Press Releases

Ocean is a continuous body of salt water and our planet’s largest ecosystem.It stabilizes the climate, stores carbon, nurtures marine biodiversity and directly supports human well-being through food and energy resources, as well as providing cultural and recreational services.

To protect the ocean means sharing our knowledge to saveit and give the future generation a sustainable world. The oceans are now seriously degrading and actions can only be effective if based on sound knowledge informed by science.

The month of May is “Month ofthe Ocean’’ recognizing the responsibility of the state to protect the nation’s marine wealth through Presidential Proclamation No. 57 signed by then President Joseph Estrada on December 11, 1998.

May is the peak fishing season in the country and the observance encourage people to show their support for caring the oceans.

This year’s theme is inspired by the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development –“The Science We Need for the Ocean We Want” giving a hope to increase appreciation on what science can do to protect our oceans and convey these learnings to our fellow citizen.

There is an increasing need to find scientific solutions that allow us to understand the changes taking place in our ocean and to reverse its disastrous effects. Ocean science made great progress over the last century in exploring, describing, understanding and enhancing our ability to predict changes in the ocean system.

In the upcoming decade, we have an opportunity to harness advances in ocean science to achieve a better understanding of the ocean system. This will enable the delivery of timely information about the state of the ocean, and will allow us to define interconnected scenarios and pathways for sustainable development.

Ocean science helps us to address impacts from climate change, marine pollution, ocean acidification, loss of marine species and degradation of marine and coastal environments. To achieve sustainable development, good science is needed to inform policies, increase the knowledge of all stakeholders and deliver solutions to address the decline in ocean health.

It is important to understand and beat marine pollution by protecting and restoring ecosystems and biodiversity. It has benefits such as sustainably feeding the global population by providing food supply and helps develop an equitable ocean economy.

Ocean science aims to a healthy and resilient ocean where marine ecosystems are mapped and protected. It also aims to be a predictablewhere society has the capacity to understand current and future ocean conditions and a transparent one with open access to data, information and technologies.

It also intends to have a safe ocean where people are protected from ocean hazards and to unlock ocean-based solutions to climate change.

“In this COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need to support the health and well-being of people in the community. We rely to the ocean for food security thus it is important to know it well and be able to take care of it for the present and future generation,” said Francisco E. Milla, Jr.

Clean Water and Enhanced Biodiversity Conservation are among the top ten priority programs and project of the DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu./DENR6

Forests are areas where most of the species of flora and fauna are found per square kilometres. It is the lungs of the planet that keep the carbon dioxide released by the animals and give oxygen released by plants which is need by humans.

This year’s World Wildlife Day 2021 with the theme, “Forests and Livelihood: Sustaining People and Planet,” as a way to highlight the central role of forests, forests species and ecosystems services in sustaining the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people globally, and particularly of indigenous and local communities with historic ties to forested and forest-adjacent areas.

This aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goals 1, 12, 13, and 15, and their wide-ranging commitments in alleviating poverty, ensuring sustainable use of resources, and on conserving life land.

The celebration the international event at Taklong Island National Marine Reserve (TINMR) in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras last March 03, 2021 is just one of the venues for Department of  Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Western Visayas, other provinces has its own way of celebrating this global event.

Conservation and Development Division (CDD) staff, Forester Mary Ann Astete had briefed the partcipants who joined the on the importance of World Wildlife Day 2021 and the benefits of Forest Bathing.

On the other hand, Johnnys Gange, Park Foreman of TINMR, presented the different wildlife species that could be found within Taklong Island.

After the short lecture, Regional Executive Director Francisco E.  Milla, Jr.  and Provincial ENR Officer Vicente A. Sardina with the POs, Brgy. Captains of San Roque and La Paz, representative from LGU Nueva Valencia, and DENR 6 staffs from the regional and PENR offices, conducted a monitoring and inspection around the mangrove areas of TINMR and enjoyed communing with nature as well as appreciating and identifying the different flora and fauna within the marine park.

“Being able to experience this World Wildlife Day celebration in one of our protected areas in the region is something we need to treasure –the clean water, the fresh air, the biodiversities found in the area plus the mangrove forest bathing we observed,” said RED Milla.

