DENR vows more aggressive enforcement of environment laws in 2019

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will be more aggressive in enforcing environmental laws and regulations in 2019 in order to sustain the momentum created by the much lauded rehabilitation of Boracay Island and other accomplishments of the agency last year.

“This year, I hope to send a strong message to environmental offenders and to the public of our seriousness in implementing and enforcing environmental laws, rules and regulations,” Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said during the traditional DENR New Year’s Call held at the DENR central office in Quezon City.

 

The New Year’s Call is where the Secretary meets with all DENR officials and employees to announce the policy direction for the agency and set the priority programs and projects to be implemented for the rest of the year. The annual gathering also gives the DENR chief the chance to present the agency’s accomplishments in the previous year.

 

Cimatu described the Boracay rehabilitation, which was carried out by the DENR and other members of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force as the “centerpiece of our 2018 accomplishments.”

 

“With the eyes of the world upon us, we set forth to do what cynics thought was impossible: to transform a cesspool back to being one of the world’s best beaches and swimming destinations, within a period of only 6 months,” Cimatu said.

 

He added: “In Boracay, our mettle was put to test. We not only passed that test, but also carried over the momentum to other prime ecotourism destinations like El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Panglao Island in Bohol, and Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro.”

 

Cimatu said the Boracay’s success had spawned demands for replication so the DENR decided to have the rehabilitation of Manila Bay as its “next big target.”

 

The Manila Bay rehabilitation, he said, calls for a change in approach considering that its water quality has not improved despite a Supreme Court mandamus for its cleanup issued a decade ago.

 

“We are putting up a Manila Bay command center, we will get the local government units more involved, and we will be more aggressive in enforcing environmental laws, particularly against the dischaege of untreated wastewater into the bay,” Cimatu disclosed.

 

Apart from the Boracay rehabilitation, Cimatu said the DENR, through the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), was also successful in enforcing the Clean Water Act in other parts of the country in 2018.

 

The NWRB caused the closure of 486 commercial establishments illegally operating deep wells. It also slapped Pepsi Cola Products Inc. with a hefty fine of P11.8 million for operating 6 deep wells in Muntinlupa City without the necessary permits. 

 

Cimatu also commended the combined forces of the DENR, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Cebu City government in apprehending those responsible in the butcher and sale of more than 100 kilograms of raw meat of endangered green sea turtles.

 

In closing, Cimatu rallied DENR officials and employees to let the success in Boracay “fuel our spirits in facing the challenges before us in 2019” and keep in mind that their mandate in the agency “transcends our personal needs, wants and interest.”

 

“In our hands and on our shoulders, lie the future of our nation. In the crucial 11th hour facing climate change and all its chilling effects, we are at a very critical time to make dramatic changes,” Cimatu stressed. #

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will be more aggressive in enforcing environmental laws and regulations in 2019 in order to sustain the momentum created by the much lauded rehabilitation of Boracay Island and other accomplishments of the agency last year.

 

“This year, I hope to send a strong message to environmental offenders and to the public of our seriousness in implementing and enforcing environmental laws, rules and regulations,” Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said during the traditional DENR New Year’s Call held at the DENR central office in Quezon City.

 

The New Year’s Call is where the Secretary meets with all DENR officials and employees to announce the policy direction for the agency and set the priority programs and projects to be implemented for the rest of the year. The annual gathering also gives the DENR chief the chance to present the agency’s accomplishments in the previous year.

 

Cimatu described the Boracay rehabilitation, which was carried out by the DENR and other members of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force as the “centerpiece of our 2018 accomplishments.”

 

“With the eyes of the world upon us, we set forth to do what cynics thought was impossible: to transform a cesspool back to being one of the world’s best beaches and swimming destinations, within a period of only 6 months,” Cimatu said.

 

He added: “In Boracay, our mettle was put to test. We not only passed that test, but also carried over the momentum to other prime ecotourism destinations like El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Panglao Island in Bohol, and Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro.”

 

Cimatu said the Boracay’s success had spawned demands for replication so the DENR decided to have the rehabilitation of Manila Bay as its “next big target.”

 

The Manila Bay rehabilitation, he said, calls for a change in approach considering that its water quality has not improved despite a Supreme Court mandamus for its cleanup issued a decade ago.

