Vehicles are the top contributor to air pollution in the Philippines – DENR

admin   •   June 14, 2016   •   70101

IMAGE_JUNE-14-2016_UNTV NEWS_DENR_VEHICLES

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Measures to improve air quality in the Philippines are among the priority agenda at the ongoing 8th Annual Clean Air forum of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The discussion points to vehicle emission as the leading factor that contributes 69% to the country’s air pollution.

90% of which comes from Metro Manila.

Based on records of DENR, the current rate of air pollution has declined by about 20%.

However, it is still more than the allowable level stated in the Clean Air Act.

Based on records of the Land Transportation Office, more than 6,000 vehicles have been added on the road from 2012 to 2014.

“It [pollution] worsens because the number of vehicle is increasing; the population is growing; the roads are getting congested and structures are getting higher. These are some factors why air pollution remains on the ground and not dispersing,” explained Rene Pineda, Partnership for Clean Air president.

In 2013, more than three million developed respiratory diseases due to air pollution but the number has lowered by 29% in the past 3 years.

“It aggravates the respiratory diseases like asthma. And it allegedly cause pregnancy defects,” said Eva Ocfemia, Assistant Director of Environmental Management Bureau – DENR.

The government is now penalizing violators of Clean Air Act through the no-contact anti-smoke belching operation. As of today, the government has apprehended almost 9,000 firms for failing the emission standards and for operating without proper permits.

DENR advised to use cleaner fuel to lessen pollution.

“The Euro2 fuel that we use has 500ppm in terms of sulfur dioxide emission. If we use Euro4 it further downgrades emission level to 50ppm only,” Ocfemia said.

The public may also contribute in reducing air pollution by not smoking, by walking or using bicycle for short distances or riding the mass transport system.

It is also better to recycle your garbage instead of burning it.

(REY PELAYO/UNTV NEWS)

Five suspected illegal loggers arrested in Bulacan

Marje Pelayo   •   October 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Five suspected illegal loggers have been arrested in the forested area of Doña Remedios Trinidad in the province of Bulacan during anti-illegal logging operations.

The area is part of the Angat Watershed Reservation under the Proclamation No. 505.

The operation was spearheaded by the combined operatives of the DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) based in Baliwag, Bulacan together with personnel from the National Power Corporation (NPC)- Angat Watershed Team (AWAT) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) of Dona Remedios Trinidad (DRT) in Bulacan,

Authorities also seized more than 1,600 board feet of chainsawn dipterocarp lumber worth over P170,000 including three chainsaws and five motorcycles.

The forest contrabands are now under the custody of CENRO Baliwag. 

The DENR has already filed criminal charges against the suspects for violating the Forestry Code of the Philippines (P.D. 705) and the Republic Act No. 9175 or the Chainsaw Act of 2002.

Possession of endangered wild plants is punishable by up to 12 yrs, P1M fine — DENR

Marje Pelayo   •   October 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Many Filipinos are turning to gardening to relieve the stress, anxiety and the boredom of being locked down for months since the start of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak early this year.

The craze created so-called “plant parents,” “plantitos” and “plantitas” who prefer plants, instead of animals, as their home pets.

The pandemic has introduced to this generation some of the rarest and the most exotic plants found in the Philippines. 

But authorities are reminding the public to be aware of the plant species they have at home. 

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), around 1,000 species of plants are currently in the agency’s list of endangered plants.

Taking these plant species from their natural habitat is against the law as they play important roles in maintaining ecological balance in the environment they live in.

DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau Director and Assistant Secretary Ricardo Calderon in an interview with UNTV said wild plants provide shelter or food to wild animals and insects which also contribute to the balance in the forest and control the spread of certain viruses.

The official warned of grave consequences if these natural habitats of wild animals are destroyed.

‘Lahat ng mga zoonotic diseases, because ang mga habitat ng mga hayop na ito ay nagalaw o na-disrupt, ang tendency ay lumabas sila sa kanilang natural habitat (Zoonotic diseases [could emerge], because when habitats of wild animals are destroyed or disrupted, they tend to move out of their natural habitats), Calderon explained.

“Nagkakaroon sila ng interaction sa mga domestic animals so nata-transfer ang mga virus na ito (It brings them into contact with domestic animals and and transfers the virus to the latter),” he added.

DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau has tightened its security in the country’s ports to combat smuggling of plant wildlife and critically endangered plant species. 

This pandemic has seen a large variety of plants surfacing on the market.

Calderon said they understand that plants can be a source of additional income in this time of crisis but the public should be aware of certain responsibilities.

“We support this kind of hobby or small business as long as it is compliant, as far as existing laws are concerned,” the official said.

The DENR encourages the public to report poachers of endangered plant wildlife.

The list can be viewed in DENR’s official Facebook Page.

Recently, some owners of endangered plant wildlife in Zamboanga City voluntarily handed over their plants to the DENR.

Possession, collection, or poaching of these critically endangered fauna is punishable by 12 years imprisonment and a fine of up to P1-million pesos  in violation of Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, the DENR said. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 9, 2020

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

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