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The war on waste won’t be over until everyone learns the value of waste segregation, recycling or upcycling (transforming waste materials into new products), reusing, or refusing the use of plastics. The humidifier was one of the surprising find during the observance of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) 2021 last September 18 led by the team of employees from the DENR 6’s Conservation and Development Division, Iloilo City Metro Lions Club and Youth Proyekto Philippines held at Esplanade 1. We only have one Planet Earth and we can work as one towards a clean and well-managed community when it comes to our own wastes. In our small ways, we can practice the simple 3Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle to keep a clean environment.

The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) shall be the primary government agency under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to formulate, integrate, coordinate, supervise and implement all policies, programs, projects and activities relative to the prevention and control of pollution as well as the management and enhancement of environment thus, the EMB 6 provides forty (40) sets of Solid Waste Management Equipment to forty (40) Local Government Units (LGUs) in the region.

Consisting of brand-new Biodegradable Waste Shredder, Composter and New Solar Powered 4G Network Camera Kit, this activity aims to help LGUs improve their compliance in increasing waste diversion of solid wastes pursuant to Section 8 of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

EMB 6 Regional Director Atty. RamarNiel V. Pascua said that providing LGUs with the equipment will transform the diverted wastes into assets as organic fertilizers and will also help increase the collection of recyclable materials.

SWM equipment receipts are the following; six LGUs in the Province of Aklan - Balete, Banga, Batan, Nabas, New Washington and Numancia; seven in the Province of Antique – Bugasong, Culasi, Hamtic, Laua-An, Pandan, San Remegio and Tobias Fornier; eight in the Province of Capiz – Dao,Ma-ayon, Mambusao, Panay, Panit-an, Pilar, Pontevedra, and Sigma; two in Guimaras Province – Jordan and Nueva Valencia; fourteen (14) in Iloilo Province – Alimodian, Balasan, Banate, Barotac Viejo, Concepcion, Dingle, Dueñas, Guimbal, Igbaras, Leganes, Lemery, Maasin, San Dionisio and San Enrique; and three in Negros Occidental – Moises Padilla, Toboso and Valladolid.

“RA 9003 is something we cannot close one’s eyes to, it is something unsuitable but a familiar sight to all of us,” Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran said.

“This Biodegradable Waste Shredder, composter and other equipment’s is just a proof of action, continuously,” he added.

Furthermore, from CY 2012 to 2020, six (6) provinces in the region were provided with plastic molders; fifty-eight (58) LGUs were provided with Bio-composter with Shredders, forty-two (42) LGUs had received financial support for the establishment of their MRFs; forty-three (43) LGUs for the procurement of shredders; sixty-eight (68) LGUs for the establishment of MRF and purchase of equipment; seventeen (17) LGUs received support for the establishment and operationalization of ESWM for public markets; ten (10) LGUs for their Safe and Closure Rehabilitation of dumpsites; twenty-seven (27) LGUs for the National Eco-savers Program; and three (3) LGUs have received eco-bikes./DENR

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as the lead department of Boracay Inter-agency Task Force (BIATF), is determined to finish the rehabilitation of the island before its extended terms expires, this after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte extended the BIATF life until by June 2022 through Executive Order (EO) 147 dated September 13, 2021 .

"We must ensure that we have the proper mechanisms in place, so that our hard work and efforts would not turn to naught," DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said during the BIATF Principals recent meeting in Boracay Island.

“We hope that what we leave behind for Boracay would be those that are worthy to be sustained or built upon by those succeeding us,” he added.

During the meeting BIATF Chair Secretary Cimatu and co-chair Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año reported remarkable improvement of the island of Boracay, after the island had undergone rehabilitation last 2018.

The water quality in the beaches and other water sampling stations of Boracay, from 900 most probable number per 100 milliliters (MPN/100ml) down to 45 MPN/100 ml on average.

A total of 282 of the 339 structures including commercial, residential, and other establishments encroaching on the 25+5-meter beach easement have been demolished with only just few remaining houses left for demolition.

The rehabilitation of adopted wetlands are still on progress, while Wetland No. 9 located in Brgy. Manoc-mamoc is almost cleared of illegal settlers except for one remaining house.

