Regional Releases

MARIVELES, Bataan –Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu declared on Tuesday a portion of Manila Bay in Bataan safe for swimming after the water quality had improved barely three months after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) started its massive cleanup and rehabilitation of the historic Manila Bay.

According to Cimatu, Aguawan beach in Barangay Sisiman in Mariveles had a significantly reduced fecal coliform level, from 790 most probable number (MPN)/ 100 ml in January of this year to only 12 MPN/ 100 ml this month. The standard level for bathing beaches is 100 mpn/100ml.

“The improvement began after we shut down piggeries that were dumping wastes into the bay, which we also did in Cavite and Bulacan. However, the speedy compliance of industries here to environmental laws made it much faster to improve the water quality," Cimatu said.

Fecal coliforms are bacteria coming from human and animal wastes that contaminate the water and indicate the presence of pathogens.

Cimatu also said the relentless efforts made by the DENR Central Luzon personnel and the local government unit of Mariveles to clean the beach have also contributed to the fast improvement of water quality in the area.

But the DENR chief admitted that the work is far from done, as Aguawan beach is only a fraction of the 190-kilometer coastline of the Manila bay area.

Of the total coastline of Manila Bay, 142 kilometers are located in Central Luzon with Bataan hosting over 77 kilometers of coastline.

Paquito Moreno, executive director of the DENR in Central Luzon said Aguawan beach is only one of the three areas in Mariveles declared safe for swimming. The other two are the beaches located in Sitio Babuyan in Barangay Mount View and in SitioBoracay in Barangay Lucanin.

“The cooperation of our communities had been vital in cleaning the Bay. We have intensified our information campaign to increase the awareness and participation of the communities and other stakeholders,” he said.
DENR reports showed that 37 cleanups have already been conducted since January 2019 in Mariveles, with support from local government units, including volunteers from the academe and civil society that resulted in the collection of 49.95 tons of solid waste. ###

Officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) led by Assistant Secretary Reynulfo Juan (2nd from left) check on public notices posted on erring fastfood restaurants, Jolibee-Calapan I and II and Chowking on Thursday (March 7, 2019) in Calapan City. Said restos were issued cease and desist orders for operating without discharge permit and for discharging partially treated wastewater into Calapanriver, an established Water Quality Management Area. Also in photo are DENR-Region 4B Executive Director Henry Adornado (right) and Asst. Regional Director Vicente Tuddao. ###

ALAMINOS City, Pangasinan – IlogAlaminos, the river system which discharges its water low into the famous Hundred Islands, has been adjudged as the official entry of DENR-Region 1 (Ilocos Region) in the R.I.V.E.Rs for Life Award of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

R.I.V.E.Rs stands for Recognizing Individuals/Institutions towards Vibrant and Enhanced Rivers to raise awareness on the need to protect and conserve rivers as the lifeblood of the earth and human civilization.

Launched in 2017, the award intends to recognize individuals and institutions for their initiatives and concerted efforts to protect the country’s rivers from degradation and pollution, and to improve their designated use and classification by implementing appropriate mitigation and intervention measures.

On Tuesday (March 5), the Regional Evaluation Committee headed by DENR Regional Executive Director Carlito M. Tuballa declared IlogAlaminos as the region’s entry in the national level of the award.

IlogAlaminos is a Class “C” river with 35-kilometer length and traverses 29 barangays of Alaminos City. Being a Class “C” river, its water is intended only for agriculture, irrigation and livestock watering, and drains its water into the Lingayen Gulf where the renowned Hundred Islands are sporadically formed.

Tuballa said the selection of IlogAlaminos as regional winner and entry in the national level was sparked by the Unity Walk spearheaded by CENRO Western Pangasinan held last February 25.

Around 250 individuals from the local government here and several national government agencies and non-government organizations joined the Unity Walk led by CENR officer LitoSalatan.

“The Unity Walk for IlogAlaminos has raised awareness of the importance of the riveron the fast growing local economy,” said Tuballa, adding that the participation of individuals coming from different sectors indicates their willingness to become part in the rehabilitation, restoration and conservation of the river.

Based on the water sampling done in November last year, the coliform level of the water of IlogAlaminos was 2800 most probable number (mpn) per 100 milliliters (ml). The standard coliform level for a Class“C” river is 200 mpn/100 ml, pursuant to DENR Administrative Order No. 2016-08.

Tuballa said that appropriate mitigations and interventions shall be done to reduce the river’s coliform level to the standard, and to improve the quality of its water for recreational purposes.

National winners of the R.I.V.E.Rs for Life Award will be announced on June 10, 2019 in time with the anniversary of the DENR. ###

The MIMAROPA office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has sealed the water facilities of two fast food restaurants in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro province, for releasing wastewater into the Calapanriver without the necessary discharge permits from the agency.

Served with cease and desist orders signed by Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) -MIMAROPA Director Atty. Michael Drake Matias on March 7, 2019 were Chowking Foods Corp. (Calapan) and Jolibee Foods Corp. (Calapan I and II).

“I hope this (issuance of CDO) serves as a warning to all establishments that we are serious in our work to protect our oceans, rivers, lakes and all bodies of water,” DENR-MIMAROPA Executive Director Henry Adornado said.

“We will continue issuing CDOs to establishments found to be violating environmental laws,” he added.

The two erring restaurants were found operating without discharge permits, and for releasing partially treated wastewater that exceeds the DENR effluent standards into Calapanriver in violation of Republic Act No. 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004.

The CDO also cited the restaurants for having “contributed to the failing quality of the receiving body of water, the Calapanriver, which happens to be an established Water Quality Management Area.

Among the water facilities sealed by authorities include the kitchen down to the comfort rooms, specifically the faucets, kitchen sinks, lavatory, sewer lines, outlet pipes, etc.

Aside from the closure, the establishments are also liable for fines, ranging from P10,000 to P200,000 per day of violation, in accordance with RA 9275 and its implementing rules and regulations. ###


About a hundred people representing various stakeholder groups in Boracay attended the 3-day action planning workshop on solid waste management organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) at Boracay Tropics Hotel in Boracay Island, Aklan.

“It is important that the people of Boracay Island know the problems being faced by the island in terms of solid waste, as they are also the one to identify and implement the possible solutions to the problem because it is their community. The government is just here to guide and provide them with technical assistance,” said Valentin P. Talabero, DENR- Aklan’s Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer.

Among the activities undertaken during the workshop include the identification of existing problems on solid waste management and brainstormed on the immediate as well as on long term solutions.

The workshop was capped with series of Focus Group Discussions with the three barangay councils of Yapak, Bulabog and Manoc-manoc, including some residents, on how to go about implementing their respective Action Plans. They are set to present their respective action plans before the local government of Malay for financial support.

The workshop was organized by the DENR’s Tayo ang Kalikasan, a task force created to undertake social mobilization campaigns under the Program for Environment and Natural Resources Restoration, Rehabilitation, and Development (PRRD). ###