Press Releases

January is not just the month of festivals in the region. It is also declared as the National Zero Waste Month by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 760, dated May 2014. This CY 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it easier for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to clean the air and water, especially during the lockdown months when people movement and transportation were restricted. However, with the imposition of wearing masks, there is a need for the Department to once again embark on a massive campaign for people to properly manage their wastes.

Aptly, the theme: Bouncing Back from the Pandemic to a Greener and Healthier Environment was adopted for the observance of Zero Waste Month 2021, which “focuses on proper disposal, segregation and management of healthcare wastes,” said Atty. Ramar Niel V. Pascua, regional director of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).

Zero Waste Month is also pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) 2000.

The DENR Region 6 continues to encourage people in all sectors of society to be mindful of properly managing their wastes as there is an alarming increase of household, healthcare and special wastes brought by the COVID-19.

“We should be wary of how we properly dispose our used face masks and gloves which are considered special wastes. We appeal to every household that they should treat used face masks, gloves and disposable face shields as special wastes as these can spread the virus,” said regional executive director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.

In observance of the Zero Waste Month 2021, the EMB Region 6 has conducted the Training on Green Initiatives for Youth Leaders last January 21–22, 2021. The event has gathered eighteen (18) selected youth leaders from different schools in the province of Iloilo. During the training, they were taught ways to do the upcycling and recycling of solid wastes and how to become eco-friendly influencers in various social media platforms thereby serving as catalyst for change.

The Zero Waste Month is an advocacy that promotes the designing and managing of products and the processes to avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste, and materials.

It is also defined as a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary to guide people in having a resourceful lifestyle, in which discarded materials can be re-designed as resources for others to use.


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./

04 09 2020 CENRO Guimbal Body

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 aims to further protect the forests from illegal loggers and poachers thus a forest ranger station was established at SitioTabionan, Brgy. Bucari, Leon, Iloilo.

Under the supervision of the Community ENR Office – Guimbal, the Forest Ranger Station is an improved infrastructure that will now serve as choke point and for protection of forests by limiting access on forestlands to avoid its exploitation.

The Forest Protection Program (FPP) strengthens protection mechanism in the country’s remaining natural forests. It also complements the National Greening Program’s (NGPs) objective to expand our forest covers to conserve our natural forest resources from degrading due to commercial logging that supplies the demand of forest products for industrial and household purposes.

Forest rangers perform wide range of tasks such as monitoring and patrolling the forest area and the forest ranger station will serve as their temporary shelter during their field activities.

DENR pushes for the creation of an Environmental Protection and Enforcement Bureau (EPEB) to further strengthen forest protection and law enforcement in forest lands by eradicating illegal logging, poaching and to also address mining issues as well as enhancing the team of forest enforcers.

“Bucari, Leonalso known as Panay’s “Little Baguio”,is one of the many nature tourist destinations here in Western Visayas. It should be protected and conserved with the help of our forest rangers that patrol the area even in these times of COVID-19 pandemic,” said regional executive director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.

Intensified Forest Protection and Anti-illegal logging are among the top ten DENR Priority Programs and Projects of Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.