Press Releases

DENR Statement No. 2 -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has created Task Force Naujan Oil Spill after an emergency meeting convened between the Department, the Philippine Coast Guard, Oriental Mindoro Governor Bonz Dolor, and Naujan Mayor Henry Joel Teves. DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga has designated Undersecretary and Chief of Staff Marilou Erni as Task Force Commander. Undersecretary Erni previously served as the corporate ground response coordinator during the Guimaras Oil Spill in 2006.

Other members of the Task Force include Undersecretary Jonas Leones, Undersecretary Juan Miguel Cuna, Assistant Secretary and concurrent Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Director Gilbert Gonzales, Assistant Secretary and concurrent Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) Director Marcial Amaro Jr., Regional Executive Director Lormelyn Claudio, and representatives from the local government units: Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENR) Officer Alan L. Valle and Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Officer Rodel Boyles.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), particularly its Marine Environmental Protection Command, is the lead agency tasked with response operations in the affected area. PCG confirmed that the MT Princess Empress, which carries 800,000 liters of industrialized fuel oil, has already submerged. With known coordinates, PCG will install spill booms to protect the locally-managed marine protected areas. The Task Force, in cooperation with PCG and the Philippine Air Force, will conduct an aerial surveillance in the coming days to further assess the situation.

As of writing, the oil spill has reached an area six kilometers long and four kilometers wide. DENR- EMB carried out water sampling in three municipalities: Naujan, Pola, and Pinamalayan. A DENR- BMB report states that on a maximum of 40-kilometer radius from 5NM East of Balingawan Port, 21 locally-managed marine protected areas (LMMPAs) can be potentially affected due to oil spillage. It has mapped potential risk areas including seagrass beds, mangroves, and dispersion pathways for spawned fish larvae.

The Secretary expressed the DENR’s full support and assistance to Governor Dolor, Mayor Teves, and the other local governments affected. It has coordinated with experts in the private sector to immediately address the emergency situation and create a mid to long-term risk management strategy for the affected areas. ###


Please click to see the Statement of DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga on the Oriental Mindoro Oil Spill:

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) was notified of the incident at approximately 1:30 PM today and immediately instructed its regional personnel to access the site.

Preliminary reports gathered state that the vessel encountered engine trouble and drifted towards the vicinity waters of Naujan due to rough seas. It then became half-submerged.

Access to the area was limited due to the bad weather. Observation of the impact has been limited to aerial survey.

The DENR is continuously coordinating with the local government of Naujan and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG). We are monitoring the site in relation to the potential marine biodiversity impacts and the possible risk to lives and livelihoods in the area due to the direction of the current and distance from the shoreline which may be affected.

As of this time, the vessel is positioned on the eastern side of Mindoro Island at an estimated distance of 8 to 12 nautical miles. Wind direction is northwards.

The Philippine Coast Guard has mobilized certified oil spill response organizations to support the PCG operations. ###


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recognizes the critical role of the youth in facing the various challenges brought about by climate change.

“The youth play a significant role in ensuring climate justice and it is important for us to build a workforce for the future that is climate-literate and who will demand transformative action,” DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga shared in her keynote address delivered by Undersecretary for Field Operations-Luzon, Visayas and the Environment Juan Miguel T. Cuna during the opening of the three-day 4th Philippine Environment Summit in Tagaytay City on February 21.

Loyzaga emphasized that the DENR understands the urgent call for climate action made by the youth and their dissatisfaction with incremental changes in dealing with the climate emergency.

Moreover, she said the DENR values the power of the youth in bringing new ideas and innovations into climate actions.

“When empowered, young people can build climate resilience and adaptive capacity in their communities to enable sustainable response against the impacts of climate change,” Loyzaga said.

She pointed out that the DENR will soon launch a youth-focused initiative that will connect decision makers with youth leaders to boost climate action by showcasing youth-led climate-resilient initiatives and solutions.

During the second day of the Summit, DENR Undersecretary and chief of staff Marilou G. Erni conducted the “Voice of the Youth: Interaction Workshop” where the DENR conversed with youth participants on new ideas and innovations that will aid in meaningful policy decisions and actions on climate change.

The DENR under the administration of Loyzaga aims to implement transformational climate interventions that are trans-disciplinary, time-sensitive, and spatially-targeted in recognition of complex risks that cut across communities, sectors, and levels.

With a focus on risk prevention and preparedness and the breakdown of silos, the DENR said these interventions must include a shared understanding of climate-related risks, creation of a national natural geospatial database, and adoption of climate and disaster resilience in the core business cycles of the private sector.

It also involves continued partnerships with civil society organizations, acceleration of nature-based solutions, education and capacity-building among workers, and the building of geo-strategic awareness of regional and global factors that will reduce the range of adaptation, mitigation, and disaster risk reduction options.

With the theme “Caring for Earth: Scaling Up Solutions to the Climate Emergency,” the 4th Philippine Environment Summit was organized by Green Convergence for Safe Food, Healthy Environment, and Sustainable Economy in partnership with the DENR.

