Former DENR Sec Gina Lopez dies at 65

Maris Federez   •   August 19, 2019   •   950

Former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez

Former environment and natural resources secretary Gina Lopez died on Monday after battling brain cancer. She was 65.

Lopez was known for being a staunch children’s right champion, as well as, her advocacy in caring for the environment.

Lopez was known for her work in rehabilitating the Pasig River and La Mesa Watershed.

She was also instrumental for the shutting down of mining operations found to have violated environmental laws.

As a children’s rights advocate, Lopez founded the Bantay Bata 163, where cases of child abuse can be reported.

Funeral services for the former secretary is still to be announced.

Eco-group pushes for consumer protection vs unsafe goods

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 3, 2019

Eco-group EcoWaste Coalition is pushing for consumer protection against unsafe goods in preparation for the holiday ‘shopping spree’.

This is in celebration of Consumer Welfare Month (CWM) this October. According to EcoWaste, the government should have more responsibility in guaranteeing that consumers are protected against abuses and imbalances in the marketplace.

“While protecting the consumer interest is indeed a shared responsibility, we believe that the government and the industry have the greater obligation of upholding the legally guaranteed rights of the Filipino consumer considering the powers and resources these two other pillars of consumer protection have,” according to Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has announced the theme of this year’s CWM which is ‘Consumer Protection: A Shared Responsibility.’

The DTI prepared several activities throughout the month in celebration of the CWM. These include a Konsyumer Caravan in several barangays in cities of Parañaque, Navotas, Manila, and Quezon on October 4, 11, 18, and 25.

The Konsyumer Caravan aims to educate consumers against buying hazardous products as well as their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Trade Laws.—AAC

DENR temporarily suspends dragon boat racing in Boracay

Marje Pelayo   •   September 27, 2019

Filipino rowing teams compete during the Summer Seasports Festival at Manila Bay, Philippines, 28 March 2009. EPA/DENNIS M. SABANGAN

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has ordered the temporary ban on dragon boat racing in the island of Boracay following the tragedy that claimed the lives of seven members of a local dragon boat team.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu who chairs the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF), said that such activities are “postponed for the time being until emergency protocols are thoroughly scrutinized.”

“We are temporarily suspending all dragon boat race activities in Boracay, including practice and training, until we have assessed their practice protocols,” he said.

Meanwhile, all concerned agencies are set to meet on Monday (September 30) to conduct an assessment of protocols and come up with recommendations to address the gaps in relation to the accident.

On Wednesday (September 25), seven members of the Boracay Dragon Force died when the boat they were rowing capsized off Boracay Island.

Fourteen of their team members were injured.

The group was training for an upcoming international competition in Taiwan.

Investigations revealed that the members of the team were not wearing life vests when the incident happened.

DENR to check rivers for coliform content amid polio outbreak

Marje Pelayo   •   September 25, 2019

Filipino residents cross a hanging bridge along the polluted water of Pasig river in Manila, Philippines, 31 May 2018 (issued on 04 June 2018). EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will conduct testing of water samples from all rivers across the country amid the ongoing outbreak of poliovirus.

The test is to determine the quality of and coliform content in the country’s bodies of water after water samples from the sewerage system in Tondo, Manila and Davao city tested positive of poliovirus.

According to DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu has ordered all its regional offices to submit the results as soon as possible.

“Hahanapin namin ang mga pipes na nagtatapon sa mga rivers para masiguro natin na hindi na madagdagan pa ang polusyon ng river (We will trace the pipes that discharge directly into the rivers to make sure that pollution level in our rivers will not escalate),” Antiporda said. – MNP (with details from Grace Casin)

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