DENR urged public to report poachers, collectors of illegal wildlife plants

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 9, 2020   •   503

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has urged the public to report illegal poachers and collectors of wildlife amid reports of rampant illegal trade amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

DENR 7 Regional Executive Director Paquito Melicor said cutting, collecting and gathering wild plants in the forest is a violation of Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

“We want to remind everyone that collection and trade of threatened species are prohibited unless such acts are covered by a permit issued by the DENR, please help us protect our wildlife by not patronizing and reporting these illegal activities,” he said.

To report wildlife related crimes, please contact the DENR- Community Environment Offices nearest you through the following numbers:

CENRO Cebu City – 254-2565
CENRO Argao – 367-7387
CENRO Tagbilaran City – (038) 412-1026
CENRO Talibon – (038) 416-0156
CENRO Dumaguete City – (035) 422-4367
CENRO Ayungon – (038) 404-0829

Melicor said the effects of the pandemic might have led to community in rural areas to resort to poaching of wild plants as alternative source of income.

“For hunting and trading, the penalty ranges from two to four years of imprisonment and/or fine of P30,000 to P300,000 for hunting and P5,000 to P300,000 for trading of wildlife. For the mere transport of wildlife, the penalty is six months to one-year imprisonment and/or P50,000 to P100,000 fine,” the DENR said. AAC

DENR discovers four culverts draining untreated water directly into Manila Bay

Marje Pelayo   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A culvert or drainage pipe was discovered hidden behind boulders at station 640 along Manila Bay’s baywalk area on Roxas Boulevard was found to be discharging untreated wastewater directly into the bay.

Based on water analysis, fecal coliform count in the area was significantly high at 50 million most probable number per 100 milliliters.

After further inspection, three more alleged culverts along the baywalk were discovered. 

Pipes were found beside the Remedios drainage outfall across Aristocrat restaurant, Station 240 beside the Padre Faura outfall, and near the Estero San Antonio de Abad outfall.

“Ang lakas ng tubig. Bumubulwak (Water pressure was really strong),” said Environment Undersecretary Jonas Leones.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu has ordered the immediate plugging of the illegal outfalls, the establishment of engineering interventions, and the strict enforcement of environmental laws in the bay.

“Noong tine-trace na namin yung existing pipes ng DPWH, ng MMDA at saka ng local government units, itong na-discover namin na illegal pipe wala doon sa records nila,” Leones noted.

(When we were tracing the origin of the existing pipes of the DPWH, the MMDA, and the local government units, none of these illegal pipes were in their records.)

“So the Secretary (Cimatu) has decided na i-seal na namin yung mga illegal pipes and mga culverts. And then let’s see kung saan lalabas yung mga tubig na yan na suppose to be doon lumalabas sa illegal pipes na na-identify na namin,” he added.

(So the Secretary has decided to seal those illegal pipes and culverts and then let’s see where the water would go out aside from the illegal pipes that we have identified.)

Leones said that before they traced the illegal pipes, the coliform level in Manila Bay has already improved from billions of micrograms per normal cubic meters to only thousands.

It just needs to be improved to 100mpn for it to be safe for swimming. -MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Wildlife conservation must continue amid pandemic —DENR

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has reiterated the need to continue wildlife conservation even amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

This was after a nesting sea turtle was sighted in Zambales province. DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu also reported several sightings of nesting sea turtles were in other areas.

“Even if we are faced with a difficult situation brought about by the threats of the disease, we must continue to strive to protect and preserve our endangered pawikan,” he said.

He added that the sightings prove that the efforts of conserving wildlife was not in vain.

The DENR’s Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Olongapo City also received a report that sea turtles laying eggs were spotted at a beach resort in San Antonio town.

The DENR said they will monitor the situation of these nests to protect them from poachers and illegal wildlife traders.  AAC

DENR orders bamboo planting along Cagayan River to prevent floods

Robie de Guzman   •   December 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu has ordered the planting of bamboo trees along the banks of Cagayan to help prevent a repeat of the floods that submerged parts of Cagayan and Isabela provinces during the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses.

The DENR said Cimatu issued that directive following a meeting with the Build Back Better Task Force created by President Rodrigo Duterte to oversee the rehabilitation of areas devastated by recent typhoons.

Cimatu co-chairs the task force with Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar.

Cimatu told the DENR regional offices in Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and CALABARZON to ensure the availability of bamboo planting materials and to identify areas along the river channels that are most suitable for bamboo propagation under the government’s Enhanced National Greening Program.

The DENR chief said they picked bamboo as it is ideal for stabilizing riverbanks given its high survival rate.

“The survival rate of bamboo is much higher and it has a faster growth rate compared to other trees,” he said, adding that bamboos also have the potential to be “a sustainable source of livelihood for the people of Cagayan Valley while protecting the integrity of Cagayan River.”

In the same meeting, Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona said the DENR’s move to plant bamboo trees offers an opportunity to look into the economic importance of bamboo.

Lantayona said the DTI has been producing engineered bamboo, but its facilities cannot operate at full capacity because there is currently a lack of bamboo supply.

“Cimatu’s push to mainstream engineered bamboo as a major alternative to timber will finally enable the full implementation of Executive Order (EO) 879,” she said.

Under EO 879, at least 25 percent of the annual requirement of school desks and chairs of all public elementary and secondary schools nationwide should be made of bamboo.

It also directs the DENR – through its Forest Management Bureau, Mines and Geosciences Bureau and Laguna Lake Development Authority – to use bamboo as the planting material for at least 20 percent of its annual reforestation and rehabilitation areas.

“This should be done especially in provinces and towns which are engaged in or have the potential to engage in bamboo-based industries or where trees are difficult to grow because of poor site quality, susceptibility to erosion or adverse and steep gradients,” the DENR said.

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