Press Releases

 

The Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCAM-DRR), chaired by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), has committed to strengthening the country's response to climate change, following the release of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report.

The United Nations-led IPCC report provides the most compelling and comprehensive information on the state of the world’s climate today.

Citing the pronouncement of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, CCAM-DRR Cluster chairperson and DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the report findings are considered a "code red for humanity" and that "the need to act collectively and decisively has never been more urgent."

"With the urgent call set forth by the latest IPCC report, we will continue to prioritize actions and investments that will reduce the long-term impacts, and increase our resilience and adaptive capacity to both the coronavirus pandemic and climate change," Cimatu said.

The IPCC report highlighted the irrefutable evidence that human influence caused the unprecedented warming of the planet and has exposed more regions to the increasing and intensifying impacts of climate change.

Cimatu assured that the national government is carrying out wide-ranging reforms in fostering improved environmental governance, sustainable infrastructure, renewable energy, and knowledge management on climate and disaster solutions.

"The CCAM-DRR Cabinet Cluster adopted the Risk Resiliency Program (RRP) as its convergence program to truly help protect our communities, especially in climate-vulnerable provinces and major urban centers, from climate-induced disasters and spare future generations from the worst impacts that climate change could bring about," he said.

Serving as the convergence program of the Cluster, the RRP aims to increase the adaptive capacities of vulnerable communities; ensure the adequate supply of clean air, water, and other natural resources; increase the resilience of critical infrastructures; and enhance knowledge, access to information and institutional capacities of communities.

"Given limited fiscal space for the CCAM-DRR sector, we will put focus on water security and water resilience as our policy thrust and direction in order to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, adapt to climate change, and enable economic growth by enabling the conditions for a healthy and prosperous population through a healthy environment," he added.

The Cluster’s priority programs are on the management of watersheds, protected areas and wetlands, coastal and marine ecosystems, groundwater resources, water quality, and water conservation.

The DENR has an approved budget ceiling in the amount of Php 25.295 billion for 2022.

Cimatu said the Philippines has committed, in its Nationally Determined Contribution to a projected greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the reduction, and avoidance of 75 percent from 2020 to 2030.

Of this figure, 2.71 percent is unconditional, and 72.29 percent is conditional, representing the country’s ambition for GHG mitigation between 2020 and 2030 for the sectors of agriculture, wastes, industry, transport, and energy.

The country’s climate change mitigation actions also include strengthening the resilience and adaptive capacity of the country, including through enhanced access to climate finance, technology development and transfer, and capacity building, especially on the implementation of the policies and measures on, and the uptake of circular economy and sustainable consumption and production practices.

Cimatu also said that the Task Force Build Back Better--an inter-agency body which he co-chairs with Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar--is steadfast in its efforts to improve adaptive capacities of ecosystems and communities in Cagayan, Marikina, and Bicol River Basins, which bore the brunt of typhoons Rolly and Ulysses in November 2020.

Cimatu stressed the opportunity to use green recovery from the COVID-19 to push for investments and reforms addressing underlying vulnerabilities and strengthening resilience.

"The COVID-19 pandemic provides us the opportunity to take a step back, and re-evaluate our programs and projects for the environment and economy. We need to identify recovery interventions that will also drive us towards a low-carbon, resilient, and green development," Cimatu said. ###

 

 

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy A. Cimatu is encouraging Filipinos to watch the TV premiere of the third "Our Fragile Earth: Protected Areas of the Philippines" documentary series on Aug. 22 to learn more about the importance of conserving the country's rich biodiversity.

"It is a good opportunity to know more about our protected areas while we are temporarily unable to go outside. They would not only learn about these magnificent ecological sites; remembering that we have these in the country can increase our positive outlook in life," Cimatu said.

The documentary series, which is produced by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB), aims to gain support from the government and non-government partners to enhance the conservation of protected areas in the Philippines.

The third installment of the "Our Fragile Earth" series will feature eight protected areas in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Davao Region, and Soccsksargen namely, Dinadiawan River Protected Landscape, Talaytay Protected Landscape, Amro River Protected Landscape, Simbahan-Talagas Protected Landscape, Quezon Protected Landscape, Masinloc and Oyon Bay Protected Landscape and Seascape, Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape, and Pujada Bay Protected Landscape and Seascape.

Conceptualized and hosted by House Deputy Speaker and Antique Rep. Loren Legarda, the third part of the documentary series will premiere on ABS-CBN News Channel on Aug. 22 at 5:30 p.m.

