Stay injury-free, clean and healthy during the holiday seasons!
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 is urging the different local government chief executives in the region to celebrate the holidays by keeping the environment clean and staying injury-free from firecrackers.
“Local chief executives can help protect their constituents from becoming victims of injury to firecrackers during the celebration of the holidays by designating a specific area for the community fireworks display. In this way, they can contain the wastes in one area while ensuring that everyone is safe. We are urging everyone to keep the environment clean even while celebrating the festivities,” DENR 6 Regional Director Jim O Sampulna said.
“There should also be the presence of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Health (DOH) during the conduct of fireworks display,” he added.
Aside from generating wastes by using firecrackers or fireworks during the festivities, the combustion of fireworks contributes to air pollution. “We need to be cautious in using firecrackers and fireworks to celebrate the holidays for this could also pollute the air and can make us sick,” warns Director Sampulna.
President Duterte wanted to impose a nationwide ban on the use of firecrackers but deferred the plan after considering the fact that many people have already invested in buying firecrackers. He hopes however that Congress would act first on the bill ensuring public safety from the firecrackers by the early part of 2017.
Bamboo Plantation Development Project (BPDP) to be done under the eNGP
Native products made from bamboo are abundant in Western Visayas. The DENR is now strengthening the value and production of bamboo through its Bamboo Plantation Development Project (BPDP). Aside from its unique commercial value, bamboo also plays an important role in climate mitigation and adaptation measures.
Photo Credits: Left: www.cebuimage.com, Right: www.cityofwaterfalls-iligancity.com
Under the expanded National Greening Program (eNGP), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will now implement the Bamboo Plantation Development Project (BPDP).
The project will be implemented for six years, from 2017 until 2022. It is aimed at improving the adaptive capacities of human communities and natural systems; sustainably manage natural resources; and improve environmental quality for healthier and cleaner environment.
From 2017–2022, the BPDP will develop and rehabilitate a total of one million hectares of watersheds, marginal areas, creek lines, riverbanks and areas prone to erosion across the whole country. BPDP’s implementation strategies shall be on a community-based scheme to enable the stakeholders to experience and develop a strong sense of commitment to protect the environment.
The DENR in Western Visayas has a target area of 4,328 hectares, distributed among the following provinces: Aklan–1,000 ha.; Antique–500 ha.; Capiz–1,328 ha.; Iloilo–1000 ha.; and Guimaras–500 ha.
Known as the world’s tallest grass, the bamboo is also resilient to strong winds and rains and thereby helps protect its surrounding environment during typhoons. Scientific studies on bamboo proved that it is an effective erosion control plant and natural control barrier due to its widespread root system and large canopy; it helps mitigate water pollution due to its high nitrogen consumption; it can sequester up to 12 tons of carbon dioxide from the air per hectare; it keeps twice so much water in the watersheds; and it sustains riverbanks.
The BPDP implementation will boost bamboo supply which is considered a non-timber forest product. It also supports Republic Act 879 which promotes the use of bamboo as alternative material to wood in making school furniture.
Here in Western Visayas, we still have ample area to cultivate bamboo. It is another opportunity for the various people’s organizations involved in the project to also create livelihood in the process. By seriously implementing this project, we wanted bamboo supply to be sustainable. This is because bamboo is a very important component of development – be it a commercial development or ecological development. Bamboo is indeed a versatile product of nature,” said DENR 6 Regional Director Jim O Sampulna.