Press Releases

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is bolstering the production of native tree and bamboo species through the establishment of new forest nurseries and the restoration of existing ones across DENR field offices nationwide. A DENR order also sets guidelines for the establishment and maintenance of forest nurseries.

Department Memorandum Order (DMO) 2023-03 aims to guarantee the availability of free seedlings of native species for individuals, organizations, government agencies, NGOs, and tree-growing advocates. Seedlings will be distributed at no cost to requesting parties in accordance with the order.

Further, the DMO mandates existing and fully operational nurseries (EFONs) to produce a minimum of 15,000 seedlings of indigenous and endemic tree species annually. If EFONs are cultivating both native tree seedlings and bamboo culms, the minimum annual target is set at 10,000 seedlings (75% native trees and 25% bamboo). Newly-established and rehabilitated nurseries are exempt from the initial year’s seedling production targets. In subsequent years, they would be expected to produce a minimum of 15,000 seedlings annually.

Further, a 10% minimum seedling requirement is established for ornamental and indigenous flowering tree species, while the annual minimum seedling requirement for ornamental plants in DENR-NCR is increased to 30%

In cases where space is limited, seedling nurseries can be constructed in “strategic areas” outside DENR premises through partnerships and memorandums of agreement with local government units, academics, community groups, and non-government organizations.

The DENR’s directive underscores its commitment to biodiversity promotion and support for the local bamboo industry by cultivating native planting materials and bamboo species, noting the importance of producing environmentally and economically valuable bamboo species to bamboo resource productivity, accessibility in the Philippines, and the creation of urban green spaces.

The order covers all 142 DENR-Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs), DENR-National Capital Region (NCR), and 17 of the 76 DENR Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs) designated as “Implementing PENROs” (IPs) due to the absence of CENROs in their respective jurisdictions.

DENR Assistant Secretary and Forest Management Bureau Director Arleigh Adorable underscored the advantages of native trees, which are well-suited to local environmental conditions. He noted that native trees play a crucial role in providing ecosystem services, supporting local wildlife, and establishing green spaces in urban areas where a significant portion of the country’s population resides.

Some of the popular native tree species include Narra (Pterocarpus indicus), Guijo (Shorea guiso), Kamagong (Diospyrus discolor), Red Lauan (Shorea negrosensis), White Lauan (Shorea contorta), Tindalo (Afzelia rhomboidea), Yakal (Shorea astylosa), and Molave (Vitex parviflora). #

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources reiterates its call for all covered companies to register under the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program, in compliance with Republic Act 11898, or the EPR Act of 2022.

The law mandates that covered firms, called Obliged Enterprises, register their EPR programs with the DENR-led National Solid Waste Management Commission. Obliged Enterprises are defined as companies with total assets exceeding ₱100 million. They can opt to have their own programs, work as a Collective, or be part of a Producer Responsibility Organization.

As of September 2023, 709 enterprises have taken the critical step of submitting their EPR plans. These plans are designed to effectively manage plastic waste by eliminating unnecessary plastic packaging of products, developing more environmentally-friendly and recyclable packaging, and recovering waste plastic packaging. Based on data from the Department of Trade and Industry, however, there are an estimated 4,000 large enterprises in the Philippines.

“Since EPR programs might be relatively new to many companies, we expect that more enterprises will be submit their programs once they better understand how to operationalize modes of implementation into their businesses,” said DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning, and International Affairs Jonas Leones.

The EPR law specifies that Obliged Enterprises recover 20% of their generated plastic product footprint by the end of 2023 with incremental targets for fulfillment each year, until 80% is reached by 2028.

Brand owners, product manufacturers, or importers of consumer goods who implement EPR initiatives will be eligible for tax incentives. On the other hand, fines ranging from P5 million to P20 million will be levied for non-compliance with the law's provisions and target recovery rates.

The DENR is currently mounting a nationwide campaign to further explain the EPR law, its benefits, and provide support for enterprises to adopt EPR programs.

Inquiries on EPR may be referred to the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau through telephone numbers 8539-4378 local 135, 136, or 186 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..#

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) assures large-scale entrepreneurs and companies that it would extend maximum assistance to help businesses comply with the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act, allaying concerns of large businesses covered by the law by virtue of plastic packaging waste generated.

DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas R. Leones cited the positive aspects of the EPR law, emphasizing the available incentives rather than dwelling on penalties. This approach aims to inspire industries as the country enters the initial phase of EPR implementation.

“The DENR is here. We are not discussing penalties here. We’re discussing the incentives for obliged enterprises (OEs) who will comply with the EPR law. The DENR is here to assist OEs and even MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) in registering,” said Leones.

The EPR law, also known as Republic Act 11898, became effective in August 2022, with the issuance of its implementing rules and regulations in January 2023. It mandates large enterprises that generate plastic packaging to establish EPR programs for comprehensive management of plastic packaging waste throughout its lifecycle. These programs should emphasize waste reduction, recovery, and diversion, employing efficient methods like reducing non-environmentally friendly packaging and preventing plastic waste from leaking into the environment. While not mandatory for MSMEs, they are encouraged to register their EPR programs with the DENR.

Since the EPR law took effect, the DENR has been actively organizing EPR workshops and webinars to facilitate the registration of EPR programs for OEs.

Leones explained that individual businesses, industry associations, and business groups can reach out to the DENR to gain a better understanding of the law, the EPR registration process, or to seek support from producer responsibility organizations.

“I think the EPR law is one step forward to systematic waste management. We just need collaboration between government and industry. We should work together. The industry should not perceive the government as someone who penalizes them, but as someone who guides us in complying with this EPR," added Aaron Lao, President of the Philippine Plastic Industry Association.

