Press Releases

 Photo2 PR The Philippines and Australia to strengthen cooperation on disaster resilience 09 24 2022

20 September 2022, BRISBANE – Philippine Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) the Honorable Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga met Senator the Honorable Murray Watt, Australian Minister for Emergency Management and Head of the Australian Delegation to the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (APMCDRR) on 19 September 2022. Senator Watt also serves as Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry of Australia.

The Government of Australia and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) are co-hosting the APMCDRR 2022 from 19 to 22 September at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Conference is the largest Asia-Pacific biennial gathering focused on disaster risk reduction, resilience, and the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The two countries exchanged best practices in the delivery of disaster preparedness and response services and discussed developments in national efforts to address climate change and develop national resilience. Secretary Yulo Loyzaga talked about the importance of government engagement with the private sector to stop the cycle of merely responding to the damages caused by disasters. The Secretary underscored the importance of the commitment of the industry to embed resilience in its business framework.

Senator Murray thanked the Philippines for its leadership on disaster risk reduction and expressed Australia’s desire to pursue bilateral discussions on emergency preparedness and response. The Minister shared the recent establishment of the National Emergency Management Agency in Australia combining the National Recovery and Resilience Agency and Emergency Management Australia. The Philippines expressed keen interest on this development and looked forward to further engagement with Australia.

Secretary Yulo Loyzaga and Minister Watt reaffirmed the long-standing relations of the Philippines and Australia and committed to support efforts to advance the partnership to a strategic level.

Secretary Yulo Loyzaga was joined in the meeting by Undersecretary Raymundo Ferrer of the Department of National Defense – Office for Civil Defense. Minister Watt was joined by Senator Tony Sheldon, Australia’s Special Envoy for Disaster Recovery.

 

20 September 2022, BRISBANE – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga is currently in Brisbane, Australia as the Head of the Philippine Delegation to the 2022 Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (APMCDRR). The delegation includes officials from the DENR, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of National Defense - Office for Civil Defense, Department of Finance, and representatives from the private sector and civil society.

The APMCDRR is the largest Asia-Pacific biennial gathering focused on disaster risk reduction, resilience, and the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The co-hosts for this year are the Government of Australia and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).

Secretary Loyzaga held bilateral meetings with leaders and dignitaries of other countries and international organizations. On September 18, she met with the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDDR), Her Excellency Mami Mizutori and UNDRR Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Chief Mr. Marco Toscano Rivalta. During the meeting, Secretary Loyzaga underscored the commitment of the Philippine government to regional cooperation to strengthen capacity on disaster risk reduction and addressing climate change. SRSG Mizutori recognized the whole of society approach taken by the Philippines and congratulated the Secretary on the country’s successful model for public-private partnership on disaster risk reduction.

Together with NDRRMC Executive Director and OCD Administrator Undersecretary Raymundo Ferrer, she held a bilateral meeting with Australia Head of Delegation Senator Murray Watt, Minister of Emergency Management, and concurrently Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to discuss opportunities for collaboration between the two countries.

The Secretary also delivered the Philippine Statement in the Ministerial Forum held on September 19 and was a Panelist in the Plenary Session on Risk Informed Investments and Scaling Up Financing for Disaster Risk Reduction on September 20.###

 

Photo2 PR The Philippines and the United Nations reaffirm cooperation on disaster risk reduction at regional conference in Australia 09 23 2022 web

19 September 2022, BRISBANE – Philippine Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Honorable Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, met the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDDR), Her Excellency Mami Mizutori, on 18 September in Brisbane in the margins of the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (APMCDRR).

The Government of Australia and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) are co-hosting the APMCDRR 2022 from 19 to 22 September at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Conference is the largest Asia-Pacific biennial gathering focused on disaster risk reduction, resilience, and the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Secretary Loyzaga is the Head of the Philippine Delegation to the APMCDRR 2022 that includes officials from the DENR, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of National Defense - Office for Civil Defense, Department of Finance, and representatives from the private sector and civil society. Other Philippine government officials are participating virtually from the Philippines.

