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Residents call on DENR to stop mining operations in Homonhon and Manicani Islands

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, November 3rd, 2017

MANILA, Philippines – Several residents of two villages in Guiuan, Eastern Samar have asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) not to renew the permit of Hinatuan Mining Corporation (HTC) for its alleged violation of some mining guidelines.

The residents said the contract of HTC already expired last October 27th. This prompted them to ask the DENR to stop the company’s mining of nickel ore in the islands of Homonhon and Manicani.

They claimed parts of the mountainous island have become denuded, and that the mining activities there also affect the sea.

“We want Secretary Cimatu to know the sacrifice and agony of the entire community. The mining contract of the Hinatuan Mining Corporation is about to expire. It has been mining there for 25 years now. And the residents have been having bad experiencing in the island because of their mining activities,” Phil. Movement for Climate Justice Visayas coordinator, Larry Pascua said.

Meanwhile, the DENR agreed to have a dialogue with the residents to discuss their concerns.

However, the agency explained it could not immediately respond to the complaint of the residents as it still needs to undergo proper process.

“We will just only be elevating the information, because the very authority who will approve the MPSA is the secretary,” DENR 8 Assistant Regional Director Carlito Tuballe said.

The residents are hoping the Duterte Administration will act on their concerns especially since the mining activities in their community have already affected their livelihood. – Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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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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Simultaneous clean-up of rivers, canals leading to Manila Bay set on March 31

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has set a simultaneous clean up of canals and rivers leading to Manila Bay on March 31.

DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones said the clean up drive will cover the river system traversing Marikina, Pasi, Tullahan and Parañaque.

“Iyong nakadikit dun sa mga river system, iyong mga esteros will be cleaned(The canals attached to the river system will be cleaned),” said Leones.

These water systems, according to Leones, serve as conduits for waste water and other pollutants to directly flow into Manila Bay, thus a clean up drive is highly necessary.

“We believe that we cannot clean Manila Bay unless we clean also the sources of pollution along this river systems,” the official added.

In line with the clean-up efforts, the DENR has ordered the closure of two of the three outfalls or water passage located between the U.S. Embassy and Manila Yacht Club to give way to the construction of a sewerage treatment plant that will filter waste water before it reaches Manila Bay.

Meanwhile, dredging operations to scoop out the 4-meter-thick mud and garbage deposits in Manila Bay’s seabed continue.

Likewise, experts are conducting tests on water samples to verify traces of dangerous and heavy metals like mercury.

“Kapag na-accumulate sa body mo iyan, (If those (heavy metals) accumulate inside your body) it will take years before it is eliminated into your body,” Leones explained.

Authorities remind the public that recreational swimming remains strictly prohibited in Manila Bay, though pollution level in its water has receded.

“Ito lang ang sabi ng aming secretary, kapag na-fit ang water for swimming ang unang lalangoy doon kami daw. Hanggat hindi pa kami lumalangoy doon talagang walang dapat mag-swimming doon, (Secretary [Cimatu] told us that once the water in Manila Bay becomes fit for swimming, we will be the first ones to swim in it. So while we are not yet swimming in it, no one should),” the official stressed.

The agency will set up sanitation facilities that informal settlers near Manila Bay can use to prevent them from disposing waste materials into the bay. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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Malacañang demands further justifications on Boracay closure plan

by admin   |   Posted on Monday, April 2nd, 2018

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Atty. Menardo Guevarra

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has no final decision yet on the planned closure of Boracay Island.

Malacañang said they have asked additional justification from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Tourism (DOT) on their recommendation for the closure of Boracay on April 26.

“Have requested the three agencies to submit a more detailed memo on the justification,” said Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Atty. Menardo Guevarra.

The official added that the Department of Trade and Industry has submitted a separate memorandum regarding the possible complications on the recommendation of the inter-agency task force.

“The Department of Trade and Industry has actually submitted the separate memorandum to us saying that maybe this closure can be done in phases, because of the effect on businesses and livelihood in the area,” said Guevarra.

The Palace added that the President is weighing the possible effects of the planned closure of the island on the economy.

Meanwhile, Malacañg does not see any problem or conflict on the construction of a casino hotel with the cleansing of Boracay.

“For as long as any establishment for that matter, including this casino, complies with all the regulatory requirements like environmental rules and regulations, there should be no problem with that,” said Guevarra. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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