A female Dugong (sea cow) was found dead in Brgy. Tigum, Buruanga, Aklan last September 08, 2022. Mark Gem Merin, staff of Coastal Resources and Foreshore Management Unit (CRFMU) of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Aklan together with Buruanga Municipal ENR Officer Delia Rocero inspect the sea cow after receiving reports from local residents. The mammal weighs approximately 500 kilos and measures 3.30 meters in length. The cause of death is still unknown but upon inspection, huge amount of plastic materials are found in its intestines.
The Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 conducted a consultative meeting cum dialogue with the local fisherfolks and beach resort/lot owners in Brgy. Sinogbuhan, San Joaquin recently to address docking issues.
The private beach resort/lot owners told the CENRO team they wanted to establish protection of their lot and to stop further degradation due to soil erosion. Meanwhile, the local fisherfolks are seeking the resort owners’ support by allowing them to dock in portions within their property.
CENRO Guimbal team led by CENR Officer Vicente T. Mellizas suggested they will conduct site inspection and verification to determine the extent of the claimed lot. It will also help them ascertain the area intended for the docking of fishing boats. The suggestion was quite amenable to all parties involved.
A total of sixty-four participants (with 45 males and 19 females) attended the dialogue with the presence of CENR Officer Vicente Mellizas and officials from the barangay and municipal local government units.
“It is part of our duty and responsibility to reach out to the LGUs, assist them in their environmental concerns and guide them to a better decision-making. When we do it in the name of public service and for the good of our environment, we can say that we have delivered what we are here for,” said DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran.
The municipality of San Joaquin is a recipient of the DENR’s Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program (CMEMP) which aims to effectively reduce the drivers and threats of degradation of the coastal and marine ecosystems. Thus, it can help increase the ability of coastal and marine ecosystems in providing ecological goods and services to the communities where they may be found. The program is also designed to improve the quality of life of people in the coastal areas, ensure food security, and climate change resiliency.
One of CMEMP’s components is the provision of technical assistance. It is the capacity building training received by the DENR personnel who then cascades the technical assistance to the LGUs, other stakeholders, and partners in the field.
“We should protect our coastal and marine resources especially those that have important historical landmarks because we are not only protecting these resources but we also preserve these for the future generations to appreciate, enjoy and be proud of,” said CENRO Vicente T. Mellizas said during the site visit.
Aklan Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Merlene B. Aborka (right) gave her message during the Protectected Area Management Board meeting which tackled issues and concerns affecting the Aklan River Watershed Forest Reserve (ARWFR) on August 26, 2022. Conservation and Development Division (CDD) Chief Danilo L. Lorilla from the DENR 6 regional office also attended the meeting and gave his insights on topics discussed. During the meeting, the formation of the Executive and Technical Working Committees of PAMB en banc for ARWFR was approved. The proposed rates and fees for entrance and use of facilities and resources inside ARWFR was also adopted.
The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) in Guimaras together with personnel from Nueva Valencia Municipal and Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) rescued a Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) at Sta. Ana Bay, Brgy. Poblacion, Nueva Valencia on August 25, 2022.
A female Green sea turtle with carapace curve length (CCL) of 115 cm. and carapace curve width (CCW) of 64 cm. was observed to be in good condition, and also released on the same day. This Green sea turtle is the biggest marine turtle documented in the Province of Guimaras since 2008, breaking the previous record of 103 cm. CCL and 93 cm. CCW found at Brgy. Dolores, Nueva Valencia eleven years ago, in August 3, 2011.
“PENRO Guimaras have been actively working with the LGUs and other stakeholders by encouraging them to report to the authorities and perform first aid for animals found in similar situations. Many stakeholders have gone through trainings on proper reporting and documentation. As September approaches, we will be joining the International Coastal Clean-up (ICC) celebration, various activities have been lined up including the province-wide clean up drives, Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaigns in locally and nationally-proclaimed areas where these animals commonly thrive or establish abode,” PENR Officer Edgardo M. Rostata said.
“Beating the record of biggest marine turtle found in the waters of Guimaras last 2011, this female Green Sea Turtle is a visible proof that the marine ecosystems in Guimaras are thriving well,” said DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran.
“Let us always bear in mind that our actions that may affect our land resources and marine ecosystems, they are our precious natural resources,” Duran pointed out.
Furthermore, PENRO Guimaras has rescued and released a total of 17 marine turtles since January 2022. Green sea turtles are categorized as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and DAO 2019-09 due to existence of various threats, including hunting and illegal wildlife trade.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources –Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR-PENRO) Negros Occidental were delighted to finally turn-over the newly constructed Small Water Impounding Structure (SWIS) to the three Community ENR Offices jurisdiction, namely: Bago City, Cadiz City and Kabankalan City.
During the ribbon cutting of CENRO Bago City SWIS in Barangay Canlusong, EB Magalona, together with the United Canlusong for Upland Reforestation and Development (UCURD) last August 5, 2022, OIC-PENR Officer Joan Nathaniel F. Gerangaya underscorred the importance of taking good care of all the resources especially the water impounding facility which will continuously provide potable water supply to the community.
Meanwhile, CENRO Kabankalan and the People’s Organization of Camindangan Planters and Farm Workers Association (CAPFWA) were also happy with the completion of the SWIS project on August 31, 2022.
“Local folks are beside themselves with joy upon seeing water gushing out of the SWIS, while kids are more than happy they no longer need to walk two kilometers just to fetch water,” Richard Vallota, CAPFWA Chairman said in vernacular.
In CENRO Cadiz City the SWIS project is located at Sitio Pacol, Brgy. Celestino Villacin, Cadiz City with Brgy. Celestino Villacin Vegetables Farmers Association as PO partner.
The 50 cubic meter SWIS’ primary purpose is to address the water supply needs of the nearby communities and to be used for the effective management, maintenance and protection of the Enhanced National Greening Program (eNGP) in the area.
SWIS is a water harvesting and storage structure consisting of an earth embankment spillway, outlet works and canal facilities. It is designed for soil and water conservation and flood control by holding as much water as possible during the rainy season.
Indeed, dreams do come true! For those communities in Kabankalan, Cadiz and Bago, their new water supply is a source of inspiration to really take good care of their natural resources.