipment to the 178 LGUs within the Manila Bay region in 2021. ###