DENR MIMAROPA, partner groups clean up Calapan coastline; share commitment to end plastic pollution

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources - MIMAROPA Region joined forces with the Philippine National Police, Philippine Army Reservists, Calapan Labor Service Development Cooperative (CALSEDECO), Provincial and City Environmental and Natural Resources Offices, and the local government of Calapan to clean up the 1.8 kilometer coastline of Brgys. Suqui and Lazareto in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, in celebration of Coral Triangle Day and Environment Month, June 22.  

Despite the gloomy weather and occasional rain shower, 280 individuals from the said groups came in full gear to clean the shoreline, and dug out trash from among the thorny bushes lined along the 1.8 km stretch. The activity, which was originally scheduled to last from 6:00 am to 8:00 am, yielded at least 20 sacks of non-biodegradable wastes, such as styrofoam, cigarette butts, plastic packaging, PET bottles, plastic spoons and forks, plastic cups, and straws, in less than two hours. The collected trash was immediately turned over to the local government for proper disposal.

“This just shows how important the value of cooperation is. We were able to finish ahead of time because everybody was on board to take his/her part. We are glad that DENR is not alone in this endeavor,” Regional Director Henry Adornado remarked as he thanked the participants. 

Adornado was designated new Regional Director of MIMAROPA on June 5, 2018. While his calendar was filled up quickly, the director said he made time to personally attend the coastal cleanup to let the people know that they, at the top management, lead the implementation of activities that support the mandate of the agency. 

Coral Triangle Day, held every June 9, is a celebration of the Coral Triangle, considered as the world’s epicenter of marine biodiversity. It encompasses the seas of six countries in the Asia Pacific Region, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Timor Leste, Solomon Islands and Philippines. Coastal clean 

On the other hand, the celebration of June as the Philippine Environment Month was declared by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 237, which was signed in 1988 by then President Corazon Aquino. The celebration was made to heighten the environmental consciousness of people and generate greater participation on the protection and conservation of the country’s natural resources.

 

Committed to end plastic pollution

 

Coral Triangle Day and Philippine Environment Month carry a single theme: “Plastic Resiliency. Beat Plastic Pollution. If you can’t reuse it, refuse it.”

There is a worldwide call to reduce the volume of plastic products that eventually pollute bodies of water and endanger aquatic resources as well as human lives.

At the kickoff of the Environment Month celebration, Secretary Roy Cimatu made an appeal to the public to reduce plastic wastes by using reusable alternatives, such as eco-friendly tumblers and eco-bags. On June 12, Independence Day, Sec. Cimatu also declared that he is “seriously considering” a ban on single-use plastic items in Boracay to address its garbage problem.

In response to this, RD Adornado shared that DENR MIMAROPA has already issued a policy prohibiting the use of single-use cutlery and food containers among its officials and employees. “We follow the lead of Secretary Roy Cimatu in enjoining the public to observe proper waste disposal and refrain from using plastic products, particularly single-use plastics that end up polluting our oceans and destroying our marine resources,” he said. 

During the coastal cleanup, breakfast was served in banana leaves; there were stainless utensils and glasses; and clean water and soap were made available for those who wanted to wash and eat with their hands.

“Kailangan sa atin magsimula, mapaigting at mapalaganap sa buong bansa. Kung tuloy-tuloy ito (ban on using single-use plastics), malamang sa dalawa o tatlong buwan, makikita natin na bababa ang volume ng basura natin,” RD Adornado explained. 

The call of the DENR MIMAROPA chief did not fall on deaf ears as heads of participating agencies signed and expressed their commitment to support the agency’s campaign in ditching single-use plastics.

“Nangangako po kami sa Brgy. Suqui na ipagpapatuloy namin ang aming gawain sa pangangalaga ng kalikasan. At pinag-uusapan na namin ang pag-pasa ng ordinansa na maipagbawal ang plastic sa ating barangay,” said Brgy. Captain Richard Agustin. 

“Plastics can survive in the environment for 500 years. Wala na tayo ng panahon na yun pero hindi na natin kailangang hintayin iyon para kumilos at maisalba ang ating kalikasan para sa ating mga anak at para sa mga susunod na henerasyon,” RD Adornado concluded. ###

 

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DENR removes illegal sewage line in El Nido, Palawan; prepares charges against owners of hidden pipes in the island

el nido

 

     The Department of Environment and Natural Resources - MIMAROPA Region on Saturday excavated from the beachfront of a hotel establishment in El Nido, Palawan, a  PVC pipeline illegally installed within the town’s declared easement zone.

     Detected through the ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey conducted by the Central and MIMAROPA Regional offices of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau,  the pipeline measuring six inches in diameter and six meters in length was uncovered in front of Outpost Beach Hostel in Brgy. Corong-corong. It was also found discharging black and foul-smelling liquid directly into Bacuit Bay, one of the province’s ecotourism sites undergoing massive rehabilitation. 

