Press Releases

The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), chaired by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), recently approved the 10-year solid waste management plans (SWMPs) of 54 cities and municipalities across the country.

This now brings to 1,263 the total number of approved SWMPs, which accounts for 79 percent of all 1,592 local government units (LGUs) required to submit and implement their plans in accordance with Republic Act (RA) 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

In its April 25, 2023 en banc meeting presided over by DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga, the NSWMC approved the SWMPs of 54 LGUs: nine each in Northern Samar and Negros Occidental; three each in Iloilo, Cotabato and Camarines Sur; two each in Ilocos Sur, Masbate, Negros Oriental, Misamis Oriental, Catanduanes, Albay, Batanes, and Cebu; and one each in Pangasinan, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Sorsogon, Antique, Bohol, Zamboanga Del Sur, Quezon, Camarines Norte, and Lanao del Norte.

During the meeting, Loyzaga highlighted the importance of collaboration between the NSWMC and its stakeholders for an effective solid waste management system in the country.

“If we are not able to manage solid waste in the environment, we will not be able to deliver the kind of ecosystem services and ecosystem integrity we want to have to support succeeding generations,” Loyzaga said.

The DENR chief also discussed possible ways to further improve NSWMC’s operations and systems, including the enhancement of an end-to-end profiling that provides information on solid wastes and how these are managed, treated, and disposed.

“How we get there in terms of digital processes, observations, and systems is one of the challenges that needs to be confronted by all the stakeholders on this council,” she added.

Present during the meeting were representatives from the DENR and its Environmental Management Bureau, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Science and Technology, Mother Earth Philippines, Ecowaste Coalition, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Department of Health, and representatives from the recycling, and manufacturing/packaging industry.

Under RA 9003, LGUs are mandated to formulate 10-year SWMPs that conform to the National Solid Waste Management Framework of the NSWMC.

The SWMPs of LGUs include information on projected population and waste generation, and their corresponding targets in collection, segregation at source, waste diversion, materials recovery facility compliance, collection vehicle, disposal facility, and budget within a period of 10 years. #


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is tapping faculty members of state universities and colleges (SUCs) and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) nationwide to join its pool of experts tasked to review the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of proposed development projects.

The DENR, through its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), conducted on April 27 an orientation and training on the country’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) system for 50 faculty members with relevant expertise in social sciences and technology from 23 different SUCs and HEIs in Luzon. The agency plans to conduct similar trainings in Visayas and Mindanao soon.

EIA is a process for anticipating the effects on the environment caused by a development, while an EIS is the document produced as a result of that process.

An EIS is prepared and submitted by the project proponent or EIA consultant that serves as an application for an environmental compliance certificate (ECC). It is a comprehensive study of the significant impacts of a project on the environmental management plan that the proponent will fund and implement to protect the environment.

According to Undersecretary for Integrated Environmental Science Carlos Primo David, the DENR Central Office in Quezon City currently has only around 30 active EIA reviewers.

He said the DENR recognized the need for third party EIA reviewers and the faculty members of SUCs are the first that came to mind.

“With the training that we did, it will more than double the number of EIA reviewers we have. We are tapping the expertise of these academic institutions to help in the work of the DENR. This will hasten our processing time, at the same time, review environmentally-critical projects with the proper expertise required,” David pointed out.

The review of EIS requires comprehensive and in-depth analysis that includes the evaluation of the accuracy and completeness of data, the soundness of the analysis, and the appropriateness of the proposed mitigation measures.

During the orientation, participants were given an overview of the EIA, the Philippine EIS, its implementing rules and regulations or IRR, and other related policy issuance. They were also briefed on the ECC application requirements and the integration of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into the EIA.

The event also served as a venue for the DENR and invited participants to have a meaningful dialogue on the roles and responsibilities of EIA reviewers.

DENR-EMB Director and concurrent Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Gilbert Gonzales stated that the expansion of EIA reviewers is needed for a more efficient and effective review of EIS, and to boost EMB’s compliance with the prescribed processing time for ECC applications.

Under the DENR Administrative Order 2003-30 or the IRR of the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System (PEISS), the EMB is the primary agency responsible for implementing PEISS, and may commission independent professionals, experts from the academe, and representatives from relevant government agencies as members of the EIA Review Committee (EIARC).

