MIMAROPA marks World Water Day with river cleanups,

 Calapan River rehab launch


Over 9,000 volunteers marked the World Water Day (WWD) in the MIMAROPA region with simultaneous cleanup of 11 rivers, which netted around 22 tons of garbage. 

The cleanup coincided with the launch of Calapan River rehabilitation project in Oriental Mindoro. The river has been suffering from pollution due to solid waste disposal and untreated wastewater discharge.


The cleanup activities, which was organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), gathered participants from the agency’s field offices, partner agencies, local government units (LGUs), non-government organizations, academic, religious, and business sectors and other civil society groups with one goal in mind: to save rivers from pollution, and achieve safe water for present and future generations.


DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda, representing Secretary Roy A. Cimatu in the event, lauded the volunteers, who, after two hours, were able to free the rivers from garbage mostly composed of plastic bags, food packaging, and plastic beverage bottles. 


“This shows that when we put our efforts together, we can make a big difference for our environment,” Antiporda said.


Sabihin mong iilang piraso lang ang napulot nating basura, kapag pinagsama-sama natin iyon, tone-toneladang basura ang matatanggal natin sa mga ilog at sa ating kapaligiran,” he added. 


The event was dubbed, “Water for all now and foRiver,” taking off from this year’s WWD theme, “Water for All, Leaving No One Behind.”


Aside from the Calapan River, the volunteers also cleaned up the following rivers: Sabang River in Sablayan, and Pandurucan River in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro; Boac River in Marinduque; and Bangon-bongoy River in Romblon.


In Palawan province, citizens trooped to the Umalad River in Roxas, Abongan River in Taytay, Tagburos River in Puerto Princesa City, Buligay River in Brooke’s Point, Panitian River in Quezon, and Sitio Manggahan 1 and 2, and Bakawan Creeks in Coron.


DENR MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Henry Adornado said that the degrading state of rivers and the rest of the country’s environment prompted the DENR to employ a strengthened and unified command in terms of law enforcement and rehabilitation of critical areas.


“From the regional down to our provincial and community offices, the DENR offices here in MIMAROPA take on the directive of Secretary Cimatu to work as one in protecting and conserving our environment,” he stated.


The rehabilitation of Calapan River comes on the heels of the issuance of cease and desist orders (CDOs) to two fast food chains on March 7, 2019 by the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in MIMAROPA Region.


The two were found guilty of operating without discharge permits, and releasing into Calapan River partially treated wastewater that exceeded effluent standards. 


Antiporda called on the public to stop patronizing establishments issued with CDOs.  “Kung walang tatangkilik sa kanila, malamang wala nang lalapastangan sa ating kaliksasn,” he pointed out.  


He also called on the provincial office to furnish concerned municipal LGUs a copy of the violations of the establishments “to serve as basis for temporary cancellation of their business permits.”


Calapan River was designated as a Water Quality Management Area (WQMA) in 2013. Since then, numerous efforts have been undertaken by the city government to restore its water quality, including the passage of several ordinances consistent with environmental laws.


Declaring a water body as a WQMA beefs up protection initiatives as it requires management action by the local government and other stakeholders.###






Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has vowed to do everything in his power to protect workers of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) from “fearless, cunning and greedy” individuals who destroy the environment for their own selfish interests.

Cimatu made the promise as he condemned “in the strongest sense of the word” the brutal killing of DENR forest ranger BienvenidoVeguilla Jr. by suspected illegal loggers in El Nido, Palawan recently.

“I will never allow another crime such as the killing of Mr. Veguilla to happen to any of my people,” the former Armed Forces chief said during a budget hearing held at the House of Representatives last Friday.

“This incident shows how greed and disregard for our laws can have appalling consequences on people and our society,” Cimatu added.

Reports reaching the DENR central office in Quezon City showed that Veguilla—together with fellow forest ranger JenuelCasel, forest extension officer HersonCaliao, and park rangers Marvin Flamiano, Godensio Caber and NorlitoJongay—were conducting a forest patrol in the afternoon of Sept. 4 in an area covered by the National Greening Program when they heard the sound of a chainsaw as they passed through Barangay Pasadena.

Veguilla’s group followed the sound until they saw some men slicing a felled tree with a chainsaw. These men suddenly ran away upon seeing the DENR team, leaving behind the chainsaw which Veguilla’s group was able to secure.

On their way home and about a hundred meters away from the site, the DENR forest officers were chased by a group of six men armed with a bolo. Veguilla was able to fire his service weapon as he and his companions were running for safety.

However, Veguilla was cornered and hacked to death, while the others were able to seek help from the nearby barangay and police offices.

Veguilla sustained deep, multiple stab wounds on the head, arms and other parts of the body.

One of the suspects identified as Filman Flores was wounded by Veguilla’s shots and was brought to the hospital.

Flores and another suspect, Gerardo “Carding” Fulgencio, are now under police custody. A manhunt operation is ongoing for the remaining four suspects.

Cimatu said the incident calls for the enactment of a law creating an Enforcement Bureau within the DENR.

“We believe that the creation of an Enforcement Bureau under the DENR can effectively stop illegal logging, smuggling of wildlife species and other environmental crimes,” Cimatu pointed out.

The DENR chief appealed to House members present during the budget hearing to help the DENR have this Enforcement Bureau in the soonest time possible.

Last Friday, DENR MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Henry Adornado, on behalf of Cimatu, visited Veguilla’s wake to extend the DENR’s condolences and financial assistance to the family.

Two units of chainsaw, Veguilla’s service firearm and the bolo allegedly used to kill him have been recovered from the crime scene and are now in police custody.

Charges for murder have been filed at the Puerto Princesa City Prosecutor’s Office under Docket NPS No. 1V0s INQ 19I0224. Other charges in violation of Presidential Decree 705 or the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines and Republic Act 9175 or the Chainsaw Act of 2002 that regulates the use of chainsaw are being prepared.

Veguilla’s remains lie in state at his home in Barangay Bagong Bayan in El Nido. He is survived by his wife Eloisa, an elementary school teacher, and their six children.

The 52-year-old Veguilla served as reserved warden at the DENR MIMAROPA from 1980 to 1997. He then worked as contractual protected area ranger and forest ranger from 1998 to September 2015.

In October 2015, he was appointed as forest ranger in the El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area.

Veguilla was described by his family and colleagues as hardworking and dedicated. He diligently reported for work and helped out even during weekends and holidays. ###


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.


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

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

"Today, we celebrate not only the 19th anniversary of Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape. We also celebrate the hard work and dedication of countless men and women, partner agencies and groups who have been one with DENR in protecting our beloved MSPLS, "ARD Vince Tuddao, Jr., expresses his thanks to PENRO Palawam, CENRO Taytay, MSPSLS Protected Area Management Office Management and various stakeholders who have been the agency's partners in upholding the welfare of Malampaya Sound above all else.

ARD Vince Tuddao, Jr., CENRO Allan Valle and PASu Alexander Mancio handed over to partner agencies, NGOs Pos and LGUs plaques and certificate of appreciation for their exemplary dedication and untiring support to the programs and projects of the Department within the Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape.

Malampaya Foundation, represented by its Exxecutive Director Karen Ag (second form left) extends to CENRO law enforcers, whom she described as environmental heroes, conservation incentive in the form of one year accident and two sacks of rice each from July-December 2019.

Tank you Malamapaya Foundation!

Other Links

  • office-of-the-president

  • official-gazette