Regional Releases

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 6 and its field offices conducted simultaneous coastal clean-up drives to raise awareness on waste management problems in Western Visayas in this typhoon season.
DENR Regional Office, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs) and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) here in Western Visayas partners with different stakeholders, local government units (LGUs) and nearby coastal residents gathering volunteers to participate in the annual movement of International Coastal Clean-up (ICC).
ICC is the largest volunteer effort to protect the ocean’s health through picking up litters on beaches, coasts, rivers, waterways and even underwater dive sites and record information on the trash being collected.
This year’s event was celebrated with limited amount of volunteers observing physical distancing adhering safety protocols due to the rising cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Thus, people were encouraged to do their part at home by clearing the trash on the waterways or coasts near their houses.
DENR Regional Office initiated a clean-up activity at the Iloilo River Esplanade. Volunteers collected approximately 169.50 kilograms of trash scattered in the river banks.
In the northwest part of Panay Island, PENRO Aklan also took their part through simultaneous clean-up within their communities’ waterways and coastal areas. Residents and volunteers were able to gathered approximately 500 kilograms of wastes which mostly plastics from food packaging, rubbers, metals, wires and straws that could danger the lives of marine creatures.
CENRO Guimbal was able to conduct the clean-up activity at the coastal areas of Brgy. Buyu-an, Tigbauan, Iloilo and collected a total of 36.4 kilograms of waste. Trashes was sorted, weighted and disposed properly at the barangay’s Material Recovery Facility (MRF).
The province where the mountains meet the sea called Antique, coastal areas of Brgy. Poblacion, Culasi was cleaned with the help of municipality’s Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group and nearby residents as they volunteered during clean-up activity and collected a total of four sacks of trash.
Meanwhile in the Negros Island, CENRO Bago City partnered with the LGUs of San Enrique pave the way of clearing trashes in the coastal areas collecting 17 sacks of trash composed mostly of plastics that entangled in the mangrove trees.
Simultaneous coastal clean-up activities were also conducted in the lone island of Guimaras collecting approximately 450 kilograms of trash on coastal areas and along Taklong Island National Marine Reserve (TINMAR) protected area.
According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “Scientists estimate that 50-80% of the oxygen production on Earth comes from the ocean.” Thus coastal clean-ups also help in saving the ocean biodiversity and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Clearing up the waterways at our beloved homes will greatly help during the upcoming typhoon as it will lessen the debris and drastic effects of the typhoon aftermath.
“Cleaner waters greatly help in growth of marine life production. Although coronavirus disease (COVID-19) brought adverse effect on public health and economy, it allows the ocean to breathe as carbon emission slowed due to less sea travel. Small acts of cleaning the ocean can bring impact to climate change mitigation. Being volunteers during clean-ups help us to become better stewards of our environment.” said regional executive director Francisco E. Milla, Jr./DENR6/ASCC/JLR/LGGL

Convenient access to clean water will soon be realized in the far-flung barangays of Caratagan and Marandig in the town of Calinog and Atimonan, Janiuay, Iloilo province as part of the Forestland Management Project (FMP) being implemented by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Western Visayas.

A groundbreaking ceremony of the Irrigation Pipeline System (IPS) Agroforestry Support Facility (ASF) was conducted in Calinog town recently, which is seen to boost the town’s agricultural sector and to slowly spur on economic growth.

The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Iloilo through its Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Barotac Nuevo have conducted ground breaking ceremonies of Irrigation Pipeline System (IPS) Agroforestry Support Facility (ASF) of the Caratagan Upland Sustainable Water Green Association (CUSWGA) in Brgy. Caratagan, Calinog, and of the Marandig Upland Sustainable Project Association (MUSPA), a People’s Organization (PO) in Brgy. Marandig, Calinog, recently.

Iloilo PENR Officer Salvador C. Manglinong, Jr. spearheaded the event with the presence of other PENRO staff, Philippine Army representatives, People’s Organization (PO) members, local government unit (LGUs) and project contractor.

Meanwhile, a groundbreaking ceremony of the Irrigation Pipeline System (IPS) of the Aktibong Mangunguma sa Barangay Atimonan (AMBA) and the Pre-Construction Conference was also recently conducted at Sitio Salay, Atimonan, Janiuay, Iloilo.

FMP Provincial Focal Person Antonio Latoza, Jr., Municipal ENR Officer of Janiuay, CENRO Barotac Nuevo staff, People’s Organization (PO) members, local government unit (LGUs) and project contractor attended the said activity.

The project costs over Php7 million and consists of supplies and installation of 5,202 meters of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes with a Standard Dimension Ratio (SDR) 17 located at Suage Sub-watershed in Janiuay, Iloilo.