"How can we conserve what we do not know about, what we do not understand? Our people’s energies must be used to defend our natural heritage. We must all work together to conserve wildlife and nature and mitigate disasters worsened by climate change. Our survival also depends on how well we understand our surroundings," Legarda said.

The documentary series is one of Legarda's initiatives to promote ecological and sustainable tourism in all protected areas, especially those covered by the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas Systems Act of 2018 (ENIPAS Act) or Republic Act 11038.

"I principally authored the ENIPAS Act, which seeks to protect our protected areas. Its passage in 2018 would just be the beginning. Now that we already have the legal mechanism to protect these critical areas and prevent biodiversity loss, the challenge for us is to ensure its strict implementation as well as promoting awareness on the importance of conserving biodiversity and of the underlying threats to it,” Legarda said.

Signed on June 22, 2018, the ENIPAS Act paved the way for the establishment of 94 protected areas in the country, increasing the number of legislated PAs to 107.

It also serves as a mechanism to strengthen climate change adaptation measures and mandates Filipinos to ensure the integrity of ecosystems of the country for the present and future generations.

For his part, DENR Undersecretary for Special Concerns and BMB OIC Director Edilberto DC Leonardo said that protected areas are "unquestionably cradles of biodiversity."

"They have been set aside because of their immense biological significance and the ecosystem services they provide. In this series, we will introduce a new set of protected areas to the general public that highlight the role of nature--forests, rivers, and coastal and marine ecosystems as our life support system," Leonardo pointed out.

"We simply cannot survive without clean water, air, food, raw materials, among many other benefits that these ecosystems provide. They are the very reason why we need to maintain these ecosystems in a system of protected areas," he added. ###

 

 

As the whole country struggles to cope with the rising number of coronavirus cases, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reiterated its call for the proper disposal of household health care waste to protect garbage collectors and haulers from COVID-19 and other diseases.

Since the start of the pandemic in March last year, the DENR has consistently and repeatedly reminded households to segregate their used face masks, face shields, and disposable gloves because these are potentially contaminated and infectious waste.

“Our garbage collectors are also our frontliners. They are at a very high risk of infection every time they collect unsegregated and improperly disposed household health care waste,” DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu pointed out.

“If we really want to stop the spread of this virus, then we must all be responsible not only for ourselves but also for others,” he added.

The environment chief warned that it only takes one infected garbage collector to spread COVID-19. “Think of the members of his family, his co-workers, his community, and you arrive at a possible exponential transmission of the virus. Let us protect those who protect us,” Cimatu said.

The DENR secretary has also previously reminded local government units (LGUs) to prioritize the handling of pandemic-related trash by imposing strict waste segregation in households and implementing an effective collection system.

Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and LGUs Concerns Benny D. Antiporda said the DENR has “not wavered in warning the public that the lives of garbage collectors are at stake if there is utter disregard for proper waste disposal.”

“If they get sick, then we are faced with the even bigger and more serious problem of collection and disposal of these household health care waste,” Antiporda said.

“Pakinggan po natin ang panawagan ng ating mga garbage collectors na ihiwalay at itali ng mabuti ang mga basurang ito upang maiwasan ang posibilidad na makuha nila ang COVID-19 virus mula sa mga ganitong uri ng basura,” the DENR official appealed.

He added, “These household health care wastes – face masks, face shields and gloves – that we use every day should not be mixed with the residual wastes. Lagyan po natin ng label na household health care wastes ang mga ito, so that these will be properly handled by our garbage collectors”.
Antiporda also reminded LGUs of their duty to ensure compliance with Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, which covers the safe disposal of waste not only from households but also from medical and health care facilities.

He has previously called on LGUs to provide personal protective equipment to garbage collectors to protect them from waste potentially contaminated with coronavirus.

The DENR—through its Environmental Management Bureau—already has an existing set of guidelines on managing hazardous waste as stated in memorandum circulars 2020-14, 2020-15 and 2020-16 on the issuance of Special Permit to Transport for the Treatment and Disposal of Health Care Waste.

The agency also follows the standards set forth by the Asian Development Bank under its Due Diligence on the Philippine COVID-19 Immunization Waste Management Plan. ###


The Land Management Bureau (LMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will pilot test an online data-sharing system with the municipality of Bay in Laguna province to fast track the process of land titling and address land titling conflicts.

