Press Releases

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, through the Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service (DENR-SCIS), conducted a virtual art workshop for persons with disabilities (PWDs) on July 23, in observance of the 43rd National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week.

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu emphasized that "PWDs who use art as a medium of expression would have a more positive outlook while honing their skills in drawing to better appreciate the environment despite the pandemic."

"The art workshop also serves as an eye-opener for the PWDs about the current state of our environment, and how they can contribute to protect the natural resources," Cimatu added.

A total of 59 participants took part in the virtual art workshop, dubbed "Angels of Art: Colors of the Environment," which was led by special education professor Ernyros Manlangit.

For his part, National Council on Disability Affairs Executive Director Emerito Roxas said children with a disability could "express their innermost thoughts and feelings through visual arts."

"Art, therefore, may be a form of therapy that nurtures and develops their mind and body," Roxas said in his welcome message.

The 43rd National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week is celebrated every July 17-23, 2021 pursuant to the Proclamation No. 1870 series of 1970 and as amended by Proclamation No. 361 and Administrative Order No. 35, both in 2002.

It is commemorated annually to enhance public awareness on issues and problems involving disability, thereby encouraging every citizen of the country to take active responsibility in uplifting the economic and social conditions of all PWDs in society.

The theme for this year is "Kalusugan at Kaunlaran ng Pilipinong May Kapansanan, Isulong sa Gitna ng Pandemya," which focuses on the health and economic empowerment of PWDs during this time of the pandemic. ###

 

The 4th National Environmental Law Enforcement (NELE) Summit led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) ended recently with the adoption of three resolutions to prevent and fight environmental crimes.

The NELE summit, held last July 14-16, resulted in the adoption of resolutions to approve a five-year indicative plan of the National Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee-Sub-committee on Environment and Natural Resources; to support the enactment of the proposed Environmental Protection and Enforcement Bureau (EPEB); and to request for immediate passage of a bill that will amend Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

Signatories of these resolutions include the DENR, Department of Agriculture, Philippine National Police-Maritime Group, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Transportation, and Department of National Defense.

In his keynote message, Secretary Roy A. Cimatu emphasized the crucial role of DENR's partner agencies in the strict enforcement of environmental laws, as he urged them to "stay vigilant, assertive and cohesive as stewards and guardians of the environment."

He admitted that the DENR has limitations in enforcing the law, which is why it is important that partner agencies and other entities must cooperate to ensure the stringent and effective enforcement of environmental laws.

"During the current pandemic, restrictions on interzonal movements and numerous checkpoints have driven violators to become more creative. If we can use drones with cameras to monitor forests, the coasts and the seas, so too can the enemy,” Cimatu said in his keynote address read by DENR Undersecretary for Attached Agencies and Chief of Staff Rodolfo Garcia.

"The DENR, by itself, cannot enforce all environmental laws across our archipelago. The challenge requires a whole-of-government response, as well as the cooperation of stakeholders outside the government, from host communities and the private sector to friends abroad," Cimatu added.

DENR Undersecretary for Enforcement Benito Antonio De Leon said the result of the summit is "the general framework for the effective and efficient enforcement of environmental laws for the next five years."

"The Summit gave an overview of major developments in each of the concerned sectors. Milestones on the enforcement of blue, green, and brown laws in the last 15 years were also presented," De Leon said.

According to De Leon, the NELE Summit participants were also "given brief information on transnational organized crime, the roles of the Bangsamoro Government in environmental protection and enforcement, and the creation of the EPEB."

"These inputs were used in the identification of gaps and development of an action plan that allowed us to finally craft the 4th NELE Action Plan for the next five years," he added.

The NELE Summit serves as a venue for updating about the latest developments on environmental law enforcement, such as new laws and policies, implementing guidelines, programs, and tools.

It also highlights the technology conceptualized, developed, and implemented by member agencies, and reporting by the member agencies of accomplishments and other activities implemented.

The summits have also been the venue for ensuring continuous coordination and cooperation among the environmental law enforcement agencies and giving recognition to partner agencies and institutions, as well as individuals. ###


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is hopeful that the soon to rise Libertad sewage treatment plant (STP) and wastewater interceptor will further improve the water quality of Manila Bay.

“The current fecal coliform level in Libertad Outfall 1 is at 160 million MPN (most probable number) per 100 ml (milliliters). But with the groundbreaking of yet another STP coupled with wastewater interceptor in partnership with MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority), we will be able to boost our capability to mitigate water pollution,” DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said during the groundbreaking ceremony for the establishment of the Libertad STP and wastewater interceptor in Pasay City recently.

He explained that the Libertad STP aims to treat wastewater coming from the Tripa de Gallina — identified as the "main polluter" that has been discharging wastewater to the Libertad Channel and drains into Manila Bay.

Cimatu said projects, such as the construction of the Libertad STP and wastewater interceptor, are pursuant to the 2008 Supreme Court writ of continuing mandamus to “clean up, rehabilitate and preserve Manila Bay.”

