DENR upholds program for phase out of ozone depleting substance

admin   •   September 14, 2017   •   5115

The Philippines is expected to be free of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) by the year 2040.

This is based on the so called Montreal Protocol agreed upon by 197 states in 1987.

HCFC is an ozone depleting substance, a form of gas that causes thinning of the earth’s protective shield from the damaging effects of sun’s ultraviolet rays that cause skin cancer and other diseases.

HCFC is most common in air conditioning units and refrigerators.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) cited, in particular, unit models produced and bought in the Philippines in the year 1999.

“If the [air conditioning unit] is non-compliant and you’re not able to replace it then don’t use it frequently. Don’t use it especially when raining so [we] can [help] reduce its effect to the environment,” said DENR Undersecretary. Jonas Leones.

DENR added that around two million people have avoided deaths due to skin cancer with the implementation of the Montreal Protocol.

Most of the appliances nowadays are ozone depleting substances (ODS) compliant but they are now using hydrofluorocarbons, a form man-made greenhouse gas as an alternative. However, it still contributes to global warming.

“This means the effect of climate change, we will really experience, like for example sea level rise, extreme weather conditions,” said the undersecretary.

Thus, DENR calls on the public to avoid frequent use of equipment such as air conditioning units and refrigerators that emit HCFC.

Developing countries have started their respective phase-out programs on HCFC their phase-out program on HCFC but the Philippines is yet to start in 2024.

Experts said that there are alternatives for HCFC but the Philippines is not yet ready to adopt measures for its use. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

Philippine hawk eagle rescued in Catanduanes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 29, 2020

A Philippine hawk eagle was recently rescued and released in San Andres, Catanduanes, as reported by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol.

A concerned citizen from Barangay Palta Big, Virac, Catanduanes found the hawk eagle after it was caught entangled in a net used in fencing domesticated chickens.

PHILIPPINE HAWK EAGLE RESCUED AND RELEASED IN CATANDUANESA Philippine Hawk Eagle (Nisaetus philippinensis) was…

Posted by DENR Bicol on Monday, September 28, 2020

The hawk eagle was turned over to the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) in Catanduanes. Upon examination, the eagle measures 60 centimeters in length and weighs approximately 4.5 kilograms. Authorities released it to the wild after confirming it is in good condition.

The Philippine Hawk Eagle is categorized as vulnerable species under the DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2019-09. Authorities remind the public to immediately report and turnover any wildlife species without proper documents. AAC

Critics eyeing writ of kalikasan vs Manila Bay white sand project

Robie de Guzman   •   September 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Several environmental groups are planning to file a petition for writ of kalikasan to halt the project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to pour white sand along the shoreline of Manila Bay.

Ocean conservation group Oceana Philippines vice president Gloria Estenzo Ramos said lodging a petition is one of the actions they are discussing to respond to DENR’s white sand project.

“It’s always an option under the rules of procedure for environmental cases, even a threat to destruction. Ito nga may destruction na e, kaya it’s a ground for applying for writ of kalikasan. Mag-meeting ang mga environmental groups on this,” she said in a forum on Monday.

Fisherfolk group Pamalakaya president Fernando Hicap also opposed the project, saying that it is only a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“Ipahinto natin. Hindi po talaga ito yung solusyon. Nagsasayang tayo ng pera at hindi po rehabilitation to. Hindi to makakatulong sa pagrehabilitate sa Manila Bay.”

DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said they are prepared to face the petition and defend the merits of the project.

“If they say na yung proteksyon natin sa shoreline din natin e mali, well it’s up to them. It’s their right to file their case against us,” he said.

“We’re there to clean it up and we’re there to make it beautiful, ok? So, if that is their allegation, i-prove nila na talagang merong violation kaming nagawa, yun lang ang amin. Well, basically I don’t see any violation in what we’ve done,” he added. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

Crushed dolomite along Manila Bay can cause respiratory issues, DOH says

Robie de Guzman   •   September 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday warned that the inhalation of crushed dolomite rock – the material used in the artificial white sand dumped along the Manila Bay – can cause respiratory issues.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that based on studies, a person may suffer adverse effects from inhaling dolomite dust.

“Sa mga pag-aaral, kapag na inhale natin ito, may mga adverse reactions, respiratory mainly,” Vergeire said.

“Pero hindi naman natin sinasabi na when you go to Manila Bay, you’ll get it at once. Yun lang sinasabi ng mga artikulo,” she added.

Aside from respiratory problems, dolomite dust may also cause irritation if it gets into a person’s eyes or gastrointestinal discomfort if ingested.

“Kapag napunta sa mata, nagkakaroon ng konting irritation so you just have to wash it off with water. Kapag ingested, it can have discomfort sa gastrointestinal system natin and magkakaroon ng sakit ng tyan at pagtatae,” Vergeire said.

“These are the minor effects of these dolomites na nilagay sa Manila Bay,” she added.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) last week implemented its initiative to adorn the Manila Bay shoreline with white sand using crushed dolomite rocks from Cebu Province.

The projects is part of the P389-million beach nourishment project.

Vergeire, however, said she trusts that the DENR has made studies on how dolomite will affect people and the environment before it approved the project.

Some groups have criticized the DENR’s move, saying dumping artificial white sand along Manila Bay was unnecessary and could even negatively affect the ecosystem.

Environment Undersecretary Benny Artiporda earlier argued that crushed dolomite rock is not harmful to the environment and is being used in some resorts.

“The dolomite stones, sabihin na nating dolomite stones, sandstones yan no, were being used by different resorts and beaches since the 1990s. So until now walang problema at maganda naman yung sitwasyon niya,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

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