Under the EPR law, enterprises may apply for incentives following the approval process outlined in the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended. The DENR is actively strengthening its collaboration with the Department of Finance to formulate policies related to fiscal incentives.

By the end of 2023, the EPR law requires OEs to demonstrate the recovery and diversion of 20 percent of their 2022 plastic packaging footprint. This target will progressively increase each year, with the goal of recovering at least 80 percent of the plastic waste generated by the industry by 2028.

“There is no harm in registering your EPR programs and I assure you the vision of Secretary Antonia Loyzaga is really for us to be partners in this law. Some of you may be fearful because when you read the EPR law, most of the responsibilities under this law is lodged in the industries, but as President Marcos said, ‘The preservation of the environment is the preservation of life.’ So if you really want to make your operations sustainable, we need you to comply with the EPR law,” Leones pointed out.

According to the latest data from the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau, there have been 745 EPR registrations, totaling approximately 535 million kilograms of plastic footprint registered, with a diversion target of around 107 million kilograms by year-end.

Leones underscored the urgency of addressing this issue collectively, emphasizing the need for a “whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach” to benefit all Filipinos and future generations in the battle against plastic waste. ###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is joining forces with other national government agencies (NGAs) to integrate the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act of 2022 into their respective programs and initiatives, to support its drive for companies to comply with the law.

Solid waste management, once the sole responsibility of local government units (LGUs) under Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, has evolved with Republic Act 11898, or the Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) Act, which lapsed into law in July 2022. The latter compels large companies, called Obliged Enterprises, to implement EPR programs, focusing on efficient plastic packaging waste management, reduced plastic production, importation, supply, and usage, and promoting plastic neutrality via recovery and diversion methods.

Under the EPR Act, Obliged Enterprises are firms with total assets of over PHP100-million. They are mandated by law to recover or divert 20% of their plastic footprint—or the waste generated after their products have been sold and used by consumers, by end-2023. They may do this by initiating their own EPR schemes or by tapping a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) which can help firms in recycling, waste recovery, reuse, or other initiatives.

The DENR, under the leadership of Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, advocates for a holistic approach involving the entire government and society to tackle the pressing issue of plastic pollution. This approach emphasizes the need for convergence and a shared purpose to achieve circularity.

“We are committed to continue on this journey by strategic engagement for the implementation of the EPR law. This includes scaling up of waste reduction, recovery and repurposing, and supporting product innovation that will catalyze circular economy,” Loyzaga said.

To ensure compliance with the EPR law, the DENR has been working closely with key NGAs, such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development for inclusive standards and safeguards in the informal waste sector; the Department of Science and Technology for an information hub on cleaner technology; the Department of Trade and Industry for waste management data and eco-label adoption; the Department of the Interior and Local Government for partnerships with Local Government Units and communities; the Department of Labor and Employment for fair wage policy implementation and the Department of Finance for fiscal incentive policies.

“As the lead agency in implementing the EPR law, we will be continuously collaborating with the different agencies, as well as the academe and the private sector. We will be looking for models, best practices, to implement successfully the EPR law,” said DENR Undersecretary Jonas R. Leones.

The DENR is in the thick of a nationwide EPR roadshow aimed at securing commitments from Obliged Enterprises across the country, and to explore potential areas for collaboration among NGAs, LGUs, and development partners.

For more information about EPR, interested participants can contact the DENR-EMB EPR Team through the EPR Hotline at +632 8539-4378, local 186 and 135, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. ###

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to implement a project aimed at enhancing the adaptive capacity of key cities in the Philippines to climate change impacts.

The MOU for the Climate Resilient Cities project was signed by DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga and USAID Mission Director Ryan Washburn. The five-year, PHP836.5 million (USD15 million) project will help enable the cities of Batangas, Borongan, Cotabato, Iloilo, Legazpi, and Zamboanga adapt to, mitigate and endure the impacts of climate change through knowledge-enhancement and improving access to climate change financing.

“The United States has long been the Philippines’ enduring friend, partner, and ally in addressing the impacts of climate change. As the Philippines prepares to launch its National Climate Adaptation Plan at COP 28 (2023 Climate Change Conference), USAID is working alongside climate-vulnerable cities in the country to become more resilient to these challenges. Through this project, the US government is helping local governments and other stakeholders better understand, use and disseminate climate information to communities,” said Ryan Washburn.

USAID is working with the Catholic Relief Services, as well as its other implementing partners that include the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation and Conservation International. DENR will monitor and provide oversight to the implementation of the project, ensuring that outcomes focused on the use of climate data in local climate change planning, accessing climate finance, and implementing nature-based solutions are aligned with the Philippine climate change agenda. Through the project, DENR and USAID will work towards capacity-building and development programs in partner cities and facilitate workshops and conferences, reform national or local level policies related to climate change and nature-based solutions, organize events, and promote information materials and knowledge products.

“As cities increase in number and size, it underscores the need to enhance resilience capacities to withstand climate-related shocks and stresses. The specific interest of DENR is to enhance anticipatory action, which can be aided by the purpose of this project which is to allow technical capacity to be built in local government units to understand climate data and analysis at a granularity that they can actually use to take focused and direct action,” said DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga.

The US government has been a key development partner of the Philippines for the past 60 years, working with individuals, communities, and the government to improve lives. The Climate Resilient Cities project with contribution from the Korea International Cooperation Agency, supports the Philippine government’s agenda on climate change action and resiliency, as well as the US government’s goal of addressing this global crisis by working with its partners to achieve key targets: (1) reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help partners build resilience; (2) conserve 100 million hectares of critical landscapes; and (3) support 500 million people worldwide to prepare and adapt to climate change.###