“This project aims to improve our upland communities’ access to basic necessities such as water and agro-products thereby advancing their quality of life. Slowly but surely, the implementation of the Forestland Management Project is providing holistic solutions both for the people’s economic benefit while also improving our forest condition,” said Francisco E. Milla, Jr., regional executive director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6.

Forestland Management Project (FMP) is a ten-year DENR–Japan International Cooperation Agency project which began in 2012 and shall be completed by 2022. It aims to strengthen forestland management in three critical river basins in the country, namely: Upper Magat and Cagayan, Upper Pampanga, and Jalaur. The implementation is being done through collaborative and comprehensive Community-Based Forest Management strategies. It also aims to improve forest conservation and socio-economic conditions of beneficiaries/communities as well as to contribute in disaster risk mitigation efforts of vulnerable areas./DENR 6

The world class beacAgency Task Force (BIATF) led by its Chairperson, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, and co-chairpersons, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año and Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, approved the reopening of the island and the country to tourism with observance of health guidelines and protocol to ensure a healthy and safe travel experience.

Hotels, restaurants and marine/seaport activity were inspected for environmental and tourism compliance in light of the new normal and in support to environment sustainability of the island.

Based on the latest water-quality monitoring done by the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Region 6, the lowest fecal coliform level recorded was less than one (<1) most probable number per 100 milliliters (mpn/100ml) at Station 1 Front Beach Willy’s Rock formation. Moreover, Ilig-iligan Beach Shell Museum recorded a total of 4.5mpn/100ml; Boracay New Coast, with 7.8mpn/100ml; and Puka Beach, the common tourist go-to swimming areas, with 13mpn/100ml.

As Class SB, Boracay Island’s water is classified as suitable for swimming, diving and other water recreational activities. The safe fecal coliform level for Class SB water is set at 100mpn/100ml.

Thus, the recent water quality monitoring results conducted by the EMB shows Boracay’s waters has become cleaner for tourist and residents to take a dip.

“Test-Before-Travel” requirement was implemented for visitors to have a negative result of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test not more than 48 hours prior to travelling and also to undergo strict quarantine after the test until the time of travel to the island.

Tourists aged below 21 and above 60 years old are allowed to visit Boracay but without comorbidity or worse health conditions. There is no need for an RT-PCR test negative result for Aklanon tourists and aged 7 years old and below tourists. Every tourist should get a copy of Health Declaration Certificate (HDC) and QR code (quick response code) and must be presented to authorities in borders for scanning as well as within Boracay Island.

The local government will monitor people on the beach to avoid overcrowding.

All water sport activities should be booked through the front office of regulated tourist hotel and resorts. Tourist must avoid careless tourism activities like damaging the natural resources such as direct damages of coral reefs during water sports activities.

Tourists are also encouraged to practice “Clean As You Go” policy and throwing trash directly to the trash bins to avoid garbage ending up in the waters of Boracay Island.

The government has been working on reviving the tourism industry, which has been hard-hit by the quarantine restrictions due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Responsible tourism should be practiced in Boracay Island. I am encouraging everyone to observe proper health protocols and avoid littering of trash especially in the beach areas. Let us continue to enjoy the pristine white sand beach and clear waters of the rehabilitated Boracay,” said regional executive director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.

Boracay rehabilitation is still one of the DENR priority programs and projects of Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu./DENR 6

Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world – Grant Petersen

Cycling has been the most sought-after exercise and mode of transportation since after lockdowns were eased in various parts of the country. In the Philippines, increase in bike sales has been noted since many people are now shifting to “bike-to-work” transportation mode.

Employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have joined the bandwagon and are now having fun trying this new commuting scheme. “Aside from burning calories, biking to work makes one happier,” one employee observes.

Indeed, biking to work allows one to observe his surroundings, to listen to the birds and be able to wave or smile at passing cyclists – these all help reduce stress from work and it saves money from commuting. It is a healthier, cheaper, and a greener alternative.

Thus, the Provincial ENR Office (PENRO) in Antique had donated bike rack to the DENR regional office. As an active cyclists himself, PENR Officer Andres T. Untal personally delivered and turned-over to Assistant Regional Director for Management Services Raul L. Lorilla the bike rack made of iron scraps which the PENRO employees has collected.

“This is a good example of re-using scraps. I would like to commend the efforts made by the PENRO employees headed by PENRO Untal for this brilliant project,” said regional executive director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.

Furthermore, PENRO Antique in collaboration with Antique Mountain Bikers Association, Inc. (AMBA) had also turned-over a bike rack to Mc Donalds, San Jose Antique Branch. This initiative aims to encourage LGUs and business sectors to install bike racks in their establishments to cater the increasing number of bikers throughout the province. /DENR 6


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