EIARC is a body of independent technical experts and professionals of known probity from various fields that evaluates EIA reports and provides appropriate recommendations regarding the issuance or non-issuance of an ECC.

Proponents of development projects are required to secure an ECC prior to any project implementation, and this is only issued after a positive review of the EIS. #




Recognizing the important role that the youth play in tackling climate change, Environment Secretary Antonia Loyzaga has called on young Filipinos to take an active role in crafting solutions to the ongoing climate crisis.

Loyzaga issued the call during an event held at the DENR Central Office in Quezon City, as part of the agency’s Earth Day celebration with the theme “Invest in our Planet, Invest in our Youth.”

Over 150 high school, college students, and teachers from Metro Manila attended the event organized by the DENR.

“Welcome to this 2023 DENR Earth Day celebration with our theme Invest in our Planet: Invest in our Youth. We are in the middle of an emergency--and that is the climate crisis. What we need to do with you, the youth, is to become part of the solution,” Loyzaga told the participants.

“Every fraction of every degree counts and we all need to work together to prevent even that fraction of a degree of increase, in terms of our temperatures,” she added.

The activity was aimed at raising awareness, understanding, and foster commitment and action on environmental stewardship among the youth.

Loyzaga underscored the importance of participation, stating, “We all have the ability to make a difference, influence our country's fight against the impacts of climate change and the degradation of our environment. Today is an opportunity for us to accelerate, speed up our climate action by showcasing all of our ideas, initiatives and solutions to achieve our country's resilience on climate change and other hazards.”

DENR Chief of Staff and Supervising Undersecretary for Strategic Communications Marilou G. Erni said the event served as an avenue to gather insights from young people in terms of the environmental issues and challenges they face in their communities.

Participating schools and organizations include the Association of Science and Mathematics Educators of Philippine Private Schools, Oscar M. Alcaraz Community Scout, Brighton Ventures, Marikina Polytechnic University, St. Clare College of Caloocan, National College of Business and Arts, STI College, University of the Philippines – Diliman, Polytechnic University of the Philipines, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Universidad de Manila, Cagayan State University, New Era University, Quirino High School, Bagong Silang High School, West Fairview High School, North Fairview High School, Mother of Perpetual Help School, Immaculate Concepcion Academy, Ramon Magsaysay High School, South East Asia Institute of Trade and Technology, and Krus na Ligas High School.

During the event, the DENR held a visual communication workshop where participants showcased their vision of a livable environment and the significant ways by which they can achieve that vision through a poster making contest.

Teachers were also given a platform to share their hopes for DENR, so that the agency can further improve its current environmental programs and initiatives.

The participants listened to young leaders from the DENR as they shared the agency’s priority programs such as Clean Water, Clean Air, National Greening Program, Biodiversity Conservation, Coastal Marine Ecosystem, and Solid Waste Management. They encouraged participants to consider a career in the sciences and be part of government service in the future.

As a way forward, Undersecretary Erni said the DENR plans to continue holding youth-centered programs, including collaborating with the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education, for more strategic partnerships that will go beyond awareness and translating this understanding and commitment into action.

Earth Day is celebrated in the Philippines every April 22 in accordance with Proclamation No. 1481 signed in 2008 by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 in the United States and was globally recognized in 1990. #



Environment Secretary Antonia Loyzaga and governors of the five provinces surrounding the Verde Island Passage (VIP) are calling for the so-called Amazon of the Seas to be declared as a protected area by law.

“This highest level of protection for what is touted as the center of the world’s marine biodiversity will keep VIP as a sanctuary to thousands of marine species and off limits to business activities that will threaten its pristine ecosystem,” Secretary Loyzaga said.

The call was agreed upon during a meeting among Secretary Loyzaga and Governors Hermilando Mandanas of the province of Batangas and Presbitero Velasco Jr. of the province of Marinduque who also discussed the threat to VIP of the recent oil spill.

A part of the Coral Triangle, the VIP is regarded by experts as the “center of the center of marine shore fish biodiversity” in the world. It is home to more than 300 coral species, 170 fish species and thousands of marine organisms such as sharks and turtles; and provides livelihood and other benefits to over two million people.