“Surely, this environment of ours is the place where can go back and heal,” he added.

Other activities were paddle boarding/kayaking, island inspection, and coral reefs monitoring/diving.

 “Environmental programs and activities like these are worth documenting for the people of today to learn and appreciate, and for the generation to come,” said Regional Strategic Communication and Initiatives Group (RSCIG) Chief, Artemio Salvador C. Colacion.

Enhancing biodiversity conservation is one among the ten priority programs of Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu./DENR 6


16 Sep 2020 TreePlanting Body

Our environment needs humans’ tender loving care and we can do so by engaging in environmental activities that also improve our quality of living such as tree planting.

Trees have lots of benefits and tree growing is an essential way countries across the globe are doing to avert the harsh impacts of climate change. We have seen the damage it wrought upon us in the form of super typhoons, monsoon rains, landslides, and erratic weather conditions.

This month of September, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) together with Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 will be having a joint tree planting activity in connection to the Linggo ng Kalikasanin observance of the 120thCSC Anniversary with the tentative date set on September 25, 2020.

The CSC plans to limit the participation of its personnel and other participants to observe health protocols to prevent contracting the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

DENR Region 6will also conduct a bamboo planting activity in celebration of the World Bamboo Day. The venue will be in Calajunan, Mandurriaoon September 18, 2020. This too, will be done with limited participants. Such is the “new normal.”

Iloilo City, a highly urbanized city,acknowledges the importance and benefits of trees for a livable and sustainable community.

In the sides of the streets, parks and backyards, trees are grown as it brings an aesthetic and peaceful environment that also brings natural elements and wildlife habitat into urban settings.  Italso deflects sunlight in the cities thereby reducing the heat island effect.

Trees highly contribute to a clean environment as they improve air quality through the process of photosynthesis – producing oxygen and taking in carbon dioxide. It also filters air intercepting unhealthy particles by removing dusts and absorbing pollutants like carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide and letting the rain wash them after.

It also helps in climate amelioration by mitigating the effects of the sun, rain and wind as the leaves absorb and filter the sun’s radiant energy, acting as a shield from the falling rain and preserve warmth by screening off the harsh wind.

The roots of trees hold the soil in place as it fights erosion that causes landslide. It also absorbs and store rainwater that helps reduce runoff and sediment deposit after the storms. It also helps recharge ground water supply, prevents transport of chemicals into streams as well asprevents flooding. Its fruits provide food while its fallen leaves also make good compostand improve the quality of soil.

Being with nature improves cognitive function, enhances memory and discipline. A walk in the park full of trees can also relieve stress, empowering one’s state of mind.

 “There is no doubt that engaging in tree planting activities strengthens the communities. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participants to our tree planting activities were reduced to observe social distancing and health protocols. But it is important to still take good care of our shelter by continuing to plant new seedlings that will help us attain a sustainable our future,” said regional executive director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.

Enhanced Biodiversity Conservation and Enhanced National Greening Program (E-NGP) are among the top ten DENR priority programs and projects of Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

This year’s International Coastal Cleanup will not be the same as we used to celebrate it due to the ongoing pandemic.

Across the world, lockdowns, social distancing measures and wearing of face masks are still required to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID) 2019. This pandemic has affected the economies of countries across the globe, threatened food security, and agricultural production. Measures to halt its devastating effects to human lives include avoidance of large gatherings and public places where economic activities occur.

Despite the restrictions which limit mass movement, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 will conduct this year’s International Coastal Cleanup on September 19, 2020 at the Iloilo Esplanade with a small number of participants to observe physical distancing and avoid huge number of volunteers to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols.

With the theme: “Safe Oceans Start at Home”, the DENR 6 is encouraging the public to be more vigilant in practicing proper solid waste management right at home. Afterall, the strongest advocates to support proper solid waste management are families – the smallest unit in our societies.