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said the construction of a new STP will help address the issue of bad smell and restore the quality of water in Metro Manila.
The Libertad STP can treat 10 million liters of wastewater per day and has a catchment area of 779 hectares. It is the second STP in partnership with MMDA. The first one is the fully-operational solar-powered STP along Roxas Boulevard in Manila which was inaugurated last year.

The DENR will be funding the STP’s construction while the MMDA will be in charge of the maintenance and operations of the treatment plant.
The construction of the STP and wastewater interceptor is scheduled for completion in November 2021.

Cimatu also said the DENR is planning to use the treated wastewater for watering plants and for the firetrucks of Pasay City.
He emphasized that the government will not relent in ensuring the rehabilitation of Manila Bay as the DENR also targets the cleanup of the section of Manila Bay in Navotas City.

"There’s still a lot of work to be done along the Navotas Fish Port. This is my target towards the end of the year. If not, I still have six months," said Cimatu, who chairs the Manila Bay Task Force.

He pointed out that cleanup efforts are also ongoing in the provinces of Cavite, Bataan, Bulacan, and Pampanga to address the pollution in Manila Bay.
"I believe that a multi-sectoral and participatory approach would yield more palpable results toward minimizing pollution and protecting the water bodies that empty into Manila Bay," Cimatu said. ###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) extended its gratitude to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for his "immeasurable support" to the environmental programs and projects of the agency, as it committed to double its efforts until his term ends in 2022.

"We at the Department have the utmost gratitude to our honorable President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for his immeasurable support to the initiatives of the DENR and for reinforcing the need to protect and conserve the environment," said DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu after President Duterte's final State of the Nation Address (SONA).

"The DENR’s programs and projects will not be successful without the President’s trust and confidence that we can deliver on his instructions," Cimatu added.

In his last SONA on Monday, July 26, the President raised some of the DENR's accomplishments under his term such as the rehabilitation of Manila Bay pursuant to the Supreme Court continuing mandamus in 2008.

Compliance and action to the order was only undertaken in 2019 after the President issued Administrative Order 16, Expediting the rehabilitation and restoration of the coastal and marine ecosystem of the Manila Bay and creating the Manila Bay Task Force.

He “urged the DENR to continue working with the LGUs to restore Manila Bay to its former glory.”

The President also reported on the closure of all 335 illegally operating open dumpsites in the country, and the establishment of 151 sanitary landfills for various local governments.

The DENR shut down all 335 open dumpsites following the strict enforcement of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 ordered by Cimatu.

The chief executive also mentioned that establishments “have been forced to comply with environmental laws and ordinances while those who did not, have been closed.” This resulted in reduced pollution, and coliform levels which have not been achieved in years.

The President also raised the successful return of the illegal shipment of garbage to Canada. These wastes arrived in the country in 2013 but were returned only in 2019.

Cimatu said that the task to protect, conserve, and manage the country’s environment and natural resources is a gargantuan task but is made "possible and doable by a firm, fearless and determined leader” in the person of the President.

He assured President Duterte that the DENR will work even harder to accomplish its mandate and mission in the remaining months of his term.
"With the untiring support of President Duterte, we can assure the Filipino people that all personnel of the DENR will continue doing his and her responsibility to conserve and protect the country’s environment and natural resources," Cimatu said.

"However, we also appeal to all Filipinos to join us in this crusade as part of the whole-of-nation approach. It is equally our duty and responsibility to do our share, " Cimatu concluded. ###

 

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) assures the public that after the assessment of the Beach Nourishment Project in Manila Bay this morning, the dolomite area as well as the geotubes and geotextiles installed as geo interventions for the project are all intact. The dolomite sand has not been washed out and the dolomite pebbles were only pushed to the perimeter of the beach area.

While the normal high tide level is 1.3 meters, it rose to 1.5 to 1.6 meters because of the habagat or southwest monsoon that started last week and continued into the weekend.

As a result, a huge amount of trash was swept by the waves which accumulated in the area. These were traced to have come from the Pasig River and Cavite and from all the tributaries that flow to the bay. Plastic cups, wrappers and styropor were among the trash collected.

A huge number of bamboo poles from fish pens, fish cages, and baklads/sapras were also washed ashore.

In view of this, and consistent with the Supreme Court mandamus on Manila Bay directing all mandamus agencies to dismantle and remove all illegal structures, constructions, and other encroachments in Manila Bay, I have ordered Executive Director Nilo Tamoria of Region 4A (CALABARZON) to conduct an immediate and complete inventory of all the fish pens, fish cages, baklads/sapras in Cavite, and to identify those with permits to operate. Legitimate operators will be required to repair their damaged fish pens and cages while those without permits shall be ordered to immediately self-demolish.

Even prior to the start of the habagat or southwest monsoon, I have already directed the Regional Executive Directors of the National Capital Region, and Regions 3 and 4A to strictly implement proper solid waste management especially in their areas of jurisdiction.

I wish to express my thanks and appreciation to all the volunteers, river rangers and estero rangers who are helping clean the Manila Baywalk and Baseco of all trash as part of the continuing rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

We at the DENR believe that behavioral change is the key and ultimate solution to address the issue of solid waste management in the country.###