Regional Releases

Townfolk of Glan, Sarangani bid farewell to their adopted pawikan(left photo) they named “Aryana,” to mean “spotless lady”, as the 66-lbs. female Olive Ridley (Lepidochelysolivacea) is released back to the sea after almost a year of recovery under the care of NenaEbba (in striped blouse) who rescued her from a net of a fish trawler that anchored near her house in Barangay Burias, Glan in July 2018. DENR-Region 12 Executive Director NiloTamoria (in blue-white shirt) led the release in simple rites last May 23 as part of DENR’s sea turtle conservation program. Prior to her release though, Aryana was attached with a metal tag at its flipper (right photo) by wildlife officers for tracking purposes. At least 39,000 pawikanhatchlings had been released into the Sarangani Protected Seascape coastlines since 2015 from Sarangani’s three pawikanhatchery centers in Maitum, Maasim and Glan towns. Sea turtles play an important role in the marine food chain as their diet includes sea grasses and jellyfish, thereby keeping the marine ecosystem balanced and enables small marine organisms to thrive . ###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has released more than 500 hatchlings of marine turtle or pawikan in the waters of Saranggani Bay last May 16 at around 5:30 in the afternoon.

On hand to release the 528 hatchlings of Olive ridley((Lepidochelysolivacea) in Barangay Lumasal in Maasim, Saranggani province were DENR-Region 12 Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria, Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) of Kiamba, Forester Jesus Boja, Chief of Coastal Resource and Foreshore Management Section (CRFMS) Felix C. Robles and staff of municipal environment and natural resources office of Maasim.

On releasing the hatchlings, Tamoria called on the coastal communities of Saranggani to help in protecting and conserving their coastal areas and be responsible with their wastes.

“It is important that we take care of our marine ecosystem. I call on the communities to help us in protecting and conserving our coastal areas. Let us be responsible in managing our respective wastes. There are several reported stranding of pawikan and this indicates that there is something wrong with our coastal environment,” Tamoria said.

He also explained the reason for the release of the hatchlings in the late afternoon was to provide them a greater chance of survival. “Accordingly, only one (1) percent of the released sea turtles is expected to survive into adulthood,” he said.

Belonging to the species of Olive ridley,the baby pawikans, all 528,were hatched at the MaasimPawikan Hatchery in Maasim town, constituting the biggest number of hatchlings ever recorded since the hatchery’s establishment in 2015.

Tamoria also told the local residents who came to witness the activity that the journey of the young sea turtles is “not easy” as these are threatened not only by the presence of predators in the ocean but also by pollution and plastic wastes. “They may be eaten by big fishes and sharks, or they may ingest plastic waste thrown into the ocean,” he said.

For his part, Robles said that the female pawikanusually returns to its birthplace to lay eggs in the next 20 to 25 years.

“We let pawikan hatchlings to crawl into the sea. This will help them remember where they come from. They imprint on the unique magnetic field of their birthplace and the female ones use this information to return to their birthplace to nest,” Robles said.

The shores of Barangay Lumasaland the nearby communities are known nesting sites of sea turtles.

Olive ridley, also known as the Pacific ridley, is the second smallest and most abundant species of sea turtles in the world. Itthrives in warm and tropical waters, primarily in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. As to its conservation status, Olive ridley is vulnerable to extinction thus its possession and deliberate killing is punishable under Republic Act No. 9147, also known as the Philippine Wildlife Resources Protection and Conservation Act.###

About 500 volunteers took part in the clean-up activity along the coast of BarangayTondaligan in Dagupan City held Friday, April 26, 2019, as part of the local celebration of Earth Day.

The beach clean-up, spearheaded by the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Region 1, in partnership with the localgovernment of DagupanCity, sought to intensify public awareness on the proper management of garbage, particularly plastics.

EMB Region 1 Director Maria DoricaNaz-Hipe expressed gratitude to the volunteers from various government agencies and private companies and other stakeholders for joining the clean-up event. She encouraged the public to support the DENR and LGU Dagupan City in properly managing solid wastes by segregating garbage at source, religiously practicing the 3 Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle, and composting their biodegradable wastes which can be used as soil conditioners.

