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DENR orders self-demolition for Boracay establishments to avoid lawsuit

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu answers questions during an inspection in Boracay Island.

MANILA, Philippines — Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu has reminded owners of commercial establishments located at the no-build zone area of Bulabog Beach in Boracay Island to self-demolish to avoid facing a lawsuit.

The establishments in question stand on forest and wetland areas which the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) prohibits.

“It’s really their right naman but we have to implement the law. The law is there, halimbawa, sinasabi nilang private property na nila yan the government can make some legal remedy para ma-implement,” said the environment secretary.

(It’s really their right also but we have to implement the law. The law is there. For example, they’re claiming that it’s already their private property. The government can make some legal remedy so that it can be implemented.)

On Monday, Cimatu and representatives of concerned agencies inspected the structures built along the 25+5 easement area of the beach.

Establishment owners are given 15 days from today, March 27,  to demolish or abandon their structures.

Meanwhile, Cimatu has asked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to immediately finish roadworks at Boracay Circumferential Road which connects Barangay Manoc Manoc to Yapak and is expected to ease traffic congestion in the area.

“This will partially or probably reduce the traffic. We are planning to open up another road dito upang i-reduce (here to reduce) travel from one hour to 30 minutes. Ganun,” said Cimatu.

The secretary is confident that with constant cooperation from the local government, the rehabilitation of Boracay Island will speedily progress. — Maris Federes | UNTV News & Rescue

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Boracay rebuilds drainage system with latest technology

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

High density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic pipes line the beach of Boracay ready to be installed.

 

BORACAY, Philippines — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is using German technology in building the new drainage system of Boracay Island.

Six-meter long high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic pipes with a width of 1.2 meters will replace one-meter long reinforced concrete pipes that the DPWH traditionally use.

“Ang lifespan niya hundred years… In terms of sa size, doble po ang laki ng pipes na gagamitin namin sa project,” DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said.

(It has a lifespan of 1oo years. The pipes that we are going to use for the project are twice the size of what was originally used.)

 

High density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic pipes will replace the reinforced concrete pipes that were originally used in Boracay’s drainage system.

 

DPWH is planning to use 800 HDPE pipes for phase 1 of the project. Boracay is among the first to be installed with the said German technology.

Villar is confident that the storm drains they are building will be able to solve the flooding problems on the island especially during rainy season.

“Mabilis po ang installation at siyempre yung quality. Napakahalaga na itong.. yung quality ng pipes ay dapat pangmatagalan,” he said.

(Installation is quick and quality is considered. It is very important that the quality of the pipes is designed for long term use.)

Among the qualities of high density polyethylene is its capacity to contain man-made chemicals and solid waste to prevent leakage and contamination.

“Dati kasi kulang na kulang yung capacity sa drainage sa sewerage kaya ngayon po inanticipate namin yung demand. So ngayon pa lang malaki na para hindi tayo mahihirapan,” Villar explained.

(In the past, the drainage capacity in the sewerage was so insufficient. This time we anticipated the demand and increased the size to avoid future problems.)

The 5-kilometer drainage project has a total cost of P540-million.

The DPWH is targeting to complete installation by October for the reopening of the country’s top destination. — Vincent Arboleda  | UNTV News & Rescue

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Government to ban open-pit mining – DENR

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 4th, 2018

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu has announced that the government will soon ban open-pit mining in the country.

Cimatu made the announcement during the commemoration of the 31st anniversary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Wednesday (July 4) in line with the directive from President Rodrigo Duterte.

 “Open pit mining, isasara talaga iyan kung hindi  mag shape-up (Open pit mining will really be shut down if they don’t shape up). We have to reinvent mining. Find a way to extract minerals by not using open-pit mining,” Cimatu said.

Earlier this week, Duterte revealed his plans for the country’s mining industry in an event in Samar on Monday (July 2). He said the government may be earning P70 billion from mining, but this does not compensate the huge amount of damage it causes to the environment that’s why he is determined to stop it.

“So every now and then, there’s always destruction. Ang pag-asa ninyo ani siguro mga mining–mining but ako (You probably put your hopes on mining, but me) I do not encourage it because one of these days I will stop mining actually,” Duterte said.

All 27 mining sites that former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez ordered closed and suspended are currently undergoing review.

Based on the initial results of the review released by the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC), only four of the 27 have violated environmental laws.

Anti-mining advocates, meanwhile, said they are not convinced by the report.

“Hindi pa kumpleto, hindi pa tapos, kaya nagtataka kami mukhang premature itong announcement ni DOF Usec Agabin na magrerekomenda na sila nung pagbubukas nung 22 na mining operations na ipinasara,” said Aliansang Tigil Mina National Coordinator Jaybee Garbanera.

(The report is not yet complete. This announcement by DOF Usec Agabin about recommending the lifting of the ban against 22 mining operations seems premature.)

Even Lopez herself is not satisfied with the MICC’s review.

 “If you silt the sea you kill the marine life there, you affect the fishermen, you affect the corals. It is a no no! it is affecting the constitutional rights of the fishermen,”  said the former DENR Secretary.

Cimatu, meanwhile, said the complete report on MICC’s mining audit review is expected to be out in August. – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo

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DENR to require ‘environment friendly’ vehicles in Boracay

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, June 29th, 2018

An e-trike

 

BORACAY Island, Philippines – Aside from rehabilitating the beaches of Boracay, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recommends measures to improve the quality of air on the island.

The agency said they will require all vehicles in the island to comply with the specifications stated under the government’s modernization program.

“They must be compliant EURO 4. Meaning they will have a new engine because we would like to make Boracay air pollution compliant,” said DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu.

In line with this, the agency will push through with the phase-out of gas-fueled tricycles in Boracay come September this year.

Malay LGU Executive Assistant Rowen Aguire, it has been years since the local government introduced the use of e-trikes as a replacement for gas-fueled tricycles. It is about time to comply with the directive as stated in the 6-month action plan of the LGU.

“Ma pi-phase out siya kasi ika-cancel mo na talaga yung kanilang mga franchises…pati yung permit niya to transport ire-revoke na rin,” Aguirre warned.

(It [tricycles] will be phased out because their franchises will be cancelled…even their permit to transport will also be revoked.)

Tricyle drivers said they are willing to comply with the requirements of DENR though they have a number of concerns. DENR, for its part, assured that they will give drivers enough time to upgrade their units to become environmental law compliant. — Vincent Arboleda / Marje Pelayo

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