Press Releases

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is studying the integration of the “big brother-small brother” strategy within the social development and management programs (SDMP) of large mining companies.

DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga said it is high time for big mining firms to help small-scale miners meet their social development targets by setting aside a portion of their social development fund for the purpose.

“There must be a way to negotiate the resilience of communities where mining is happening, the social development needs to happen," Loyzaga said in a recent interview. "This way inclusivity in terms of the progress of the community as a whole can really be institutionalized," she added.

Secretary Loyzaga described the “big brother-small brother” strategy as one that would include capacitating small miners and enhancing the resilience of mining communities.

To make this happen, the DENR chief said there is a need to revisit the social development funding of large mining companies. “In this government, you cannot move forward with your for-profit agenda without a national dividend that redounds to a local community. And that’s the bottom line,” she said.

Secretary Loyzaga underscored that the Marcos administration is open for responsible miners who consider not only the environmental aspects of mining, but also promote social development.

DENR Administrative Order No. 2010-21, or the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 7942, otherwise known as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, requires mining contractors and permit holders to have an SDMP, which aims for the sustained improvement in the living standards of host and neighboring communities.

The SDMP has a timeline of five years, and is funded by the companies themselves by allocating 1.5 percent of their annual expenses.

Out of this allocation, 75 percent goes to community development, while 10 percent goes to the development of mining technology and geosciences, and the remaining 15 percent is used for an information, education, and communication campaign.

Loyzaga said that under the Marcos administration, the mining industry is open for responsible miners who consider not only the environmental aspects of mining, but also promote social development.

“In this government, you cannot move forward with your for-profit agenda without a national dividend that redounds to a local community. And that’s the bottom line,” she said. #


Environment Secretary Antonia Loyzaga recently met with local shipowners and agreed to work with them in addressing the gaps towards preventing oil spills in Philippine waters.

“The first thing we need to do is change the way people think about disasters because right now people think about response,” Secretary Loyzaga stressed. “We need to prevent the risk and that needs to be translated in the policies, in the processes, and in the technical capacities of the people that are actually implementing these laws.”

Secretary Loyzaga added: “Our commitment with them is that we will sit together and come up with a technical working group on the policy change that needs to happen with emphasis on prevention. We need to actually look at the legislation that needs to be updated.”

Secretary Loyzaga said the shipping operators reached out to her to see how they could help the DENR with preventing and responding to future disasters.

“I have discussed with them the importance of identifying the gaps organizationally, functionally, legally, and policy- and practice-wise so that we can prevent another oil spill from happening again,” she disclosed.

Among the gaps identified in the discussion were the classification of ships and the number of permits issued for specific purposes.

These newly gathered information, Loyzaga explained, would then be useful in the continuing discussion with shipowners and concerned government agencies on preventing oil spill disasters.

Earlier, Secretary Loyzaga explained that the DENR has been proactively working with local and national government agencies to mitigate the effects of the oil spill, and prevent it from spreading to other areas.

In a recent interview, she has explained how the department has worked with the Philippine Coast Guard and the affected provinces in locating the sunken ship through NAMRIA’s mapping ship, partnering with local and international experts to understand the projection of the spill, implementing the cash-for-work program with the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and how it is continuously doing water and air sampling, among others. #


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has called for a shift towards “regenerative” tourism in a bid to further boost the country’s ecotourism sector amid the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agency made the call during the International Ecotourism Forum recently held in Manila, where DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga served as a keynote speaker.

Loyzaga, in her speech that was delivered by DENR Undersecretary for Legal and Administration Ernesto D. Adobo Jr., defined regenerative tourism as “leaving a place better than it was before.”

“It (regenerative tourism) goes beyond the environment and looks at the social and economic development of communities, preservation of local cultures, and protection of biodiversity,” Loyzaga pointed out.

“It is the understanding that everything is connected and the interactions between every stakeholder throughout the tourism value chain have impacts on each other and our ecosystems,” she added.

The DENR chief emphasized the importance of transitioning towards tourism that regenerates the environment and provides economic, social and environmental benefits, and taking into account climate change.

She noted that the Philippine tourism sector faces challenges brought by climate change, extreme weather events, and slow and rapid onset hazards, which impede its potential to be a driver of environmental and cultural protection, economic progress, and social development.

She stated that the DENR has been at the forefront of ecotourism development through sustainable management of protected areas (PAs) under the National Integrated Protected Areas System or NIPAS program.

The program promotes sustainable tourism and responsible travel to natural areas through national and localized guidelines and standards, educational conservation, and economic and social development of local communities.

“Equity is central to ecotourism. Development assistance for communities to help them leverage the economic value of their natural assets should be strengthened,” Loyzaga stressed.

According to the DENR chief, ecotourism “can be a powerful tool for conservation, community development, and education, but it requires careful planning and management to ensure that it benefits both the environment and the local communities.”

Ecotourism development is also supported by the National Ecotourism Strategy and Action Plan (NESAP) jointly developed by the DENR and the Department of Tourism.

NESAP is currently being updated to incorporate strategies on disaster risk reduction and management, address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, expand its scope from PAs to ecotourism areas, and participate in monitoring and conservation initiatives.

Loyzaga further emphasized that ecotourism serves as an avenue for the participation of local communities in biodiversity conservation in PAs, which is critical to climate change mitigation and disaster risk reduction.

To sustainably manage PAs and biodiversity resources, Loyzaga said that the proper valuation of these assets is critical to recognize biodiversity’s actual and realized contribution to the economy and true cost of natural capital loss.

Under Loyzaga’s administration, the DENR has established a national natural resource geospatial database and a natural capital accounting system, which will significantly aid in the prioritization of investments and actions for the country’s environment and natural resources.