The marine corridor is surrounded by the provinces of Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, and Romblon.

Secretary Loyzaga said the VIP is currently a marine protected area, but the governors wanted it to be a legislated protected area.

“That will involve five provinces moving together to get this whole area legislated. Why is it important? Critical reefs, critical seagrass beds, mangroves, fisheries, these are spawning areas for fish, livelihood is dependent on that, and it has an implication on climate change as well,” she pointed out.

Last April 25, Loyzaga met with the board members of the Verde Island Passage Marine Protected Area Network and Law Enforcement Network to discuss the development of a VIP-wide Disaster Prevention and Response Plan.

“Considering its mandate, the DENR is committed to strengthening the protection and management of the VIP as a priority conservation area,” Loyzaga said during the meeting.

It was agreed upon that the DENR shall call for an immediate meeting to activate Executive Order 2006-578 establishing the National Policy on Biological Diversity to include other national government agencies and local government units.

The DENR shall also explore options for claims from the international oil spill contingency funds, and convene the interim Protected Area Management Board for the legislation of VIP as a protected area.

“Since the early part of 2020 just before the pandemic, there are a number of proposed development projects like submarine cable/pipe laying and jetty construction, to be implemented within the globally significant VIP. With this, there is a need to study what possible regulations may be imposed to ensure that there is a balance between development and conservation,” Loyzaga said.

The meeting was also attended by DENR Assistant Secretary and Biodiversity Management Bureau OIC Director Marcial Amaro Jr.; and representatives from Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro, Department of Agriculture, Philippine National Police-Maritime Group, Philippine Coast Guard, and Conservation International Philippines. #

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in partnership with food giant Nestlé Philippines, is hosting a high-level roundtable discussion on the extended producer responsibility (EPR)—its concept, the law, and the best approaches for its successful implementation.

To be held on May 10 in Quezon City, the event entitled “Rethinking Plastics: EPR Paving the Way Towards Circularity” aims to gain proper understanding of Republic Act (RA) 11898 or the EPR Act of 2022 and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) and to jointly learn key challenges, solutions and opportunities for government-industry collaborations for effective enforcement of the law.

Organized by Eco-Business, the dialogue is expected to gather senior leaders of fast-moving consumer goods sector, development partners, policy leaders, members of the academe, non-government organizations, and key players in waste management to comprehensive discourse through roundtable and panel discussions on RA 11898.

An amendment to RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, the EPR law requires large companies to adopt and implement policies for the proper management of plastic packaging wastes. DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga signed its IRR last January.

The DENR expressed optimism the upcoming event will help mobilize multi-sectors on EPR compliance and aid the government in addressing plastic pollution in the country through the conceptualization of innovative and effective EPR programs.

Guest speakers for the event include Secretary Loyzaga, Nestlé Philippines Chair and CEO Kais Marzouki, and Mr. Michikazu Kojirma, Senior Adviser to the President on Environmental Issues, Regional Knowledge Centre for Marine Plastic Debris, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia.

Panel discussion speakers are DENR Undersecretary for Finance, Information Systems and Climate Change Analiza Rebuelta-Teh, Nestlé Philippines Senior Vice President Head of Corporate Affairs Jose Uy III, and National Solid Waste Management Commission Vice Chair Crispian Lao.

Among the topics in the panel discussion are the challenges of the EPR and the industry in terms of the circular economy, role of technology in the EPR implementation, ways to improve the informal waste sector, solutions in addressing flexible plastics, and urgent steps to taken by the private and public sectors.

Meanwhile, topics in the roundtable discussion include identifying potential challenges of the EPR law and solutions through stakeholder collaboration, sharing of best EPR practices in key Asian markets and deployable plastic recovery and reduction programs, exploration on industry-government collaborations, and strength of the recycling infrastructure.

Steering the roundtable discussions are DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas Leones, and Assistant Secretary for Field Operations-Luzon and Visayas and concurrent Environmental Management Bureau Director Gilbert Gonzales.

Expected to participate in the roundtable forum are leaders in industry, Senate and House of Representatives, national government agencies, and the civil society. ##