The event aimed to strengthen multisectoral environmental initiatives and promote cooperation between the academic, business, local government, non-governmental, and youth sectors through the exchange of knowledge and best practices.

Among the 900 attendees were high school and college students with the goal of inspiring future leaders to protect the environment and change mindsets away from the so-called carbon-emitting society. ###



Over 100 employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) gathered at the La Mesa Watershed Reserve (LMWR) in Quezon City last month for a tree planting activity in recognition of the Australian Government’s continued support for the professional development of the DENR workforce.

DENR Undersecretary for Finance, Information Systems and Climate Change Analiza Rebuelta-Teh and Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Hae Kyong Yu led the planting of some 100 two-year old narra saplings within the two-hectare LMWR Arboretum Park maintained by the DENR-National Capital Region. Key officials from other government agencies and the Philippine-Australian Alumni communities also attended the event dubbed as “Australia Alumni Family Day.”

“More than enriching knowledge and competencies, this has resulted in the personal and professional growth of our workforce,” Teh said, pointing out that the DENR is not the only beneficiary of these opportunities “but also the very public it serves.”

Teh emphasized that the Australian scholarship grants have helped shape Filipino scholars into becoming innovators especially in formulating policies on conservation and sustainable use of the country’s natural resources.

So far, scholarships and trainings sponsored by the Australian government have produced 60 postgraduate degree holders (five PhDs and 55 masteral degrees), including 100 participants in foreign and local trainings.

The scholarship and training programs offered cover areas such as human resource management and development, geographic information science, natural hazards, marine science, mineral resources, remote sensing, groundwater management, environmental law, public policy, and public administration.

Ambassador Yu said the event underscores the two countries’ mutual priorities on climate action, stressing that the tree planting activity brought attention to the important issue of environmental challenges.

She added that the activity “catches what is so wonderful and fantastic about the Australian-Philippine relationship” as it likewise celebrated Australian Day and the World Environmental Education Day on January 26.

“As true friends, partners, and in fact neighbors in this region, we know what it means to celebrate,” she said.

The envoy bared that the Australian Government has invested AU$18 million through SHIELD (Strengthening Institutions and Empowering Localities Against Disasters and Climate Change) Programme to help the most vulnerable provinces in the Philippines to deal with disasters that are driven by climate change.

The La Mesa Watershed Reserve has a total area of 2,659 hectares, around 75 percent of which is watershed and 25 percent is basin area. The DENR has rehabilitated approximately 1,000 hectares of forestland within the reserve.###


Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Antonia Loyzaga called for a whole-of-society approach to accelerate the decarbonization of industries during the Nordic-Philippine Climate Executive Dialogue in Manila on Feb. 16.

Loyzaga pointed out that the country’s commitments in the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and the Paris Agreement can only be achieved if all stakeholders work together by using nature-based solutions for carbon reduction as the primary strategy in achieving net-zero targets.

The Philippines pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent by 2030 under the NDC, while it committed to help limit global warming to less than 2°C under the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“Every fraction of a degree counts. And so, we must all work together to achieve what we must envision as our common goal for a safe and sustainable planet,” Loyzaga said.

She added: “We need to prioritize the opportunities identified in the Philippine Development Plan that has just recently been launched, including capacity development on sustainability; environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting; conduct of capacity assessments; developing biodiversity friendly enterprises and ecotourism sites; our investments in forestry; and an integration between sustainable land, coastal and marine planning.”

During the dialogue, Loyzaga highlighted some of the DENR’s current priorities in the sectors of energy, solid waste, transportation, mining, and urban resilience, and invited everyone to collaborate with the Department in achieving the country’s environmental goals.

On energy, she said the DENR is reviewing the environmental processes on all on-shore and off-shore solar, wind and power projects to facilitate more capital investments in the renewable energy sector, and speed up the country’s global standard competitiveness.

Loyzaga said the Department is also conducting an assessment of all waste-to-fuel and waste-to-energy technologies to address the country’s growing solid waste problem and move toward a circular economy.

The DENR also recently released the Implementing Rules and Regulations for the Extended Producer Responsibility Act of 2022, which requires large companies to establish a mechanism for the proper management of plastic packaging waste. It also focuses on sustainable mobility, particularly in the shipping sector, which involves the transition to alternative sources of fuel and looking at the upskilling and reskilling of professional seafarers to make our workforce more competitive in a more digital and complex world.

Loyzaga also shared that the DENR believes that responsible and sustainable mining can be an effective economic driver towards sustainable development.

She said there is a need to stimulate the industry and push it towards a safe and sustainable practice called the mitigation hierarchy, which follows the steps of avoidance, minimization, restoration, and offsetting compensation for affected communities.

Loyzaga pointed out that resilience must be looked at through the lens of leadership, human development and infrastructure, economy, environment and human security.

The Nordic Embassies of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden expressed their commitment to support the various climate actions and strategies that the Philippines is working towards to address climate change. ###