The DENR likewise instituted a climate change tagging system in its national budget and crafted legislation on the protection of millions of hectares of forests, wetlands, caves, and mangroves, and reefs.

The International Ecotourism Forum is the highlight of the first-ever 2023 International Ecotourism Travel Mart organized by the Asian Ecotourism Network, a regional initiative of the Global Ecotourism Network that showcased practical insights and effective steps on sustainable tourism.

Held from March 29 to April 2, 2023, the event is in collaboration with the International School of Sustainable Tourism. #


The Philippines and Germany have reaffirmed their commitment to enhance cooperation on climate, energy and biodiversity at the first-ever PH-German Climate Consultation held last April 18 in Makati City.

Organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the event marked the first high-level consultation between the Philippines and Germany aimed at strengthening their bilateral partnership for accelerating climate agenda.

The two countries committed to working closely together to step up action on climate, energy and biodiversity by sharing knowledge and technical expertise to build capacity for climate adaptation and resilience.

DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga and Germany’s State Secretary and Special Envoy for International Climate Action Jennifer Lee Morgan led the Philippine and German delegations, respectively.

“We acknowledge the importance of climate consultations and dialogues with developed countries like Germany that would be instrumental in helping us effectively implement our climate actions,” Loyzaga said.

Loyzaga expressed hope the partnership will continue beyond project timelines and scopes, stressing that international cooperation “encompasses our environment, our biodiversity, our natural resources, our consumption and production, and our sustainable development goals.”

“We express support for sustained partnership for both of our governments in accelerating our climate actions,” she added.

For her part, Morgan said the climate consultations with the Philippines “enable me to listen, learn and discuss how we can deepen our bilateral collaboration and to help those who are hit hardest by the climate crisis.”

“We want to work with the Philippines to develop a resilient, alternative development pathway that brings prosperity and a better life for all citizens, and to strive for a successful COP28 that drives ambition by the major emitters to keep the 1.5 degrees limit within sight, and show solidarity with the most vulnerable people on Earth,” she pointed out.

The consultation culminated in the signing of a Joint Declaration of Intent on Interdepartmental Consultations between Germany and the Philippines for Bilateral Technical Cooperation Projects in the Fields of Climate, Energy and Biodiversity.

Under the declaration—signed by Morgan and Philippine Department of Finance Undersecretary for the International Finance Group Mark Joven—the parties agreed to hold regular interdepartmental consultations about ongoing and pipeline bilateral technical cooperation projects.

During the consultation, both countries presented their plans, projects and activities aimed at addressing the climate crisis at the local and international levels.

These include operationalizing the loss and damage agenda and building more resilience against the consequences of the climate crisis, which will be integrated in their commitment for the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in the United Arab Emirates in November this year.

The two nations also discussed ways to accelerate the implementation of German-funded environmental and climate programs aligned with the Philippine Development Plan, particularly the Philippines’ commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change through the Nationally Determined Contribution, which is to attain an emission reduction or avoidance in its greenhouse gas by 75 percent.

The Philippines and Germany have a long-standing partnership. The Philippines has been participating in collaborative project undertakings with Germany, such as the Transformative Actions for Climate and Ecological Protection and Development or TRANSCEND Project, which aims to support the Philippines in its programs and policies focused on biodiversity, ecosystem-based approach, and energy and transport.

The Philippines is also one of the focus countries of Germany’s International Climate Initiative projects, which is a funding program for climate action and biodiversity conservation established in 2018.

Officials from DENR, Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Office of Civil Defense, German Agency for International Cooperation, and Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Manila shared their interventions during the consultation. #


Early estimates put the environmental damage from the Oriental Mindoro oil spill at P7 billion, Environment Secretary Antonia Yulo Loyzaga said on Wednesday.

In an interview with ANC’s Headstart, Loyzaga said the amount was based on the initial calculation by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of “what could be exposed by way of coral reefs, seagrasses, mangroves and fisheries.”

“The possible exposure area for us is P7 billion,” Loyzaga said, referring to the initial estimated cost of the environmental damage caused by the oil spill from MT Princess Empress, which sank off the waters of Oriental Mindoro two months ago.

She said the DENR would need to “actually go underneath and verify” once it is safe to dive in waters severely affected by the oil spill.

“We’re not allowed to fish in the area. We’re also not allowed to dive yet, but we want to do that immediately because we want to observe what the physical impacts are,” Loyzaga pointed out.

“What we have to do now is verify on the ground how much of these reefs have actually been touched, how many of the mangroves have actually been destroyed, and how many of the seagrasses have actually been affected,” she added.

During the interview, Loyzaga had the opportunity to explain the actual role of the DENR in the “whole-of-government” response to the oil spill disaster.

“The DENR is responsible for offshore and nearshore contamination and impacts,” Loyzaga explained. “The general operation is legally under the direction of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG). So they are onsite right where the source is happening. We are left to actually work on the forensics, what is happening, where the hazards going, what will be affected, and our area is nearshore and offshore.”

Loyzaga said the DENR was first on the scene as soon as the news about the oil spill broke out. The DENR chief said that on Day One, she was already meeting with Oriental Mindoro Governor Bonz Dolor and had technical meeting with PCG and other agencies involved in the oil spill response.

On Day Two, Loyzaga said the DENR teams were already on the ground testing the water and air in oil spill-hit areas.


“Day Three, we deployed the mapping ship of NAMRIA. Why? Nobody could say where the ship had sunk and we didn’t have a remotely operated vessel, so we sent the mapping ship we used to map the Philippine Rise to actually identify where the ship was underneath the water,” she narrated.

She said that from the third to fifth day, the DENR was already coordinating with the University of the Philippines-Marine Science Institute, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of Tourism, and the private sector.

“Every step of the way, we actually reported to the President,” Loyzaga added. #