Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu strengthens the implementation of the Enhanced National Greening Program (E-NGP) by targeting 13,050 hectares to be planted with bamboos in Panay Island. He pushed for it to become the country’s ‘Bamboo Capital’ and this is one of his marching orders during his traditional New Year’s Call held at the Department Environment Natural Resources (DENR) Central Office in Quezon City.
Bamboos help mitigate the effects of climate change as it can absorb 12 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per hectare each year, improving the quality of air in the country and help cool the temperature. It also has an extensive root system maintaining soil stability that intercepts rain preventing soil erosion and flashfloods that may occur during heavy rain and typhoons.
During the New Year’s Call, Secretary Cimatu stressed the need to strictly enforce forest protection thereby increasing forest cover without losing the lives of our rangers. Illegal loggers should be punished according to the law thus, it should also be enforced, he pointed out.
On the other hand, other programs were also given focus by Sec. Cimatu, especially on the region’s patents issuance that has now more than 4,000 hectares target on agricultural and residential patents.
In this new decade, hopefulness and optimism springs to combat the environmental dilemmas happening in the country. The DENR also pursues its goals to implement and mandate environmental laws, programs and sustain rehabilitations by improving air quality based on the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 which mandates to control emission of hazardous, poisonous gases, and other air pollutants. The open burning must also be discouraged and make polluters pay through penalties, addressing solid waste problems through the implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and programs that ensures protection of public health and environment by proper waste segregation, waste reduction and adaptation of zero-waste lifestyle, thereby also protecting the country’s water bodies from pollution and strategizing to protect water quality through Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004.
Meanwhile, the government through the efforts of the DENR along with other national government agencies sustain the rehabilitation of Boracay and Manila Bay. Secretary Cimatu orders official and employees of the Department to conduct daily clean-up in the Manila Baywalk area and Baseco beach during the ongoing rehabilitation of Manila Bay.
“With all these plans, Secretary Cimatu is calling on each one of us to be proactive and seriously take by heart the Department’s mandate to responsibly take care of our environment and natural resources,” said Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.