21 of 28 excavated pipe connections in Boracay white beach, illegal – DENR

Marje Pelayo   •   May 25, 2018   •   3314

 

Stretch of White Beach in Boracay

 

BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) excavated 28 pipe connections in Boracay white beach Friday, May 25.

From the said number, DENR identified 21 pipe connections that are illegally installed.

Seven pipelines in Station 1 were discovered to have been disposing wastewater directly to the sea. The same goes for 9 out of 10 pipe connections in Station 2.

In Station 3 five out of 10 pipes are considered illegal according to DENR.

The agency is now tracking establishment owners of said illegally installed sewers to demand their explanation on the matter.

“If really hindi nila ma-explain (they cannot explain) properly why they did that, it was illegal, so we will file the necessary charges in court,” said Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

Cimatu added that the agency will use its quasi-judicial powers to impose fines against the involved establishments.

DENR also collected water samples from the pipes to examine the level of coliform content in the drainage system which is a reason for water contamination in the white beach.

After the sewer system, DENR will address the reclamation of wetland areas next.

“Once we will be able to demolish and relocate itong mga (these) informal settlers towards the mainland ay ma-address na natin ang problema (we will be able to address the problem),” Cimatu said.

DENR backfilled sewer lines that were properly installed while those with violations were marked as off limits until the agency’s investigation is completed. – Vincent Octavio / Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

DENR rejects calls to reconsider lifting of moratorium on mining, cites source of fund needed

Marje Pelayo   •   April 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has rejected calls from environmental groups for the agency to review its decision to lift the ban on mining.

In a virtual briefing on Monday (April 19), Environment Undersecretary Jonas Leones cited the country’s need for funds especially considering the current COVID-19 crisis.

The decision, stated in Executive Order 130, allows the government to enter into new mining agreements.

“Sa ngayon hindi natin pagtutuunan ng pansin ang ganyan dahil kailangan natin kasi, marami tayong mga problema ngayon sa ating bansa na kailangan natin ng pagkukuhanan ng pondo,” Leones said during Monday’s Laging Handa virtual press briefing.

The official said the mining industry is a significant source of funds in addressing COVID-19.

“At isa ito (mining) sa nakita natin, isa sa mga paraan na para tayo makaahon ng konti, para naman magamit natin mga pondong makukuha natin para din sa…like sa COVID-19 activities, pagbibigay ng ayuda sa mga mamamayan,” he added.

Currently, Leones said there are some 100 mining projects from which the government expects to gain P21 billion in revenues from excise taxes and royalty.

However, it will take up to five years before the government benefits from it.

Leones assured that the government is not just considering gaining from the sector but likewise ensuring a balance between environmental aspects and economic aspects.

Fatal landslide in Brgy. Runruno, N. Vizcaya caused by severe weather, not mining – MGB

Marje Pelayo   •   November 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) ruled out mining activity as the cause of the landslide that occurred in Brgy. Runruno, Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya on November 11 during the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses.

In a press release Thursday (November 26), MGB Regional Director Mario Ancheta, “the fatal landslide was triggered by the inclement weather conditions resulting in ground saturation and eventual landslide and not due to small scale mining activity as earlier reported.”

Geologists and technical personnel from MGB Region 2 were sent to conduct a site inspection at the landslide areas where ten individuals were killed, including a two-month old baby and leaving two others injured.

Ancheta added that residents were already recommended for relocation based on a geohazard assessment result conducted by the MGB on September 18, showing that Sitios Bit-ang, Balcony, Compound, and Kinalabasa are highly or critically susceptible to natural hazards.

“The result of the assessment was presented to the community including the residents of sitio Bit-ang, Compound, Balcony, and Kinalabasa,” Ancheta said.

After the incident, the official stressed that “evacuation of the illegal settlers within the landslide prone areas should be strictly implemented.” MNP / Raymund David

DENR to check rivers for coliform content amid polio outbreak

Marje Pelayo   •   September 25, 2019

Filipino residents cross a hanging bridge along the polluted water of Pasig river in Manila, Philippines, 31 May 2018 (issued on 04 June 2018). EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will conduct testing of water samples from all rivers across the country amid the ongoing outbreak of poliovirus.

The test is to determine the quality of and coliform content in the country’s bodies of water after water samples from the sewerage system in Tondo, Manila and Davao city tested positive of poliovirus.

According to DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu has ordered all its regional offices to submit the results as soon as possible.

“Hahanapin namin ang mga pipes na nagtatapon sa mga rivers para masiguro natin na hindi na madagdagan pa ang polusyon ng river (We will trace the pipes that discharge directly into the rivers to make sure that pollution level in our rivers will not escalate),” Antiporda said. – MNP (with details from Grace Casin)

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