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CA likely to bypass confirmation of DENR’s Gina Lopez

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, 15 March 2017 08:42 AM

MANILA, Philippines — Chair of the Commission on Appointments (CA) Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Senator Manny Pacquiao said the confirmation of Gina Lopez as DENR chief is likely to be bypassed.

Thus, Lopez will need reappointment by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Pacquiao said Lopez’ confirmation is now hanging in a balance, but still, they will give Lopez time to answer and clarify certain issues before the Commission in the next hearing.

Sen. Manny Paquiao said, “She has been bypassed. She needs reappointment then I’m sure and I’ve heard that the President will reappoint her again.”

He also noted that the confirmation hearing of Lopez will resume in May at the resumption of Senate’s session.

Meanwhile, CA has invited Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez as a resource person during the committee meeting on Tuesday.

Dominguez, who is also the co-chair of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC),  during the meeting said that Sec. Lopez did not properly follow due process in ordering the closure and suspension of mining firms.

The Finance Secretary further noted that DENR did not conduct enough consultation before issuing the decision.

“The DOLE, they said they were not consulted. I believe also DSWD also said they were not consulted. So, I think there was some kind a failure in the charge of due process,” said Dominguez.

Lopez previously argued against the MICC review.

Dominguez, however, defended the move citing that they just want to make sure that the law is being upheld because the questioning from mining companies on the due process further delays the implementation of the closure orders.

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Mines is pleased that the confirmation of Lopez has been withheld.

Nevertheless, the group promised to support the Duterte administration and is ready to work towards progress of the mining industry in the country. — Aga Caacbay | UNTV News & Rescue

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DENR turns on gov’t offices polluting Manila Bay

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, 30 January 2019 02:23 PM

After issuing cease and desist orders to private establishments over the absence of sewage and facilities, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is now turning its attention to government offices that are guilty of dumping waste materials into Manila Bay, said DENR Anti-Corruption Office Asec. Daniel Nicer.

The DENR will be looking at establishments surrounding Estero de San Antonio Abad which include Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Estero de San Antonio Abad directly drains into Manila Bay and has recorded 1.3 billion most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliters of fecal coliform content. These are bacteria found in human and animal feces as well as in decomposing organic materials.

The DENR is currently studying what actions to take concerning government establishments that violate regulations on the proper disposal of waste water. — Grace Casin

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Commercial structures mainly pollute Manila Bay – DENR

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, 20 December 2018 05:58 PM

The ugly truth behind Manila Bay’s beauty | Credits to Philippine Images FB

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu personally inspects Estero de San Antonio De Abad  in Manila on Thursday (December 20) in preparation for the planned rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

Through DENR’s water quality monitoring checkers, water samples were taken from that side of Manila Bay which will be brought to the agency’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) to determine the level of fecal coliform, nitrate and phosphate nutrients present in the area.

Cimatu believes the said waterway is one of the main contributors to extreme pollution that’s killing Manila Bay.

The stretch of Estero De San Antonio Abad leads to Manila Yacht Club and the US Embassy.

According to Cimatu, coliform level is at the highest on the Roxas Boulevard side of Manila Bay which reaches to 333M most probable number (mpn).

This is far higher than the safe level of 100mpn recommended for swimming and recreational activities.

“The problem is coming from the esteros in Metro Manila… ang lumalabas kasi ngayon ang ating ano sa Manila bay is 330M (MPN) ang coliform level in Manila Bay. Saan nanggagaling ang mga ito? Dito sa mga esteros na ito,” Cimatu said.

The DENR discovered that surrounding establishments in Manila Bay have poor waste treatment facilities and wastewater coming from them directly flows to Manila Bay causing heavy pollution.

These commercial facilities are specifically located in Taft Avenue to include hospitals, malls, hotels, and even one of Manila’s main attractions – the Manila Zoo.

“The discharge comes from commercial (structures). Grabe ang commercial discharges,” said DENR Usec. Sherwin Rigor

The DENR assessed that Manila Bay will be a massive work to do.

“Check iyong mga establishments diyan. Check their sewage system treatment plant at saka kung meron silang ECC. Check mo lahat ng mga ito,” Cimatu ordered his evaluators.

As part of the rehabilitation, silt-curtains will be installed in every end of the creeks that dispose water directly to Manila Bay to filter the trash.

Residents around Manila Bay will be relocated to nearby provinces specifically to Bulacan and Cavite.

Meanwhile, the DENR warns closure against establishments that disposes wastewater to Manila Bay.

The agency will convene all local executives in Metro Manila on January 15 together will the local officials in nearby provinces to discuss the master plan for the rehabilitation.

The DENR hopes to see improvements in the quality of water in Manila Bay by the end of 2019. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

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Duterte wants Mining Law repealed

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, 18 September 2018 03:55 PM

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte listens to the updates on the aftermath of Typhoon ‘Ompong’ during a situation briefing with the members of his cabinet and local government officials held at the Provincial Capitol in La Trinidad, Benguet on September 17, 2018. ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said he is determined to completely stop mining operations in the country within his term.

However, he admitted that to do it, the Congress must repeal the Mining Act first.

“We have to… If we cannot end mining because there’s a law, to end mining…Congress will have to abrogate the law. Me, I think that we would need a rest — a respite, period of inactivity diyan sa soil, and even the watershed,” the President said.

On Monday, September 18, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu ordered the stoppage of all operations of small-scale mining industry in the entire Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) after a massive landslide in Barangay Ucab, Itogon, Benguet killed more than 50 lives.

However, it is not clear as to when the directive will take effect.

The government is also not sure if it can even totally stop illegal mining activities in the country.

“The president has already insinuated yesterday. But of course, as I said, the delicate balance between the economics of mining and the police power of the state to protect the lives, and the environment of the state,” Roque said.

While small-scale mining is suspended in CAR, the local government and concerned agencies should now help in the rehabilitation of typhoon-affected areas. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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