DENR seizes P3.2-M worth of agarwood

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 23, 2020   •   340

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has seized 20 kilos or P3.2 million worth of agarwood in two separate operations.

DENR’s Environmental Protection and Enforcement Task Force (EPETF) and the NBI-Environmental Crime Division conducted operations in Pasig City and Cainta, Rizal last June 8.

Four suspects, identified as Ramil Ong, Bernie Bagay, Rizal Mofar, and Arjhun Gaviola, were arrested for the illegal transportation of the said high-value tree species.

“This clearly sends out the message that the government’s campaign against environmental offenders remains unrelenting despite a pandemic that is wreaking havoc worldwide,” Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said.

The four suspects were charged with violations of Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources and Protection Act. They are detained at the NBI detention facility in Manila.

Agarwood is one of the most expensive raw materials used in perfumery, costing at least P160,000 per kilo in the Philippines.

It is extracted from host trees locally known as Lapnisan and Lanete, which are both included in the national list of threatened Philippine plants. —AAC

Cimatu calls out Cebu officials’ ‘lack of coordination’ in reporting COVID-19 cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 29, 2020

There is a lack of coordination from the local officials of Cebu City which led to the discrepancy in reporting coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the area, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu.

DENR Usec. Benny Antiporda said this is one of the issues Cimatu wants to resolve in Cebu City.

“You can see the situation in Cebu, walang coordination. Walang buong pagkilos mula sa barangay level to the local government units to the provincial government. Hindi buo (You can see the situation in Cebu, there is no coordination. No action from the barangay level to the local government units, up to the provincial government. It is not organized),” he said.

Cimatu will meet with officials from the barangay level to determine the problem in the COVID-19 response.

The Environment Secretary will submit a recommendation to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) regarding possible measures to ease the surge of COVID-19 cases.

President Rodrigo Duterte has directed Cimatu to fix the situation in Cebu City amid the surge of COVID-19 cases in the province.

Cimatu said all records should match in order to implement a better COVID-19 response. AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

Take a photo of your plant babies: DENR-4A opens online photo contest

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 16, 2020

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) region 4A has opened an online photo contest for individuals who have their own garden at home or are planning to have one.

In celebration of Philippine Environment Month this June, the DENR-4A invites everyone to plant and grow their own seedlings at home and take a photo of it daily from day 1.

“As we celebrate Philippine Environment Month this June 2020, EMBR4A invites you to join “LET IT GROW” Online Photo Contest and help heal nature as one by planting and growing your own seedlings at home,” DENR-4A said.

The contest champion will receive P10,000, the second place will receive P8,000 while the third placer will receive P6,000.

For the full mechanics and registration form, please visit the link: http://tiny.cc/emb4aletitgrow. AAC

One of the world’s tallest flowers spotted at Masungi Georeserve in Rizal

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 16, 2020

Park rangers at the Masungi Georeserve in Baras, Rizal spotted one of the world’s tallest flowers while doing maintenance work last week.

They saw the 8’7″ tall Amorphophallus rostratus or commonly named as Voodoo Lily after noticing a slightly unpleasant smell when the flower bloomed.

Experts confirmed the native species. An indigenous ranger said they call it ‘biga’ which locals cut and cook the stalk of in boiling water before eating it.

“Amorphophallus species are known as some of the largest flowers in the world by their inflorescence. At least three species of varying sizes have been documented in Masungi,” the post read.

There are 200 known species in tropical and subtropical climates; many like the Amorphophallus rostratus in Masungi are endemic to their localized areas.

The park reiterated the importance of preserving the forest.

“Truly this is another native wonder that must be conserved from quarrying and other harmful activities in our forests and protected areas,” they said. AAC

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