     To confirm the source of the wastewater, the regional Environmental Management Bureau used a green tracer solution into Outpost Beach Hostel’s last chamber to which the excavated pipe was connected. After almost 20 minutes, the green solution drained into the said pipe, indicating that the said establishment was the one discharging wastewater from the tank. The EMB shall be conducting further investigation to determine if there are other sources of wastewater discharge aside from the hostel. 

     Paul Sepulveda, one of the co-owners of Outpost Beach Hostel in Brgy. Corong-corong, admitted that they owned the pipe.

     Nevertheless, DENR MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Henry Adornado ordered immediate removal of the sewage line as it violates provisions of PD 1067 or the Water Code of the Philippines, which prohibits any structures within the easement zones without permission from the government. 

      “The law is clear, and so was our appeal to everybody to cooperate with us in rehabilitating El Nido. We will continue to implement measures to find out if there are others who are doing the same and continuously disregarding our call to follow the rule of law. We will hold them responsible,” RED Adornado remarked. 

     The management of Outpost Beach Hostel volunteered to cut the sewage line but contested they were able to secure a discharge permit and the effluent samples taken from their sewage treatment facility passed the water quality guidelines of the DENR. 

     It can be recalled that the establishment was issued a Notice of Violation by the EMB for releasing wastewater exceeding the standards. Sepulveda said they are currently complying their commitments with the EMB. 

     Last year, the DENR created Task Force El Nido to spearhead the restoration of the famous island paradise found beset by environmental problems, such as encroachment of easement zones and high coliform levels in Bacuit Bay. The DENR, together with the local government unit of El Nido, has organized several stakeholders meetings to inform and engage both the residents and business establishments owners in restoring the beauty and cleanliness of the famous beach destination. Under the directive of Secretary Roy Cimatu, the DENR has also also pronounced to be more aggressive in enforcing the laws against anyone who would violate the environment.

      “The Outpost Beach Hostel’s continuous use of hidden sewage lines despite our warnings is a clear violation of the law and a blatant disregard for the environment that provides them livelihood. They are also putting the lives of tourists and residents in danger as they continue to pollute Bacuit Bay,” the director noted. 

      “We have no choice but to perform necessary actions to prevent them from further degrading nature,” he stated.   

     Meanwhile, the excavation site was filled with sand using the backhoe sent by the local government of El Nido. The end of the cut pipe was left open for sampling and analysis by the EMB. 

     “We have to remind everyone that we are preparing Bacuit Bay as Water Quality Management Area so we shall be conducting regular water sampling and analysis not only to Outpost Beach Hostel but also to other establishments to ensure they do not discharge untreated wastewater into Bacuit Bay,” EMB Regional Director Michael Drake Matias said. 

     Besides regular effluent sampling, the DENR and the MGB have been conducting GPR survey of the coastal areas of El Nido since March 18 to detect buried waste pipelines. They are calling business establishments to take Outpost Beach Hostel as an example to avoid interruption in their business operations.

     “You cannot hide them (pipes) forever. We will eventually uncover them so we advise you to remove your illegal sewage lines and comply with the laws for your own good,”  MGB MIMAROPA Regional Director Roland De Jesus stated. 

     The DENR, EMB and MGB in MIMAROPA vowed to impose maximum penalty to any establishments found continuously breaking environmental rules and regulations; and employ unified action to ensure environment protection remains as top priority.### 

 

 

Photo Releases

January 27, 2019. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources – MIMAROPA Region supports the “Battle for Manila Bay,” the 192-kilometer harbour that has become part of its home for decades now.

 

"Hindi po magiging ganito kaganda ang El Nido kung hindi ito nai-proklama bilang isang Protected Area."

-Vice Mayor Leonor Corral

DENR Palawan and CENRO PPC personnel joined the 1st SUBARAW Biodiversity Festival Parade and Float Competition last November 11, 2018 at Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

"Di po namin kaya kung kami lang sa DENR ang kikilos kaya nagpapasalamat po kami sa ating lokal na pamahalaan at mga partner agencies na kasama namin sa nakaraan at sa susunod pang 20 taon ng pangangalaga sa El Nido."

-Regional Executive Director Henry A. Adornado

"Napakasarap po sa pakiramdam na sa nakaraan 20 taon, nabigyan ako ng pagkakataon mapangalagaan at maprotektahan ang El Nido, ang ating kalikasan. Makakaasa po ang ating mga kababayan, ang DENR, na patuloy nating poprotektahan ang El Nido, dahil ito ay ating tahanan"

-Mayor Nieves Rosento

Themed "Nurturing shared responsibility for biodiversity conservation, the event celebrates two decades of concerted efforts of various stakeholders in protecting, saving and conserving El Nido

Taytay CENRO Pablo Cruz welcomes guests at the 20th anniversary celebration of ENTMRPA. "We thank you and reconize your roles in making our activities in 2018 successful and meaningful."

Turn-over Ceremony of EMB-MIMAROPA Regional Director

Let's explore the TAMWorld! A photo and art exhibit organized by Far Eastern University in celebration of Tamaraw Month this October.

Hataw Tamaraw!

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