MIMAROPA marks World Water Day with river cleanups,

 Calapan River rehab launch

CALAPAN RIVER 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.###

News

 

 

 

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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