 

During the meeting, Secretary Loyzaga underscored the commitment of the Philippine government to regional cooperation to strengthen capacity on disaster risk reduction and addressing climate change. Assistant Secretary General Mizutori recognized the whole of society approach taken by the Philippines and congratulated the Secretary on the country’s successful model for public-private partnership on disaster risk reduction.

The Secretary will deliver the Philippine Statement in the Ministerial Forum to be held today and will serve as panelist in the Plenary Session on Risk Informed Investments and Scaling Up Financing for Disaster Risk Reduction on 20 September 2022.

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said that more than 130,000 bamboo culms and native tree seedlings of different species were planted in a simultaneous bamboo and tree planting activity nationwide to celebrate President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s 65th birth anniversary on September 13.

With the theme “Buhayin ang Pangangalaga ng Kalikasan,” President Marcos himself led the kickoff ceremonies in an old sanitary landfill (SLF) being rehabilitated by the DENR at Barangay Pintong Bocaue in San Mateo, Rizal, which is within the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape. The old SLF was closed in November 1989.

Planted at the site were some 1,613 seedlings including various species of bamboo and fruit bearing trees.

In her welcome remarks, DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga expressed gratitude for the privilege of introducing the President, citing that the nationwide activity was a symbol of the new administration’s direction and our national commitment to address climate change, mitigate its effects, and alleviate the risk of vulnerable communities and ecosystems.

Tree planting activities were also simultaneously held in 111 sites in the country covering an aggregate area of 681.5 hectares planted mostly with bamboo culms and indigenous timber tree seedlings such as agoho, kalumpit, yakal, molave, narra, bignai, and banaba.

The event was also in line with the celebration of Philippine Bamboo Month pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 1401, series of 2022, and in support of the President’s directive to boost the resilience of the country to natural disasters by expanding forest cover and accelerating efforts towards forest protection.

The event was jointly organized by the DENR, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government. ###

 

The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is taking steps to reverse the damage brought by the improper waste disposal on Goyong River in Cebu province after its waters turned “milky white” on August 21.
EMB Director William P. Cuñado said DENR-Region 7 is already “coordinating with the concerned individuals and authorities to make sure that the substance discharged to the river is removed.”

“We are waiting for the results of the tests conducted by EMB-Region 7 to determine the contents of the discharge in the Goyong River. In the meantime, we will also be talking with local government authorities to make sure that this will not happen again,” Cuñado said.

Goyong River located at Brgy. Don Gregorio Antigua in Borbon town is mainly used for irrigation. About 80 households are living near the river.

Based on the initial investigation, barangay officials identified a certain Elmer Pogado Degamo who allegedly dumped the contaminated water and oil that was used to wash a flexible tank into the river.

The local officials also said that the trucking company, where Degamo is employed, is the owner of the flexible tank.

According to EMB-Region 7’s preliminary assessment, “there were no traces of affected life forms such as dead plants or animals.”

However, it assured that it will continue to monitor the river for another week to ensure that the improper waste disposal activity has no adverse effect on the surrounding environment.

The municipal government of Borbon took a water sample immediately after the reported presence of white substance in the river, while the EMB took samples a day after the incident.

The results of the water samples examined by the municipal government of Borbon have shown that the level of chemical oxygen demand (COD) has reached 347 milligrams per liter (mg/L), indicating “contamination of inorganic waste.”

The EMB and Borbon officials have called the attention of the concerned trucking company to “prevent a repeat of the incident.”

“If proven that the discharged substance is hazardous or toxic, the responsible entity or person shall face charges pursuant to Section 27 of Republic Act No. 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004,” the EMB said.

Under Section 27, the prohibited acts include discharging, depositing or causing to be deposited material of any kind directly or indirectly into the water bodies or along the margins of any surface water; transporting, dumping or discharging of prohibited chemicals, substances or pollutants listed under Republic Act 6969 or Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990; and discharging regulated water pollutants without the valid required discharge permit.

Violators may have to pay a penalty of P10,000 to not more than P200,000 for every day of violation upon the recommendation of the Pollution Adjudication Board. ###