“The Tondaligan Beach is one of the most popular and beautiful bathing beaches here in Region I, so we should work together to protect it,” Hipe said.

A total of 96 trash bags and sacks of residual wastes were collected, consisting mostly of plastic food wrappers, cigarette butts and glass bottles.

EMB-I organizes clean-up drives in popular bathing beaches and rivers in the Ilocos Region in accordance with the top priority programs of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, which include Clean Air, Clean Water and Solid Waste Management. ###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here and the Earth Day Network Philippines (EDNP) urged the public to save plant and animal species from extinction to maintain a well-balanced and functioning ecosystem.

In a message read by DENR Region 3 Executive Director Paquito Moreno during the culminating activity of Earth Day 2019 on Sunday, in Obando, Bulacan, Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said that the problem of biodiversity loss has gone haywire due to irresponsible people, wildlife poachers and illegal traders in cahoots.

“It is the responsibility of the DENR to protect wildlife, but such effort will be futile without the participation of the people,” Cimatu said, adding that the Earth Day is an opportune time to enhance the environmental consciousness and awareness of the public and tap local communities as partners in championing environment and wildlife protection.

On the other hand, EDNP President WigbertoTañada, Jr. stressed that educating and raising public awareness about the accelerating rate of extinction of wildlife species and the causes and consequences of this phenomenon are significant elements to prevent species loss.

He added that the increased rate of species extinction could be largely attributed to human activities, which have permanently damaged the ecosystem and threatened species.

“Extinction is primarily a result of human activity. Sadly, because of lack of care or even ignorance, human activity has irretrievably upset the balance of nature,” he said.

He urged government leaders to adopt policies that protect broad groups of species as well as individual species and their habitats, and activate a global movement that embraces nature and its values.

Cimatu also appealed to local communities and leaders to work in harness to ensure that all of resources, be it mining, energy or food are sustained.

“Let us keep the spirit of Earth Day every single day of our life, so that we will never lose our focus on the need to conserve and protect Mother Earth,” he stressed.

Celebrated every April 22, this year’s Earth Day theme, “Protect our Species” underscores the need to encourage communities in the global movement to avert the unprecedented environmental adversaries, especially the rapid reduction of plant and wildlife species.

MARIVELES, Bataan –Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu declared on Tuesday a portion of Manila Bay in Bataan safe for swimming after the water quality had improved barely three months after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) started its massive cleanup and rehabilitation of the historic Manila Bay.

According to Cimatu, Aguawan beach in Barangay Sisiman in Mariveles had a significantly reduced fecal coliform level, from 790 most probable number (MPN)/ 100 ml in January of this year to only 12 MPN/ 100 ml this month. The standard level for bathing beaches is 100 mpn/100ml.

“The improvement began after we shut down piggeries that were dumping wastes into the bay, which we also did in Cavite and Bulacan. However, the speedy compliance of industries here to environmental laws made it much faster to improve the water quality," Cimatu said.

Fecal coliforms are bacteria coming from human and animal wastes that contaminate the water and indicate the presence of pathogens.

Cimatu also said the relentless efforts made by the DENR Central Luzon personnel and the local government unit of Mariveles to clean the beach have also contributed to the fast improvement of water quality in the area.

But the DENR chief admitted that the work is far from done, as Aguawan beach is only a fraction of the 190-kilometer coastline of the Manila bay area.

Of the total coastline of Manila Bay, 142 kilometers are located in Central Luzon with Bataan hosting over 77 kilometers of coastline.

Paquito Moreno, executive director of the DENR in Central Luzon said Aguawan beach is only one of the three areas in Mariveles declared safe for swimming. The other two are the beaches located in Sitio Babuyan in Barangay Mount View and in SitioBoracay in Barangay Lucanin.

“The cooperation of our communities had been vital in cleaning the Bay. We have intensified our information campaign to increase the awareness and participation of the communities and other stakeholders,” he said.
DENR reports showed that 37 cleanups have already been conducted since January 2019 in Mariveles, with support from local government units, including volunteers from the academe and civil society that resulted in the collection of 49.95 tons of solid waste. ###