Regional Releases

Officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) led by Assistant Secretary Reynulfo Juan (2nd from left) check on public notices posted on erring fastfood restaurants, Jolibee-Calapan I and II and Chowking on Thursday (March 7, 2019) in Calapan City. Said restos were issued cease and desist orders for operating without discharge permit and for discharging partially treated wastewater into Calapanriver, an established Water Quality Management Area. Also in photo are DENR-Region 4B Executive Director Henry Adornado (right) and Asst. Regional Director Vicente Tuddao. ###

ALAMINOS City, Pangasinan – IlogAlaminos, the river system which discharges its water low into the famous Hundred Islands, has been adjudged as the official entry of DENR-Region 1 (Ilocos Region) in the R.I.V.E.Rs for Life Award of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

R.I.V.E.Rs stands for Recognizing Individuals/Institutions towards Vibrant and Enhanced Rivers to raise awareness on the need to protect and conserve rivers as the lifeblood of the earth and human civilization.

Launched in 2017, the award intends to recognize individuals and institutions for their initiatives and concerted efforts to protect the country’s rivers from degradation and pollution, and to improve their designated use and classification by implementing appropriate mitigation and intervention measures.

On Tuesday (March 5), the Regional Evaluation Committee headed by DENR Regional Executive Director Carlito M. Tuballa declared IlogAlaminos as the region’s entry in the national level of the award.

IlogAlaminos is a Class “C” river with 35-kilometer length and traverses 29 barangays of Alaminos City. Being a Class “C” river, its water is intended only for agriculture, irrigation and livestock watering, and drains its water into the Lingayen Gulf where the renowned Hundred Islands are sporadically formed.

Tuballa said the selection of IlogAlaminos as regional winner and entry in the national level was sparked by the Unity Walk spearheaded by CENRO Western Pangasinan held last February 25.

Around 250 individuals from the local government here and several national government agencies and non-government organizations joined the Unity Walk led by CENR officer LitoSalatan.

“The Unity Walk for IlogAlaminos has raised awareness of the importance of the riveron the fast growing local economy,” said Tuballa, adding that the participation of individuals coming from different sectors indicates their willingness to become part in the rehabilitation, restoration and conservation of the river.

Based on the water sampling done in November last year, the coliform level of the water of IlogAlaminos was 2800 most probable number (mpn) per 100 milliliters (ml). The standard coliform level for a Class“C” river is 200 mpn/100 ml, pursuant to DENR Administrative Order No. 2016-08.

Tuballa said that appropriate mitigations and interventions shall be done to reduce the river’s coliform level to the standard, and to improve the quality of its water for recreational purposes.

National winners of the R.I.V.E.Rs for Life Award will be announced on June 10, 2019 in time with the anniversary of the DENR. ###

The MIMAROPA office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has sealed the water facilities of two fast food restaurants in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro province, for releasing wastewater into the Calapanriver without the necessary discharge permits from the agency.

Served with cease and desist orders signed by Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) -MIMAROPA Director Atty. Michael Drake Matias on March 7, 2019 were Chowking Foods Corp. (Calapan) and Jolibee Foods Corp. (Calapan I and II).

“I hope this (issuance of CDO) serves as a warning to all establishments that we are serious in our work to protect our oceans, rivers, lakes and all bodies of water,” DENR-MIMAROPA Executive Director Henry Adornado said.

“We will continue issuing CDOs to establishments found to be violating environmental laws,” he added.

The two erring restaurants were found operating without discharge permits, and for releasing partially treated wastewater that exceeds the DENR effluent standards into Calapanriver in violation of Republic Act No. 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004.

The CDO also cited the restaurants for having “contributed to the failing quality of the receiving body of water, the Calapanriver, which happens to be an established Water Quality Management Area.

Among the water facilities sealed by authorities include the kitchen down to the comfort rooms, specifically the faucets, kitchen sinks, lavatory, sewer lines, outlet pipes, etc.

Aside from the closure, the establishments are also liable for fines, ranging from P10,000 to P200,000 per day of violation, in accordance with RA 9275 and its implementing rules and regulations. ###

 

About a hundred people representing various stakeholder groups in Boracay attended the 3-day action planning workshop on solid waste management organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) at Boracay Tropics Hotel in Boracay Island, Aklan.

“It is important that the people of Boracay Island know the problems being faced by the island in terms of solid waste, as they are also the one to identify and implement the possible solutions to the problem because it is their community. The government is just here to guide and provide them with technical assistance,” said Valentin P. Talabero, DENR- Aklan’s Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer.

Among the activities undertaken during the workshop include the identification of existing problems on solid waste management and brainstormed on the immediate as well as on long term solutions.

The workshop was capped with series of Focus Group Discussions with the three barangay councils of Yapak, Bulabog and Manoc-manoc, including some residents, on how to go about implementing their respective Action Plans. They are set to present their respective action plans before the local government of Malay for financial support.

The workshop was organized by the DENR’s Tayo ang Kalikasan, a task force created to undertake social mobilization campaigns under the Program for Environment and Natural Resources Restoration, Rehabilitation, and Development (PRRD). ###

 

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has vowed to strengthen the field offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with additional manpower, even as he instructed all Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) nationwide to strictly enforce environmental laws.

Cimatu made the statement during his visit to CENRO Sanchez Mira, Cagayan province on Sunday, Oct. 28.

“You are the frontline in the implementation of environment and natural resources programs, and in the enforcement of environmental laws,” he told the officials and employees of DENR Region 2, adding that he had “high regard” for CENROs in solving environmental problems in the country.

According to DENR chief, he will continue to work for the strengthening of the CENROs by increasing the number of personnel who will enforce and monitor compliance with the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, the top priority programs of the DENR under his watch.

In 2017, the DENR had hired lawyers who were deployed in every CENRO and implementing PENROs.

This year, the Environmental Management Bureau and Mines and Geosciences Bureau, both are line agencies under the DENR, have assigned environmental management officers, geologists and mining engineers at the DENR field offices.

The DENR Secretary has also reiterated his marching order to ensure that all rivers should be clean. “If the river is dirty, the CENR officer is not doing his job. You should mobilize the community to ensure the cleanliness of our rivers,” Cimatu told the CENR officers.

He praised Region 2 for having clean rivers and for its compliance with environmental laws.

The field officials were also instructed to work closely with local chief executives in putting up sanitary landfills as he ordered that dump sites should never be allowed.

Cimatu stressed that forest protection should be intensified by preventing trees from being cut. He also announced his plan to recruit “environmental cadets” who will become assistant CENR officers. “Qualified personnel should pass the entrance examination and will undergo training at the ENR Academy in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija,” he said.

Still along this line, the DENR has embarked this year on a comprehensive training program to hone the executive leadership and administrative competencies of DENR’s frontline officers, called the “Environment and Natural Resources Learning Program” or ELP.

The ELP offers three modules consisting of ENR Management Course, ENR Leadership Course, and ENR Frontline Course.

So far, a total of 113 DENR frontline officers and personnel have undergone the ELP. Of these, 12 PENROS, 22 CENROS and three directors have completed the Environmental Management Course while 76 frontline personnel, consisting mostly of administrative and field rank-and-file workers completed the ENR Frontline Course.

The ELP draws it origin from the “UP Program for Environmental Governance” (UPPEG), an environmental governance program the DENR launched with the University of the Philippines in 2016.

Some 11 PENROs and 17 CENROs, including two senior foresters, finished UPPEG’s six-module program consisting of policy formulation and analysis, transformational leadership, conflict resolution, effective communication skills, resource mobilization for business development and networking, environmental management planning, and managing environmental risks and resiliency. ###