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Report restaurant’s selling tawilis – DENR

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019


MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Calabarzon reminds the public that the closed fishing season for tawilis remains in effect until April 30.

Thus, the agency urges the public to report restaurants or establishments selling the endangered freshwater sardine endemic to the Philippines.

Sardinella tawilis is the only freshwater species of Sardinella and is found exclusively in the waters of Taal Lake in Batangas.

READ: Fishing ban eyed to save the Philippines’ endangered ‘tawilis’

This is to allow the fish to breed as it is listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to its red list of endangered species.

Tawilis, commonly known as Bombon sardine, is facing major threats such as “overexploitation, pollution and competition or predation with introduced fishes, resulting in continuing declines in habitat quality and number of mature individuals,” according to the IUCN.

The Philippine Society for Freshwater Science (PSFS) expressed support for the implementation of the closed fishing season for the endangered freshwater sardine set by the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) from March to April.

READ: Scientists Support the Closed Season for Tawilis from March to April

The group also supports the implementation of a proper mesh size and establishment of sanctuaries within the Taal Lake. – Marje Pelayo

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Philippine Eagle pair to fly to Singapore for conservation

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, April 26th, 2019

File photo: Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) | Courtesy: Harrybalais from Creative Commons

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will be sending a pair of Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) to Singapore in a move to save the species from extinction.

“We’ll do that to preserve the Philippine Eagle which is very near extinction already,” Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said on Wednesday (April 24) during DENR’s 2019 celebration of the annual Earth Day.

Cimatu said the loan agreement will protect the species from possible outbreak of disease in the future which could wipe out or significantly affect their population.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) included the Philippine Eagle in its endangered list of wildlife as there are some 180 to 500 mature eagles remaining in the country.

The Philippine Eagle’s decreasing population, according to the IUCN, is attributed to habitat destruction, diseases, hunting and climate change.

Considered the largest eagle species in the world, the Philippine Eagle as a top predator is responsible for regulating population of smaller animals
such rodents, bats, and snakes that may pose danger to humans and crops .

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) already warned about the Philippine Eagle’s decreasing population.

DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones said Singapore has wildlife experts who can look after the eagles.

The loaning of the Philippine Eagle is in line with the 2019 Earth Day theme “Protect our species”. — Marje Pelayo

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DENR: Manila Bay waters off Bataan now fit for swimming

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Manila Bay sunset (Rogelio Neccessito Jr. / Photoville International)

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has identified an area in Manila Bay that is now fit for swimming and other forms of contact recreation activity.

DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said swimming in the Manila Bay waters off the Mariveles town in Bataan is already possible after its level of coliform bacteria was reduced to the safe levels of 100 to 200 most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliters, based on a report they received.

Antiporda added that DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu is set to head to Mariveles, Bataan this week to validate the report.

He said the latest development is a proof that government efforts to rehabilitate Manila bay are beginning to bear fruit.

“Matatandaan niyo na nasabi natin dito sa DENR na within 6 months to 1 year eh meron tayong magiging swimmable area ano. Ito na po ‘yun,” he said

(If you can recall, the DENR said that within 6 months to 1 year we will have a ‘swimmable’ area in Manila bay. This is it.)

DENR, however, clarified that swimming in Manila Bay waters along the coast of Roxas Boulevard remains prohibited as the water quality there has yet to improve. Dredging and other clearing operations are also ongoing in the area.

“Ngayon po ay nabubulabog ang dagat. Hinuhukay po siya at kumbaga iyong mga bakal at anuman, salamin man o bote o bubog ngayon po ay nabulabog kaya malaki po iyong posibilidad na maaari kayong mainjure o malagay sa alanganin ang buhay niyo,” Antiporda cautioned.

(The waters and the seabed are being dredged so solid wastes underneath such as metal, shards of glass and other similar materials may have surfaced. This might possibly injure or endanger your lives)

Since January this year, the government has been working to clean up Manila’s most famous body of water to make it fit again for swimming and other water-related recreation activities.

DENR and other agencies have began the dredging operation in parts of Manila bay and its tributaries to remove the layers of trash and silt underwater, as seen in a video taken by UNTV News and Rescue’s underwater drone.

The decades-long flow of solid wastes and untreated discharges have raised the coliform bacteria in Manila Bay to more than 300 million MPN per 100 milliliters before the rehabilitation kicked off, the DENR said.

The presence of coliform bacteria in the water indicates contamination which may cause diseases upon contact. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Mai Bermudez)

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DENR: More establishments face closure for polluting Manila Bay

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

A backhoe dredges decades worth of silt in Manila Bay

MANILA, Philippines – More establishments are facing closure as the rehabilitation of Manila Bay continues, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said.

DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said a closure order will be issued next week to several establishments, including hotels and restaurants near Manila Bay for violating environmental laws.

“Mayroon kaming mga nakitang mga hotels, restaurants, basically karamihan restaurants talaga,” Antiporda said.

(We are looking at hotels, restaurants. Basically most of them are restaurants)

“Iyong Clean Water Act, iyon ang unang-unang violation nila wherein iyong inilalabas nila from their establishment eh marumi,” he added.

(The Clean Water Act. That is the first law being violated wherein the air coming from their establishments is polluted)

The closure order is in line with the government’s three-year rehabilitation program, dubbed as the “Battle for Manila Bay,” aimed at restoring Manila’s most iconic body of water to its former glory.

The government allotted P47 billion for the project.

Meanwhile, Antiporda assured that the vintage bombed unearthed during a dredging operation in Manila Bay has been turned over to the Manila Police District.

“From what I heard World War 2 bomb pa ito. And no worries, first, ang atin pong Manila Police District ay inaksyunan naman kaagad ng explosives ordnance division nila na talagang safely nadala naman sa Manila Police District and from what I heard dadalhin naman daw po ito sa Tarlac at doon pasasabugin,” he said.

(From what I heard this is a bomb from World War 2. And no worries, first our Manila Police District Explosives Ordnance Division acted immediately. The bomb was safely transported to the Manila Police District and from what I heard it will be brought to Tarlac where it will be blasted)

LOOK | Authorities recovered a vintage bomb during dredging operations in Manila Bay this morning. MPD EOD identified…

Posted by UNTV News and Rescue on Saturday, 6 April 2019

The vintage bomb was discovered on Saturday morning while an amphibious excavator was dredging a part of Manila bay.

“Noong pagdakot po namin, pag-angat po ng bucket nakita ko po iyong parang ano ng bote.  Nung nakita ko ang nilapitan ko iyong tanso. Paghipo ko medyo gumalaw, sabi ko oy bomba ‘to ah,” amphibious excavator operator Rodolfo Escalera recounted, adding that he felt creeped out when he discovered that he dug up a bomb instead of plastic and trash.

(When the bucket went up, I saw something like a part of a bottle. When I saw it and went closer, it moved. It’s then I said it could be a bomb)

He said they immediately called a bomb squad to remove the vintage ordnance from the area. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Mai Bermudez)

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