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

admin   •   June 14, 2016   •   64138

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)

Senators mourn the passing of ex-DENR Sec. Gina Lopez

Robie de Guzman   •   August 19, 2019

Gina Lopez

MANILA, Philippines – Senators on Monday mourned the passing of former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez.

In a statement, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said he is deeply saddened by the passing of Lopez, whom he called a “fearless advocate and a tireless philanthropist,” who dedicated “most her life for the betterment of her fellow Filipinos.”

Go added that Lopez’s “exceptional” dedication to protecting the environment has “no equal today.”

“I had the honor of working with her when she was the environment secretary of the Duterte Administration. As a former colleague in the government, I know how passionate, dedicated and humble she was as a public servant and as an Earth warrior,” he said in a statement.

“Ma’am Gina, taos-pusong pasasalamat po sa inyong hindi napapantayang serbisyo sa kapwa Pilipino. Isa kang katangi-tanging modelo ng tunay na pagmamalasakit sa kapwa tao. May your legacy continue for generations to come,” he added.

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel also expressed condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of the late DENR chief. He described Lopez as “a famous philanthropist and staunch children’s rights advocate.”

“I am saddened by the demise of such a great public servant and environmentalist as Gina Lopez. She will truly be remembered for her advocacies and contributions in the service of Filipinos,” Pimentel said.

“As the Filipinos mourn the untimely death of former Secretary Lopez, we also pray that her legacy lives on in every person and community her good heart has touched,” Pimentel added.

READ: Former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez dies at 65

Lopez passed away on Monday. She succumbed to multiple organ failure after battling brain cancer.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri recalled Lopez’s many efforts to preserve the environment and helping the aggrieved sectors of society especially poor children.

“Being the chief of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission is just one of the many tasks she carried out well as part of our government. She brought her environmental activism into every Filipino home in her travels around our beautiful archipelago,” he said in a statement.

Zubiri also expressed admiration for Lopez’s causes and for her grace and sublime courage with which she faced the pains of her sickness.

“She walked her talk, be it in defense of helpless children or displaced communities, or in nursing back to life polluted waters or ravaged forests,” he said.

“While in government, her habit of speaking the inconvenient truth to power was actually a strength, and not a character flaw in a bureaucracy straitjacketed by niceties. Though her stint was cut short, Gina was a great ‘secretary of defense of our natural resources’,” he added.

Senator Francis Pangilinan also said many will remember the late environmentalist as “a woman of courage” and a “firebrand,” who pushed for her environmental and child protection advocacies without fear and hesitation.

“She was all that. In or out of government, her life was about tireless creativity for all our collective future, through our children and our environment,” he added.

Senator Sonny Angara likewise paid tribute to Lopez, describing her as a “one-person green warrior” who took her “selfless” fight for environment protection to “where it matters.”

“She spent a lifetime pouring her considerable talents in bringing to the mainstream the powerless and the voiceless who exist forgotten in the margins of society. She fought for children who were incapable of seeking justice and care for themselves and eloquently spoke for the people in the communities whose voices have been crushed by exploitation,” Angara said.

“She was a one-person green warrior who took the fight to where it matters – in boardrooms, chatrooms, government offices, and in her favorite office – out in the open, under a forest canopy or underwater, where she was in her element with people she loved in a country she never gave up hope on,” he added.

Angara also stated that Lopez’s passing has “left us a bucket list to comply with and follow.”

Senator Grace Poe, meanwhile, thanked Lopez for her efforts to protect the environment.

“Sec. Gina Lopez came in our midst and taught us love for mankind and the environment, our common home. Thank you for touching our lives in your impassioned way,” Poe said in a statement.

Former DENR Sec Gina Lopez dies at 65

Maris Federez   •   August 19, 2019

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.

DENR to issue import ban on recyclable waste

Marje Pelayo   •   August 12, 2019

Disposal of the 26 containers from Chronic Plastic Inc., Ontario, Canada at a sanitary landfill of Metro Clark Waste Management Corp. in Capas, Tarlac. (Courtesy: MCWMC)

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will issue a moratorium or temporary ban on importation of recyclable waste into the country.

Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said the moratorium will run for three months while the Department is reviewing the import procedures and regulations on such shipments.

Antiporda said the DENR is making sure that there won’t be a repeat of the incident involving the illegal entry of imported garbage from Canada and South Korea.

The official, meanwhile, is proposing for P3-M cash bond from companies that would import recyclable wastes before they are issued a permit.

The cash bond will be used should any problem occur with the imported shipment.

“Lugi ang bansa diyan dahil ang tagal naka stock diyan sa atin kung saan merong mga dapat bayaran na hindi na nabayaran, (It’s our loss if [the shipment] ends up idle while there are dues to pay),” Antiporda argued.

Meanwhile, Antiporda said the DENR might allow the importation of second hand or used electronic appliance provided that all parts will be reused.

Kapag iyan ay contaminated, iyan ay waste na. Hindi na siya recyclable, (If its contaminated then it’s already waste and is no longer recyclable),” Antiporda noted.

While the moratorium is in effect, the DENR will inspect the recycling plants of all importing firms. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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