DENR pushes for alternative mining

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 24, 2019   •   1735

Mining site

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) pushes for alternative mining in order to care for the country’s environment.

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu encourages mining engineers to find ways to mine without harming the environment. Cimatu added that they are looking into surface mining as one of the alternatives.

“As long as you don’t destroy it, instead if you are able to get the mineral content then you resurface it at the same time make sure na ang mga water na dumadaan doon hindi mapupunta sa unless being treated muna, (make sure the water will be treated first)” he said.

Meanwhile, the environment secretary assured there are sufficient materials for the government’s Build Build Build Program.

Cimatu said the country has enough supply of cement, and aggregate materials including sand, stone, and steel bars.

“Sufficient naman iyan (That is sufficient) in fact the aggregates are doing well and we are allowing the quarrying in some rivers but will make sure that na hindi masisira ang river, (the rive will not be damaged)” he said.—(with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

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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