 

“We are putting up a Manila Bay command center, we will get the local government units more involved, and we will be more aggressive in enforcing environmental laws, particularly against the dischaege of untreated wastewater into the bay,” Cimatu disclosed.

 

Apart from the Boracay rehabilitation, Cimatu said the DENR, through the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), was also successful in enforcing the Clean Water Act in other parts of the country in 2018.

 

The NWRB caused the closure of 486 commercial establishments illegally operating deep wells. It also slapped Pepsi Cola Products Inc. with a hefty fine of P11.8 million for operating 6 deep wells in Muntinlupa City without the necessary permits. 

 

Cimatu also commended the combined forces of the DENR, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Cebu City government in apprehending those responsible in the butcher and sale of more than 100 kilograms of raw meat of endangered green sea turtles.

 

In closing, Cimatu rallied DENR officials and employees to let the success in Boracay “fuel our spirits in facing the challenges before us in 2019” and keep in mind that their mandate in the agency “transcends our personal needs, wants and interest.”

 

“In our hands and on our shoulders, lie the future of our nation. In the crucial 11th hour facing climate change and all its chilling effects, we are at a very critical time to make dramatic changes,” Cimatu stressed.

 

News

Aboitiz to establish Pawikan Center in Davao City

Aboitiz Group of Companies will soon establish a pawikan rescue center and hatchery for marine turtles at the Aboitiz Cleanergy Park in Punta Dumalag, Matina Aplaya, Davao City.

Through a Memorandum of Agreement signed by the Aboitiz Group’s social development arm Aboitiz Foundation and AboitizPower business unit Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-XI) and the City Government of Davao, the establishment of the Pawikan Center aims to provide temporary shelter to marine sea turtles where they can be rehabilitated, conserved and protected.

Signatories to the MOA are: Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio; Aboitiz’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jaine Jose Aboitiz; and DENR’s OIC, Assistant Secretary for Eastern Mindanao in concurrent capacity as Regional Executive Director Ruth M. Tawantawan.

“Aside from the many nests and eggs that have been discovered and protected, the Park has also served as a venue to inform and educate more visitors about the importance of safeguarding the pawikan and its natural habitat,” Aboitiz said.

With the signing of the MOA, Mayor Duterte said that the city government reiterates its commitment to the protection of the various species of Pawikan found in Davao City.

“And so we commend the Aboitiz Foundation Incorporated and the Davao Light and Power Company for your pawikan conservation efforts at the Cleanergy Park that has released 3,482 turtle hatchlings to date since the start of the operation. We also thank the DENR for the technical expertise and guidance you provided to ensure that the conservation efforts being undertaken are appropriate and will lead to the best possible results,” Duterte-Carpio said.

Moreover, Tawantawan stressed that the 8-hectare Punta Dumalag is a very special area as it is home to pawikan and also to 89 bird species and 7 kinds of mangrove vegetation.

“This very area is so rich and unique that it became also a habitat of other important flora and fauna. That is why DENR is very blessed to be working with the Aboitiz, with Mayor Sara and other officials who sincerely care for the environment. Surely, DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu will be very pleased and grateful,” she added.

Tawantawan also said that pawikan particularly Hawksbill are critically endangered. “If we check on the reproductive cycle of turtles, their survival is very nil. Only 1 percent. And it takes so long for them to mature. That’s 20 to 50 years. That means, if they are not protected, the probability of extinction is very high,” she said.

Apart from protecting the nesting areas at the park, the Pawikan Center aims to identify, document, and address threats to marine turtles and their habitats in Punta Dumalag; promote research, monitoring and information exchange; enhance public awareness on the conservation initiatives in the area; and fortify the collaboration between the public and private sectors for the long-term recovery of pawikan population in the area.

The DENR will provide technical assistance, facilitate information and education campaign on marine turtle conservation, and establish Punta Dumalag as critical habitat for marine turtles, among others.

Meanwhile, the Davao LGU, through local ordinance, will strengthen the enforcement of existing laws relevant to the conservation efforts, assist the DENR in the establishment of Punta Dumalag as critical habitat for the marine turtles, provide manpower support for the project, and furnish DENR with monitoring reports. #TayoAngKalikasan

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