Under the said project, the tax declaration records of the local government unit (LGU) of Bay and the scanned land records and geospatial information system (GIS) data of the DENR-CALABARZON will be linked online and updated in real-time creating a coordinated approach in the process of land titling.

Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the land data-sharing innovation between the DENR and Bay municipal government is considered a first in the country.

"With this new data-sharing development, land titling processes administered by the DENR and the Bay LGU will significantly improve, especially in the harmonization of geospatial information and the validation of property owners," Cimatu said.

DENR-CALABARZON Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria and Bay Mayor Jose O. Padrid signed a memorandum of partnership agreement for the implementation of the data linkage project on July 28.

DENR-LMB Director Emelyne V. Talabis said the agency is looking forward to more partnerships with other LGUs in the coming years.

The data linkage between DENR’s Digital Cadastral Database and Bay LGU’s tax declaration database will be facilitated through the Land Administration Management System (LAMS) of the DENR-LMB.

Through the online interface LAMS Gateway, the exchange of land information will be executed by a standard communication protocol where external parties like the LGU can establish a connection using the Real Property Tax System computer software.

"This new system will develop an enabling mechanism that will effectively and efficiently implement a geospatial information management system across the Philippine government bureaucracy," Talabis said.

At present, LGUs—through their Assessor’s Office—maintains a computer system procured from private software developers that manage and track the land records and spatial data used to issue tax declarations and for the Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

The procurement and management of the computer system entail investing money or acquiring loans from banks for low-income LGUs. In cases of mutations of parcels, spatial data is not updated and is rendered outdated and useless over time.

Due to outdated spatial data, possible duplicate or multiple tax declarations for a single lot are not detected, which can potentially lead to multiple titles being issued for the same lot.

With the integration, LGUs can freely access land records and reliable GIS data from the DENR regional offices, avoiding poor management and erroneous records.

GIS data from the DENR is built from the approved cadastral surveys and is kept updated in the approval of new survey plans.

The data linkage will improve the land titling processes of the DENR by using the information from the tax declaration information in screening and validating the rightful owner of land property. Applicants no longer need to submit hard copies of their tax declarations to the DENR.

Also, it will enforce the prevention of issuance of duplicate titles arising from multiple tax declarations, provision of relevant information on claims for untitled lots during adjudication, improve public service delivery, and eliminate commercialization of spatial data. ###

 

DENR National Capital Region signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Megaworld Corporation on the rollout of the Community PanTREE project on Thursday, August 5, 2021.

Under the agreement, Megaworld will host and setup Community PanTREE booths in their malls and distribute free seedlings of fruit-bearing trees and vegetable crops to give interested patrons.

The MOU was signed by DENR National Capital Region Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan and Megaworld Corporation Vice President and Head of Marketing and Business Development, Ms. Tefel Pesigan-Valentino. Standing as witnesses are Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services, Engr. Ignacio R. Almira Jr., for DENR National Capital Region, and Ms. Ma. Aurora D. Pastolero for Megaworld Corp.

Forester Arturo G. Calderon, Chief of the Production Forest Management Section (PFMS) and his staff and counterparts from Megaworld Corporation, were also present in the ceremonial signing.

The Community PanTREE project is DENR National Capital Region’s contribution to efforts to assist Metro Manilans deal with, among others, quarantine fatigue and food security, through urban gardening.

“We want to help people to be productive during these critical times, for them to have sustainable sources of food, and to minimize their pandemic-induced stress at the same time by encouraging them to plant and start nurturing nature,” RED Caancan explained. Several studies, she adds, have shown the effectiveness of exposure to nature—to green vegetation in particular—in reducing stress.

“Being in the forest, hearing all the sounds that come from the forest—birds chirping, rustling leaves, gurgling brooks—the play of sunlight through the leaves, the fresh, clean air, all these things give us a sense of comfort. They ease our stress and worry,” said RED Caancan. “And having a garden, however small, is the closest we can get to simulate that feeling of being in the forest,” she concluded.

The project was first launched on April 22 in time with the celebration of Earth Day and has since been replicated by other DENR offices.

Eastwood Mall at Eastwood City, Quezon City; Venice Grand Canal Mall at McKinley Hill, Taguig City; and, Arcovia Mall at Pasig City will be hosting the Community PanTREEs. Those who want to avail of free seedlings of fruit-bearing trees and vegetables may visit said malls after the termination of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila. ###