The Ocean Conservancy, an international nonprofit environmental advocacy group that led the ICC event, adopted the #CleanOn and has urged ocean lovers to celebrate ICC 2020 in a community. We can go individual or small-scale, observe social distancing while cleaning up our neighborhood, and we can all start at our homes. What to start with? We can begin with waste segregation by choosing only residual wastes (solid waste materials that are non-compostable and non-recyclable) to go into the trash bin for collection. By doing this, we help lessen the bulk of waste that reaches the sanitary landfill.

“For many years, we have celebrated the ICC with hundreds or even thousands of participants. The Philippines once ranked No. 1 in the number of volunteers worldwide. But with this “new normal”, we only wanted a few volunteers to avoid the spread of coronavirus disease,” said regional executive director Francisco E. Milla, Jr. of DENR 6.

“Our small acts of properly managing our wastes at home contribute to clean oceans. Small acts together also create huge impact for the protection of our marine ecosystems. Let us all practice that every day is a coastal clean-up day,” Milla added.

Aside from the clean-up, the Conservation and Development Division (CDD) of DENR 6 will also be guesting at the radio program titled Ikaw kag ang Imo Palibot aired over DYLL 585-Radyo Pilipinas. The CDD will talk about the importance and significance of the ICC celebration.

Coastal cleanup drives like the ICC support the Clean Water Act and Ecological Solid Waste Management Act which are included in the top ten priority programs and projects of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

The ICC is an annual event that has rallied on more than 12 million people in joining this biggest volunteer effort in protecting the ocean.

08 Sep 2020 LuteTurtle Body Final

Left photo shows the Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) rescued at Brgy. Malacañang, Culasi, Antique while right photo was the Hawksbill Sea Turtle rescued at Sitio Banacan, Brgy. Cabalagan, Nueva Valencia in the island province of Guimaras.


For hundreds of years, marine turtles lived in the vast oceans but they coexist with humans in many countries and shores each time they visit land.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) had reported many sightings of marine turtles nesting in Western Visayas. Boracay Island, for one, has been tagged as the “turtle haven” because of the simultaneous releases and discovery of turtle nesting sites in the island.

On September 7, 2020, the world’s largest known marine turtle and is the fourth heaviest modern reptile behind three crocodilians, the Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), was found and rescued at Brgy. Malacañang, Culasi, Antique by the Community ENR Office in Culasi. The marine turtle was reported by Mark Jay Ortega as it was tangled in fish traps in the area.

It has a thick leathery skin with longitudinal ridges instead of a hard shell. Leatherbacks are the only turtle that does not have a hard shell. It has a curved carapace length of 115 cm and curved carapace width of 82 cm. After tagging, it was immediately released back to the sea. Leatherbacks are also called leathery turtle, lute turtle, or just luth.

Ellen Flor Solis of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) noted that this is the second Leatherback turtle that was reported rescued in Panay Island. Solis had been working with sea turtles rescue for the past 15 years.

Another turn-over, tagging and release were done at Sitio Banacan, Brgy. Cabalagan, Nueva Valencia in the island province of Guimaras on September 9, 2020 to the rescued Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata). The marine turtle was caught in a net and was reported to the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) and Provincial ENR Office of Guimaras.

Hawksbills  have narrow, pointed beak. Their overlapping scales on their shells form a serrated look and is the turtle’s distinctive feature. Such colored and patterned shells make Hawkbills highly-valuable and were commonly sold as “tortoiseshell” in markets. They are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List. Factors that affect their decline include loss of nesting and feeding habitats, excessive egg collection, pollution, coastal development, and they are the most threatened by wildlife trade.

Through the joint efforts of the municipal local government unit of Nueva Valencia, Barangay LGU of Cabalagnan, Nueva Valencia and Provincial ENR Office represented by Environmental Management Specialist (EMS) II Rhett Arthur Diana and other staff from the Taklong Island National Marine Reserve (TINMR), the marine turtle was released back to its habitat

“Turtles are one of the oldest creatures still in existence, with an average life span of 100 years. We laud the efforts of those who helped the release trapped turtles and we continue to urge the general public to help us strengthen the protection of our natural resources – both in land and water,” said DENR 6 regional executive director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.

The protection of marine turtles and other animals are part of the Enhanced Biodiversity Conservation which is one of the ten (10) priority programs of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu./