DENR-XI intensifies monitoring of Samal coastal waters, beach resorts

With press release - denr-xi intensifies monitoring of samal coastal waters resizedthe current environmental problems of Boracay Island, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-XI) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will intensify its regular monitoring on the coastal waters and beach resorts of Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) in Davao del Norte.

Through the creation of the Regional Inter-Agency Technical Committee (RIATC) last year, EMB-XI has been working closely with the Department of Health, Department of Tourism and the concerned Local Government Units to conduct surveillance and alert the public on the state of water quality of beaches as these are frequently visited by both domestic and foreign tourists.

Aside from monitoring the water quality of Samal Island, EMB-XI is also strictly monitoring beach resorts to determine their compliance in terms of having septage treatment facilities in their establishment considering that one of the major sources of pollution is the inadequate treated domestic wastewater.

Last year, EMB-XI has monitored 9 beach resorts in Samal of which all these have septage treatment facilities. This year, the Bureau will be monitoring all beach resorts in Region XI considering that clean water and clean air are among the 10 priority programs of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

Earlier this week, Cimatu appealed tourism hotspots nationwide to plan their sewerage and septage systems in a bid to avoid these destinations from suffering the fate of Boracay. "Let us not wait until it is too late. We need to put in the investment in the sewage systems of these places now while we still can so that these places can avoid the problems facing Boracay today. It is better to build sewerage treatment facilities now than face a catastrophe later," Cimatu said.

DENR estimated that there are around 17.5 million liters of waste water generated in the island every day. Of this volume, it is said that there are only about half that is treated properly while the other half is discharged untreated. About 30 to 40 percent of the untreated waste water comes from private homes while the rest is said to come from business establishments.
At present, DENR mission team has already started its work to rehabilitate Boracay. The team has been divided into six groups and is surveying different areas of the island, looking for violations such as missing environmental compliance certificates and failure to connect to the sewage treatment plants.

Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said during an interview that beach resort owners in Samal Island should learn from the mistakes of establishments in Boracay which are facing closure and that they have to take care of their environment because eventually they will be like Boracay.

With what has been happening to Boracay, one of EMB-XI's targets this year is to have a Water Quality Management Area (WQMA) in Samal Island to protect, through stakeholders collaboration, the water body and its tributaries by keeping their water quality within the Water Quality Guidelines or Criteria conforming to the water body's classification or even improve the quality to higher classification.

Section 5 of Republic Act 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 is tasking the DENR in coordination with the National Water Resources Board to designate certain areas as water quality management areas using appropriate physiographic units such as watershed river basins or water resources regions.



DENR creates Provincial Task Force Naboc River

denr creates provincial task force naboc riverSecretary Roy A. Cimatu of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources recently created the Provincial Task Force Naboc River (PTFNR) through Special Order 2018-593 to address the environmental problems brought about by mining and illegal forest-related activities within Diwalwal Mineral Reservation Area (DMRA).

PTFNR, which is the counterpart of the National Task Force Diwalwal, is being chaired by the DENR-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) of Compostela Valley Province and is co-chaired by the Governor of Comval Province, Commanding Officer of the 25th IB and the Provincial Director of the Philippine National Police. Members are composed of representatives from the different government agencies, LGUs, miners groups, academe, environmental CSO and irrigators association.


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