Press Releases

22 Jan 2020 Clean Air

The DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) continuously monitors the quality of air within the city and other provinces. Above photo shows the Leganes AAQMS (Manual PMS PM10 & PM2.5)  on the left and the La Paz AAQMS (TSP High Volume) on the right./EMB 6



             What is clean air? Well, it is the air that has no harmful levels of pollutants.

             As the cities and industries around the country increase in number, however, clean air has become polluted that it was necessary for the Philippine government to pass a law that would ensure safe air for Filipinos to breathe in.

            The passage of the Philippine Clean Air Act (RA 8749) on June 23, 1999, provides for a comprehensive air pollution control policy, as it outlines the government’s measures to reduce air pollution by including environmental protection activities into its development plans. It has adopted the “polluters pay principle” and other market-based instruments to promote self-regulation among the population. Emission standards are set for all motor vehicles and had issued pollutant limitations among industries. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources through its Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) is leading the strict implementation of the Clean Air Act.

            DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu listed Clean Air as his number one priority among the ten priority programs the Department is pursuing under his careful watch. “Intensive enforcement will continue to be a tool used by the DENR to carry out its mandate for the people, to improve the quality of air we breathe,” Cimatu said.

            How does air pollution affect humans? Studies show that air pollution is one of the causes of cardiopulmonary diseases and the increase in air pollution-related deaths. Moreover, air pollution can weaken the body’s defenses against assorted viruses and bacteria. It impacts on one’s health – from becoming sluggish to acquiring deadly diseases, such as lung cancer.

            When air is polluted, it is laden with Particulate Matter (PM) called PM10 or PM2.5. PM is a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets. Some particles found in polluted air are dirt, dust, soot, smoke but are dark enough and can be seen with the naked eye. Others such as airborne microbes and chemicals can only be detected by using an electron microscope.

             PM10 are inhalable particles with diameters that are generally 10 micrometers and smaller, and PM2.5 are fine inhalable particles with diameters ranging from 2.5 micrometers and smaller.

             Breathing clean air upholds human rights to life and good health and their right to live in a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. The DENR supports the country’s economic development while balancing it with the need to keep our environment sustainable.

            “There is such thing as ‘tolerable level’ of air pollution where we can still breathe just fine. But we would rather see Western Visayas achieve really clean air for all. With strict compliance of industries to clean air standards, and prudence from motorists who primarily contribute to air pollution from mobile sources, we can enjoy clean air,” said DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.



Dinagyang Festival is known for its colorful costumes, great dance performances and infectious fun and laughter. It is the most awaited festivity every year Ilonggos and foreign tourists looked forward to. This year, the city government is making great strides in achieving a clean festival./(photos by Marc Lozano)


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 is batting for a clean 2020 Dinagyang Festival, confident that the city will live up to its goal to become one of the cleanest city in the Philippines.

With the upcoming Dinagyang Festival dubbed as Dinagyang 360, events such as religious sadsad (January 25), food festival (January 23-26), and the Dagyang sa Calle Real (January 25) are seen to generate tons of wastes and will pose the challenge of cleaning up for the city’s General Services Office (GSO).

“The responsibility of being clean during the festivity does not lie on the city government alone. It is time every individual – Iloilo residents and tourists alike, must take it upon themselves to be clean as they join Dinagyang Festival,” said DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.

Last 2019 Dinagyang Festival, the GSO has collected twenty four (24) trucks of garbage with an estimated total weight between 70 to 80 tons of wastes.

Proper solid waste management program is among the top three of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu’s priority programs. “We should teach our children how to segregate wastes and properly disposed it. We should say no to single use plastics as much as possible,” he told DENR employees during one of his visits.

On Monday, January 13, 2020, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas led the signing of a commitment
they call CLAYGO or Clean As You Go, which campaigns for a clean Dinagyang Festival 2020. The commitment was also signed by all employees of the city government.

“This is good news to us and we hope that all Ilonggos and others who will have fun joining the Dinagyang Festival will support this move. If all local government units and the people work together for a clean environment, this makes it easy for us to implement the provisions of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act or the RA 9003,” RED Milla added.

14 Jan 2020 Turtle Haven

Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings excitedly flap their flippers as they proceed back to their home. /Photo Courtesy of Haron Deo Vargas


Sixty-six (66) Olive Ridley hatchlings were released back to their home on early morning of January 10, 2019. This was after the 65 days of their incubation period. The eggs were found last November 5, 2019 in front of Movenpick Resort & Spa Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 was thankful for the turtle release in the island of Boracay, and the vigilance on turtle conservation sworn y stakeholders in the island.

“This hatchlings release and the recent visitation of whale shark last November 2019 in Boracay are good signs that the island (Boracay) is getting better and better because of the on-going rehabilitation that the government and the stakeholders are doing,” said DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.

“Sea turtles and other marine life are fundamental creatures that is helpful in maintaining the health of our corals reefs and the whole marine life as well, and by that I would like to call on the public to avoid throwing your garbage anywhere, specifically in the bodies of water,” he emphasized.       

Marine lives are now affected by the environmental conditions such as temperature, clean water, and the deaths of their home –coral reefs, and it’s a call for us to act now. Let us not be the reason for marine lives to suffer or die.

The name Olive ridley is taken from the color of its shell, olive green hue. They are currently the most abundant of all sea turtles. Their vulnerable status however, comes from the fact that they nest in very small number of places. Therefore, any disturbances to even one nesting site can have huge repercussions on their entire population, making them face a vulnerable extinction risk.

The Community ENR Office in Boracay Island is currently monitoring other two turtle nesting in the island, which are expected to hatch anytime soon.

Such releases and additional sightings of the marine life in coastal areas in the region demands for stricter protection of these precious marine animals. Waters around the region are indeed rich grounds which can sustainably support diverse marine wildlife. The Enhanced Biodiversity Conservation is one of the ten priority programs of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu and is key to sustain the efforts in Boracay Island.



14 January 2020 Take Steps for proper waste management


“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it,” Robert Swan.

The month of January is not just the month of festivals but also declared as the National Zero Waste Month as mandated by Presidential Proclamation 760, dated May 2014.

With the theme: “Zero Starts Now: Reducing Waste, Sustaining Actions; the celebration of Zero Waste Month” focused in reducing our daily wastes. Thus, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 is calling the attention of the public to be trash-free in their everyday activity. Under a zero-waste approach, recyclables are reused and become a source of livelihood for waste workers. At the same time, through the proper segregation, biodegradable can be composted in our homes, schools and offices.  

However, the sustainable life will not be successful if not regulated. Thus, the DENR encourages the Local Government Units (LGUs) to be proactive in implementing RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

“Let us practice the three (3) Rs; Reduce using materials that can harm the mother Earth, Reuse the plastics and other reusable materials and Recycle the trash that we can still use when recycled”, Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr, said.

“This Zero-Waste month, we at the DENR Regional Office 6 are asking for your full cooperation. May this month be the step-by-step process in achieving a sustainable community, and a sustainable environment, let this be our step,” he added.

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

The celebration is in line with the adoption of the 2020 Marching Orders made by DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, one of which is advocating the proper ecological solid waste management.

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.