Cimatu calls on Pinoys to cut down plastic use

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 14, 2019   •   1223

In celebration of World Wildlife Day 2019, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu calls on Filipinos to cut down on the use of plastic.

Cimatu said that the Philippines is among the top 5 contributors of plastic waste in the ocean. He also raised concerns on the amount of plastic that end up in the ocean and pose a threat to marine life.

“We produce 2.7 metric tons of plastic waste every year. Following this trajectory of plastic production and mismanagement, UN reports predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish,”
Cimatu said.

Ocean Conservancy reports that 8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year while according to the 2017 International Coastal Cleanup report, cigarette butts, plastic bottles and caps, straws and stirrers, among other kinds of plastic bags, were some of the top items found. — Aileen Cerrudo

Oplan Pamamalakaya: US, PH soldiers install artificial reefs in Batangas

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 20, 2019

Jackstone-type artificial habitat reefs made from simple construction materials

The Philippine and the United States military divers, along with local government units and non-government organizations installed artificial reefs in Batangas on August 15.

Oplan Pamamalakaya is a collaboration between by the Philippine Air Force, DV Boer Farm, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Community Environment and Natural Resources Office, and Municipality of Calatagan local government and residents.

The team were able to install a total of 30 jackstone-type artificial habitat reefs made from simple construction materials. 

“This project was a fantastic opportunity for us to partner with our friends in the PAF and help preserve the Philippine environment for future generations,” said Major Zach Hart, a participating diver.—AAC

Former DENR Sec Gina Lopez dies at 65

Maris Federez   •   August 19, 2019

Former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez

Former environment and natural resources secretary Gina Lopez died on Monday after battling brain cancer. She was 65.

Lopez was known for being a staunch children’s right champion, as well as, her advocacy in caring for the environment.

Lopez was known for her work in rehabilitating the Pasig River and La Mesa Watershed.

She was also instrumental for the shutting down of mining operations found to have violated environmental laws.

As a children’s rights advocate, Lopez founded the Bantay Bata 163, where cases of child abuse can be reported.

Funeral services for the former secretary is still to be announced.

EcoWaste: Some ukay-ukay toys pose choking and chemical hazards

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 12, 2019

Environment group, EcoWaste Coalition warns the public against the choking and chemical hazard posed by some toys sold in thrift stores or ukay-ukay.

Based on the examination of the group, some ukay-ukay products are laden with chemicals that are dangerous to human health, especially to a child.

“For example, the yellow, orange, green and bars of a used toy xylophone had lead content exceeding the maximum 90 ppm limit for lead in paint,” according to Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition.

“Further examination of the samples revealed that as many as 78 items contain small parts that may be separated from the toy. A child may put the detached toy component in the mouth and choke, so a cautionary warning is definitely necessary,” he adds.

Aside from lead, the group also found other harmful chemicals including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) which can interfere with the endocrine or hormone system.

Dizon is also calling the attention of authorities to conduct investigation on the sale of used toys and other children’s products in ukay-ukay stores.

“Yes, recycling is fun, but we do not want recycled toys from abroad to contaminate our children’s bodies and harm their well-being and future,” he concluded.—AAC

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