For the enforcement of the 12-meter road right of way for the widening and improvement of the Boracay Circumferential Road, 86% of establishments or 1,057 of 1,230 total structures are now compliant.

 Aside from the progress of the rehabilitation, BIATF Co-chair and DOT Secretary Puyat said that the COVID 19 vaccination of the island’s residents and tourism workers is expected to react 100% by the end of October 2021 thus, the first tourism area to have a fully vaccinated residents and tourism workers.

Almost 92% of the tourism workers including tricycle drivers, souvenir shop personnel, and massage therapists have received their first dose or 11,779 of 12,809 workers while 77.87 percent or 19,039 of 24,451 residents have received their first dose. 

 “Boracay Island Rehabilitation is one of our major accomplishments here in DENR 6. We have a visual proof that this rehabilitation is a success,” DENR 6 RED Duran said.

“We will not stop here, this environment protection will continue for our future generations,” he added.

Meanwhile, the BIATF member and Aklan Governor Florencio T. Miraflores said that Boracay Island will soon accept fully vaccinated individuals without needing to secure a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result. It is one way of the Local Government of Aklan to regain the low tourism industry the island and the province as well.

Vitamins and minerals are considered essential nutrients—because acting in concert, they perform hundreds of roles in the body. They help shore up bones, heal wounds, and bolster your immune system. They also convert food into energy, and repair cellular damage.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping the immune system healthy year-round is one of the key in preventing infection and disease. Making healthy lifestyle choices by consuming nutritious foods and getting enough sleep and exercise are the most important ways to bolster immune system. In addition, research has shown that supplementing with certain vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other substances can help improve immune response and potentially help protect against illness.

In view of this and in support to the Health and Wellness Program of the office, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 6-Administrative Division headed by Chief Ernest C. Federiso spearheaded the distribution of ImmunPro (Vitamin C with Zinc) to 197 Permanent Employees and 12 Casual Employees of the regional office.

Each employee will receive 1 box of the said vitamin with 100 tablets each to help boost their immune system and combat the COVID-19 infection.

DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran reminded the personnel to have proper hours of sleep, take vitamins and nutritious food, and exercise despite their busy work schedule as public servants.

“A sexual harassment is not only touching someone. The moment someone passes a vulgar comment on someone, it automatically turns into a harassment” –Divya S Shukla

Most people think sexual harassment is a problem that affects only a small number of people. It is sad to note, however, that sexual harassment is not well understood by many. The public never know that many men and women are being subjected to offensive behaviors in the workplace –such as sexual jokes and malicious behavior this often results to psychological anxiety and stress for victims and if ignored, may be costly for organizations through loss of productivity, low workers’ morale, absenteeism, and staff turnover.

In raising awareness among its employees, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 through its Human Resource Development Section (HRDS) conducted the online Learning Event on "Sexual Harassment: Draw the Line, Combat Sexual Harassment and Violence Against Women and their Children," recently via Zoom platform.

Seasoned resource speaker, retired P/Col. Ma. Cecilia R. Detablan, MPA clearly oriented DENR 6 employees on the things they need to know in order to combat sexual harassment. She led the participants towards understanding the use of the legal groundwork for safe and healthy work environment.

Detablan’s topics include:

  • Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 (Republic Act 7877)
  • The Safe Spaces Act (Republic Act 11313)
  • Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act 2004 (VAWC) or RA 9262.

Women are the most common, but not the only, targets for sexual harassment. But sexual harassment in the workplace is by no means limited in this dynamic. Men, particularly those who don’t conform to traditional masculine norms, and others seen as outsiders, like LGBTQ and gender nonconforming people, can be targets. Women can be harassers, too. People of color, especially women of color, are more likely to be subject to sexual harassment than their white counterparts.

 “Webinars like this do not only educate our personnel on what is sexual harassment, but also help them understand their limitations as employees. As a person, you need to know how and in what ways you can protect yourself,” said DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran.

“Let us all be aware of our actions and limitation, let us all draw the line,” he added.

The Department’s personnel are also thankful for the activity conducted and hopes that the other agency will do the same to give justice to the silent victims and give fair credits to all.