battle for manila bay

DENR MIMAROPA joins “Battle for Manila Bay”

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.

Personnel from the Regional Offices of DENR and Environmental Bureau – MIMAROPA joined the solidarity walk led by Secretary Roy A. Cimatu himself who called for unity and commitment in restoring the beauty and cleanliness of Manila Bay. The employees also took part in cleaning a portion of the shoreline across where the agencies are located.

“It is our duty to keep the bay and the environment clean,” DENR MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Henry A. Adornado stated. Prior to the Manila Bay rehab, personnel of DENR MIMAROPA used to join cleanup efforts in the bay especially during the observance of the International Costal Cleanup Day, which is held every September.

The employees collected bags of debris, mostly disposable plastic materials, such as straws, PET bottle caps and plastic bags.

“This also shows our battle against plastic, which continues to pollute our seas and harm our marine resources. We must take action, now,” the director expressed.

DENR MIMAROPA, which jurisdiction includes the island provinces of Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan, responds to the fight against plastic by using Regional Memorandum Order (RMO) No. 2018-006 dated May 16, 2018, prohibiting the use of Styrofoam food containers and single-use utensils in its regional and field offices.

It also observes Regional Development Council (RDC) Resolution No. 2018-065-730 enjoining local government units, agency regional offices, business organizations and other stakeholders in MIMAROPA Region to prohibit the use of single-use plastics.

Meanwhile, in line with the rehabilitation of Manila Bay, and the successful reopening of Boracay last October, 2018, DENR MIMAROPA keeps track of its own cleanup and rehabilitation activities in the region’s famous island destinations, namely El Nido, Coron and San Vicente in Palawan, and Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro.

The office created task forces to ensure strict enforcement of environmental laws, which not only concern solid wastes such as plastic, but discharge of untreated waste water and encroachment of easement zones as well. In the past months, the task forces has served Notices to Vacate to errant establishments and households; and recommended to the LGUs concerned, demolition of structures that failed to comply with the notices within the prescribed period. Notices of Violation were also issued to commercial establishments that were found to have violated pertinent environmental rules and regulations.

“Just like Manila Bay, MIMAROPA Region is also facing a “battle” in keeping its environment protected and conserved. But we are guided by the President and Secretary Cimatu’s pronouncements to uphold the welfare of the environment above all else. At iyon ang gagawin natin, dahil tayo rin naman ang mahihirapan kung papairalin natin ang pansarili o iba pang interes bago and kapakanan ng ating kalikasan,” RED Adornado concluded. ###