Eco group urges clean-up, recycling of campaign materials

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 16, 2019   •   887

Courtesy : Ecowaste Coalition

Eco group, EcoWaste Coalition, urged candidates, parties and the general public to clean-up and recycle the campaign materials they used during the elections.

“Regardless of the outcome of your election bid, we appeal to all candidates and parties to take down your campaign materials without delay. Kabit, sabit o dikit mo, tanggal mo,” said Aileen Lucero, the group’s national coordinator.

EcoWaste Coalition also urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to upgrade existing rules to prevent and reduce trash in future elections.

The group said the campaign materials can be used as upholstery material, as a protection against rain or sunlight for vehicles, and as awnings for homes and stores.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reported a total of 168.84 tons of election-related materials collected from March 1 until May 14.

Drilon: Anti-drug campaign is failing due to ‘recycling’ of illegal drugs

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 17, 2019

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon expressed disappointment after Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Chief Dir. Gen. Aaron Aquino admitted that ‘recycling’ of illegal drugs is still rampant.

According to Drilon, the said admission is a “sign” that the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs is not working.

“Given that admission, I am not very optimistic about the success of the anti-drug campaign, in general,” he said.

Drilon also expressed dismay that the very people who enforce the law are the ones violating it.

“This is worrisome. This is a decades-old case of bantay-salakay, wherein the people who are given the task of enforcing the law insofar as drug trafficking is concerned are the ones who lead the anomalous practices,” Drilon said.

In order to prevent the “horrible” practices, according to Drilon, he will request the Office of the Court Administrator to strictly enforce the law on the burning of drugs confiscated.

The senator will also propose to reopen the PDEA unit in the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, after its old unit was closed.—AAC

104 new whale sharks spotted in Donsol, highest in several years

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 6, 2019

A diver tags a whale shark off the coast Donsol as part of the local population count. 104 new whale shark individuals were identified in Donsol from January until June of 2019. (Photograph: Jurgen Freund / WWF Philippines)

There are 104 new whale sharks spotted on the coast of Donsol in Sorsogon between January and June 2019, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

This has been the highest number of whale sharks spotted compared to the period between 2017 and 2018, where only 22 new whale sharks were identified.

“Each whale shark can be identified based on the unique pattern of spots behind its gills, which serves as a “fingerprint” for identification. Just as no two human fingerprints are alike, no two whale sharks have the same spot pattern,” according to the WWF website.

The whale shark or Rhincodon typus is classified as endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on their Red List of Threatened Species.

“The whale sharks were sighted during this year’s photo identification activities conducted by WWF-Philippines. In the first half of this year, 168 individuals – with 64 re-sightings alongside the 104 newly identified ones – were noted,” the WWF added.

WWF-Philippines Donsol Project Manager Manuel Narvadez, Jr. said the increase in the number of new whale sharks spotted in Donsol is because the water is now rich in plankton.

“These whale sharks that pass by Donsol aren’t just important due to their value to local tourism. More than that, they play an important, systemic role in providing resilience to the local ecosystem,” he said.—AAC

95 endangered hawksbill turtle hatchlings released in Albay

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 6, 2019

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol has reported 95 hatchlings of hawksbill sea turtle were released in the waters of Sitio Imacoto Cagmanaba, Oas, Albay on Wednesday (Sept 4).

The hawksbill turtle or Eretmochelys imbricata is among the critically endangered sea turtles in the world.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the hawksbill turtles are among the marine creatures that help maintain the health of coral reefs.

“As they remove prey such as sponges from the reef’s surface, they provide better access for reef fish to feed.  They also have cultural significance and tourism value,” the WWF said.

Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Guinobatan Officer Narisol C. Divina appealed to the public to be their partner in protecting marine turtles to save marine life.

“The DENR needs the concern and support of the community and stakeholders on the protection of our marine biodiversity to scale up the Pawikan conservation program of the Department,” she said.

READ: DENR releases endangered sea turtles in Boracay to celebrate Ocean’s Month

According to the DENR Bicol, the coastal waters of Sitio Imacoto, Oas is part of the Ticao Burias Pass Protected Seascape (TBPPS), a marine protected area with very rich marine biodiversity, which offers a suitable nesting habitat for sea turtles.—AAC

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