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DENR to employ control card system in Boracay Island

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, 21 September 2018 10:53 AM

Aerial view of Boracay sunset | UNTV Drone

BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is working double time prior to the reopening of Boracay Island on October 26.

The agency along with the local government unit in Aklan and other stakeholders are now finalizing the regulations to be imposed 36 days before its soft opening.

Based on DENR’s study, the island can accommodate up to 60,000 people as its ideal carrying capacity is expected to produce nine tons of waste materials on the average.

In order to control the possible influx of residents on the island, the agency is planning to employ a control card system in the island

DENR would only allow up to 19,000 tourists a day who would be required to pass through service operators for monitoring.

Once we hit the critical mark then that’s a red flag for us already to say they have to be able to present their reservations for the hotels that are compliant so that we can advise the hotels that we are already over the limit,” said Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores.

The number of vehicles on the island will also be trimmed down and old tricycles will be replaced with e-trikes.  Hotels, meanwhile, will only be allowed with one service vehicle.

The agency will set up its own satellite office in the island that will ensure that the regulations are strictly followed.

Hotels are subject to performance monitoring and evaluations especially in terms of waste disposal management.

Floating piers will be set up during the soft opening to make it easier for tourists to reach their destination on the island.

A dry run of the soft opening will be held on October 15. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo)

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Beach goers warned against ‘bluebottle jellyfish’ spotted in Boracay Island

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, 14 February 2019 11:10 AM

BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines — Environment authorities in Western Visayas warned beach goers to steer clear of the venomous ‘bluebottle jellyfish’ spotted ashore the east coast of Boracay Island and along Puka Beach.

‘Bluebottle jellyfish’ venom is powerful enough to kill fishes and their sting is painful, though unlikely life-threatening to humans.

“Although there are no sightings of this species on the front beach, we still appeal to the public to remain vigilant and never touch these creatures as their stingers are still active even if they are out of the water,” According to the advisory of the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) posted on DENR-Western Visayas website.

Authorities remind the public that if stung by a “bluebottle jellyfish”, immediately approach the deployed life guards along the beach for first aid.

Although very rare, it is possible that bluebottle sting may result to anaphylactic shock or severe allergic reaction which can be fatal.

In such a case, immediate medical help should be sought.

‘Bluebottle jellyfish’ also known in Atlantic Portuguese as “man-of-war”, is common in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. – Marje Pelayo

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15 factories in Bulacan shut down for pumping chemical waste to Manila Bay

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, 29 January 2019 12:57 PM

Photo courtesy of DENR-Region 3

BULACAN, Philippines – There is no stopping the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) from its crackdown of facilities that pollute Manila Bay.

In Bulacan, the agency’s regional office ordered the closure of 15 factories in the Municipalities of Marilao and Meycauayan for pumping waste water directly to river estuaries that link to Manila Bay.

In a report released by DENR on Friday (January 25), the agency issued ‘cease and desist’ order to 12 leather and tannery firms in Meycauayan and three in Marilao.

On Monday (January 28), the DENR cemented the drainage canal of five leather factories to prevent wastewater from draining to the rivers of Marilao and Meycauayan.

“Ang mga operations na ganito,na walang waste water treatment facility, walang permit, malaki ang contribution nila sa pollution,” explained Emerlyn Claudio, the DENR Region 3 Director.

Claudio accused the said establishments to have violated the Clean Water Act for not having their respective water treatment facility and environmental compliance certificate.

The environment official also noted that the said factories are discharging dark and chemically contaminated wastewater that flows directly to Manila Bay.

Aside from damage to the environment, the factories’ operations also cause inconvenience to the residents nearby.

“Ito nga tayo masakit na sa dibdib. Nakakasulasok na ang amoy. Kung yung mga nasa paligid, lalo na yung may exposure, I think this is one of the reasons why may complaint dati. Pero nag-stop sila and then nag resurface naman ang operation nila,” explained Claudio.

Local officials vowed to monitor closely the concerned companies after the shutdown.

“Mabaho na may kulay. May sulfite iyan ay nakakarating sa aming barangay. Imo-monitor na namin iyan araw-araw para ma-check kung mayroong tumatapon na tubig na marurumi,” said Chirs Polo Delos Santos, an official of Barangay Tugatog.

Meanwhile, the DENR warned closure against other companies if proven to have been violating environmental law particularly by disposing solid, water and chemical waste in aquatic environments such as Manila Bay. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nestor Torres)

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DENR suspends operation of pig, poultry farms around Laguna Lake

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, 29 January 2019 11:52 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has ordered the suspension of all hog and poultry farms suspected of polluting Laguna Lake.

“Those piggeries and poultries that are polluting our rivers, their ECC will be suspended. Hindi canceled (but) suspended pending investigation,” clarified DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda.

“Ayaw nating magkaroon ng chaos when it comes sa supply ng manok at baboy but we need to take care of our environment. These businessmen should shape up or else they will be shut down,” he added.

The City Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO) supports the decision of the DENR.

“Ang kalinisan (ay) shared responsibility. Hindi lang nasa gobyerno o nasa pamahalaan kundi lahat tayo dapat maglinis ng ating kapaligiran dahil tayo rin apektado. So siguro pagtulung-tulongan natin mahalin at protektahan iyon. Ating kapaligiran dahil tayo rin ang magsa-suffer nito pag nasira ng tuluyan. So, tulong-tulong sa paglilinis,” said Marilou Balba, head of San Pedro City CENRO.

For a hog raiser like Mario Corpuz, having a proper animal waste disposal facility is a must for businesses like his.

He has been raising pigs for over three decades now in his farm in Barangay Cuyab in the municipality of San Pedro in Laguna.

His pig farm is about 250 meters away from Laguna Lake but he assures that his business does not cause pollution to the Lake because he has his own facility that deposits and treats animal discharges from his farm.

“Dapat talaga may sariling deposito. Katulad noong sa akin, may depositong waste ng baboy hindi naman natakbo sa lawa. Nakikita nyo naman (ang) layo pa ng lawa sa akin,” Corpus argued.

Even so, Corpuz’ farm is not exempted from DENR’s suspension order.

The DENR’s investigation is now rolling off in all piggeries and poultry farms near and around Laguna Lake to check for violations of R.A. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2002. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Sherwin Culubong)

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