Cimatu: No letup in strict enforcement of environmental laws

 

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said there will no letup in the government effort to strictly enforce environmental laws and regulations designed to restore, preserve and protect the country’s rich environment and vast natural resources.

“We will prioritize the environment. We will strengthen our Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in the provincial level which job is to take care of the environment,” Cimatu told national and regional officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) during their management conference held in Batanes recently.

He said the Boracay problem should serve as a lesson not just for local government officials but also for those in the DENR who must be proactive in handling environmental concerns.

Cimatu said he plans to put up a DENR office in every tourist destination in the country, just like what he did in Boracay.

Even before Boracay was closed to tourists to pave the way for its rehabilitation, Cimatu already ordered the re-establishment of a Community Environment and Natural Resources Office there to ensure the sustainability of environmental programs intended solely for the world-famous island paradise.

Cimatu said he won’t recommend the reopening of Boracay until the fecal coliform contamination is addressed.

“The ball is in our hands. We have to bring down the coliform. This is non-negotiable,” Cimatu said, as he announced the deployment of some DENR and EMB regional directors to the island to solve the problem in a month.

The DENR chief also directed all his field officials to prioritize the cleanup of water bodies within their jurisdiction. “I am very particular on the cleanliness of our rivers,” he said, as he warned them of his one-strike policy for non-compliance.

Apart from strict enforcement of environmental laws, Cimatu reminded his field officials of their duty to ensure the protection and conservation of natural resources, particularly the forests.

He ordered them to ensure the cooperation and support of the local government in their respective areas of jurisdiction in the DENR’s forest protection and anti-illegal logging campaign.

Cimatu said that regional offices will not get commendation for “hot logs” they have confiscated, but for their effort to prevent trees from being cut.

He urged all other field officials to follow the example of Batanes, which has become a good model for protecting the environment. Batanes is the only province in the country, which has been declared as a protected area in its entirety. ###

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DENR to regulate tourism in El Nido

El Nido Pic 550x300

Recognizing the gravity of problems that have cropped up in one of the world’s top tourist destinations in the country, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced today it will implement policies to help minimize the negative impact of tourism pressure in El Nido, Palawan.

Reports show that El Nido is beset with problems of diminishing water quality, biodiversity loss, flooding, and proliferation of informal settlers, business establishments, and structures without permit, and a host of other problems.

“I want people to experience the beauty of El Nido and. . . (read more)

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