Why corals matter: PH celebrates Coral Triangle Day

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 9, 2020   •   1210

Did you know that corals are not rocks? They aren’t plants either.

Corals are animals. At a glance, we picture corals as uniquely-shaped rocks with seaweed-like leaves but in reality, corals are composed of tiny creatures called ‘polyps’.

Coral polyps are tiny organisms that are more closely related to sea anemones and jellyfishes.

What do they do exactly?

Corals serve as home to numerous sea creatures. It also protects coastlines to dissipate huge waves. Scientists can also determine prehistoric climate patterns by studying coral reefs which can make a huge impact on how we should live in the present.

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Philippines is part of the Coral Triangle which is a marine area located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is considered as the center of global marine diversity.

The Coral Triangle covers areas in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and Solomon Islands. It is the home of 2.5 million hectares of coral reefs, 500 species of corals and 1,763 reef species.

In celebration of Coral Triangle Day, the DENR sets out to raise awareness on the importance of corals and the Coral Triangle in the country.

“There are 130 million people directly dependent on its marine natural resources,” the DENR said.

What can we do?

CleanSeas Pilipinas reiterated the importance of preserving coral reefs especially when climate change and pollution in the ocean continue to threat marine life.

Here are some of the actions we can do to help save the coral reefs:

  • Don’t touch coral reefs!
  • Use reef-safe sunscreens
  • Don’t purchase corals from gift shops
  • Volunteer in local beach or reef cleanups

“Protecting them is essential to food security as coral reefs contribute to 70% of fishery production in the world,” the organization said. –AAC

Dolomite beach reopens to public with new regulations

Maris Federez   •   December 28, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Tuesday (December 28) opened the Dolomite Beach anew with new regulations set up for visitors.

The DENR said the dolomite beach will be open for two days to test if and how the public will adhere to the said new regulations.

Upon entry to the beach, a public announcement will be heard reminding people to observe social distancing and to wear face shields and face masks.

The number of visitors allowed on the beach is limited to 300, and they can only stay for only an hour.

“We have to be very safe in maintaining yung security, and of course yung kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan, that’s why we limit it to 300. Nakikita natin so far yun ang ideal na makokontrol tapos mamaintain yung social distancing and all this reqiurements sa protocols natin will properly observed,” said Reuel Surilla OIC-Director, Dolomite Beach.

Visitors must first register by scanning the QR Code posted on the DENR Facebook page. On-site registration is also available.

Registration is required to control the number of visitors. This will also serve as a reference for contact tracing.

Only fully vaccinated individuals will be allowed to enter the said tourist destination.

Children 11 years old and below will not be allowed entry; while children aged 12 to 17 will be allowed entry as long as they are fully vaccinated.

Bringing in food and pets, smoking and swimming is not allowed.

The DENR said the two-day temporary operation of Dolomite Beach will serve as a basis for whether the planned full operation of the beach will be pushed through on January 4, 2022.

“Tingnan natin kung ano mga assesment natin for the last two days of the year and we will make some adjustments and open by January 4th,” Surilla said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent JP Nuñez)

Pangolin found in Ayala Alabang to return home in Palawan

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 19, 2021

The pangolin that was found in Barangay Ayala Alabang in Muntinlupa will soon be homeward bound to its natural habitat in Palawan.

Last Monday (August 16), a resident turned over a Philippine pangolin to the National Wildlife Rescue and Research Center (NWRRC) after finding it in their backyard. Rescuers immediately responded and took custody of the pangolin which was named ‘Pandi’.

According to the NWRRC, Pandi has minor cuts around his body but his health is in stable condition.

Bukod doon sa mga minor scratch niya wala pa namang alarming na sign na medyo kailangan naming bantayan ng sobra, (Aside from minor scratches [Pandi] does not have any alarming signs that would need our utmost attention),” according to NWRRC chief and in-house veterinarian Dr. Glenn Maguad.

Pandi is now scheduled to return to Palawan, however, no date has been set yet.

Pangolins are considered a critically endangered species and the most traffic wildlife. Pangolins are being traded primarily as ingredients in traditional Chinese medicine.

Maguad said pangolins are considered gardeners of the forest because they like to dig rotten trees for termites. They contribute to the ecosystem through soil conditioning. -AAC (with reports from Janice Ingente)

DENR calls on sea vessel owners to explain dumping of waste in Manila Bay

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will summon the owners of sea vessels that dock at the Navotas Fish Port in Baseco, Manila through the Anti-Pollution Task Force.

The DENR, along with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), conducted an inspection at the Navotas Fish Port on Friday (June 4) to check for metal content, fecal coliform, and grease present in the water.

According to DENR Usec. Benny Antiporda, several sea vessels docked at the Fish Port are dumping waste in Manila Bay.

Antiporda said the department will summon the concerned individuals to explain the issue.

“We will talk to them immediately after this kasi ipasu-summon natin sila sa Anti-Pollution Task Force para magkaroon ng dialogue between sea vessels and the government,” he said.

According to the captain of one of the cargo vessels, Angelito Balitaan, there are instances that they would throw waste in Manila Bay because their vessel does not have a sewage system and they do not have enough funds for sewage repairs.

“Starting na natuto ako nang ganiyan iyan na kinagisnan ko, minana na din iyan wala pang implementation ng mga sewage sewage,” he said.

Meanwhile, the test results of the water samples will be released in a week.  AAC (with reports from JP Nuñez)

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