DENR steps up transition investment in ARMM; 1.99M public school students to be tapped; DENR set to dismantle floating restaurant in Taal Lake and Paje sacks 30 officials due to unabated illegal logging in Regions 11, 13
Posted on July 4th By Department of Environment and Natural Resources
DENR steps up transition investment in ARMM
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has stepped up its transition investment program to the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with almost half a billion pesos in fund assistance.
This after DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje and ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman inked two memoranda of agreements for a joint conduct of forest line boundary delineation (FLBD) and cadastral survey in Malacanang last week highlighting the agency’s 25th anniversary celebration with President Aquino.
The DENR fund assistance comprises P44 million for the survey of ARMM’s forest line boundary and P377 million for the conduct of cadastral survey of seven municipalities within the region. Prior to this, in January this year, the DENR had also committed some P49.6 million for the reforestation of some 2,500 hectares in support of the National Greening Program (NGP).
“All these assistance will be drawn from the budget of the DENR, in consonance with the Aquino administration’s Transition Investment Support Plan or stimulus plan for the ARMM, as well as with the Environment and Natural Resources Sector Plan of Action, which the DENR was tasked to prepare in consultation with DENR-ARMM,” Paje explained.
He also said that the forest line boundary covering the five provinces of ARMM, namely, Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, is estimated to stretch some 3,374 kilometers.
During the Malacanang event, Paje also turned over to Hataman a check of PhP11.7 million representing the second tranche of the PhP49.6 million NGP fund; the first tranche amounted to PhP11.5 million.
Among the notable provisions of the recently-concluded DENR-ARMM memoranda of agreements require the regional government of Muslim Mindanao to authorize the designated DENR-Central Office personnel to monitor and evaluate the implementation of FLBD and cadastral survey activities, including financial management and utilization.
The ARMM government is also mandated to involve the civil society organizations operating in the area as third party representative in project monitoring and evaluation in support to transparency and accountability.
The DENR has also tasked its regional counterpart to prepare the draft bills and the preliminary maps of the provinces with completed forest line survey by the end of the year.
1.99M public school students to be tapped in new school-based solid waste management program
In furthering the ecological solid waste management program for Metro Manila, the government has turned its eye on the 1.99 million-strong students in public elementary and high schools in the National Capital Region.
In a convergence approach of program implementation, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources represented by Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje, along with Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Education Secretary Armin Luistro and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino, entered into a memorandum of agreement on Thursday with non-government organization Galing Pook Foundation, Inc. (GPF) for the implementation of the National Ecosavers Program or NEP.
Under the new program, the students are enjoined to collect and segregate recyclable materials from their respective households and bring them to their schools where these are pooled for final collection by accredited junk shop or recyclers.
They are likewise encouraged to bring biodegradable materials which will be turned into compost soil that can be used as medium in producing tree seedlings for planting under the National Greening Program (NGO).
“We could just imagine if all the 1.99 million students would be able to bring in at least half a kilo of recyclable garbage every day, the impact would be great not only in terms of reducing the stress on the collection and disposal system, but also in addressing the littering problem that causes the clogging of esteros and storm drainage,” Paje explained.
Paje has committed a P50 million funding for the project, which will be implemented initially in Metro Manila, where garbage generation stands at 8,000 tons per day. Of this total, half comprises of food and other organics, a fourth composed of plastic materials, while 12 percent is paper. The remaining balance consisted of metals (5%), glass (3%), special and hazardous waste (1%) and residuals (4%).
Paje disclosed that an incentive mechanism is still being formulated following a credit system approach using an “Ecosavers Club Passbook” issued to students which will record the credit points a student earns.
Among the options being studied include credit points that can be exchanged for basic commodities or peso equivalent that will be deposited in a student’s own savings bank account that will be opened under the scheme.
“The program will teach the students in the most practical and understandable way of how the garbage can be converted into a valuable resource. It will show them that indeed, may pera sa basura,” Paje added.
DepEd records indicate that there are more than 1.2 million pupils currently enrolled in 517 public elementary schools, and some 674, 237 students in 246 secondary schools in Metro Manila.
Based on the MOA, the DENR will take the lead in the provision of technical, monitoring and funding support, with the DepEd handling the training of principals and teachers on the implementation of the program while the DILG and MMDA would take the lead in the collection of processed garbage materials in coordination with accredited recycling firms and junk shops.
For its part, GPF committed to replicate best SWM practices it has documented nationwide through its 20 years of giving recognition to top performing local governments.
GPF chairperson Nieves Confesor cited the Marikina model as an example of the success of tapping schools for the city’s impressive performance in compliance with RA 9003
Paje said Metro Manila has been chosen to be NEP’s pilot area in light of the area’s organized network of junk shop operators and recyclers and its huge share at 25 percent of the country’s total daily waste generation at 30,000 tons.
DENR set to dismantle floating restaurant in Taal Lake
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is set to dismantle the restaurant built by a Korean businessman on the lake bed of Taal Lake next week, it was announced today by DENR-CALABARZON Executive Director Reynulfo Juan.
Juan, who also sits as chairman of the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (TVPL), said the move to dismantle the restaurant came after the company Taal Volcano Jung Ang Leisure Resort, Inc. (TVJALRI) failed to submit appropriate permits for the construction and operation of the restaurant during a technical conference called by the DENR last June 27.
As a result, said Juan, TVPL Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) Laudemir Salac issued a Cease and Desist Order (CDO) against TVJALRI, which he (Salac) personally served on Thursday (June 28), together with representatives from Talisay local government and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)-Region 4A.
“Along with the CDO, the company was also given a week to vacate the restaurant before the scheduled dismantling next week,” Juan said, adding that the regional office is now coordinating with the provincial government of Batangas, the local government of Talisay and other concerned entities to assist in the dismantling operation.
In his report to DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje, Juan said earlier, on May 16, 2012, the Korean company was already issued a Notice of Violation by PASu Salac for the construction of the restaurant, an extended facility of the Buco Resort of Taal Volcano, without the necessary permits in violation of Republic Act 7586 or the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act.
However, on May 24, 2012, a certain Ms. Kim Young Ok of TVJALRI wrote a letter to Salac “requesting for a reasonable period to verify the status of their operation” relative to the violations cited in the NOV. “But during the technical conference on June 27, the officials of TVJALRI failed to show any appropriate permits for the restaurant,” Juan said.
Juan stressed that the decision to dismantle the restaurant was a result of a series of investigative actions that had been conducted by the DENR since May of this year, wherein the TVJALRI had been accorded due process. This included, according to him, the issuance of the NOV and the conduct of a meeting that allowed the owners “to bring with them all their permits and clearances to verify their veracity and to determine the legality of their structures.
” The owners, however, were not able to present any such documents. Juan explained that the dismantling of the restaurant and all other illegal structures in the lake is also in keeping with the lake’s management plan crafted by local government units and other stakeholders to preserve not only the ecosystem therein but also its important biodiversity, notably the tawilis and maliputo which are endemic to the lake.
He also said that the dismantling of illegal structures in Taal Lake has been a continuing activity of the DENR since June 12, 2008, in coordination with the Task Force Taal Lake created by the provincial government of Batangas. As of May 4, 2012, Juan said a total of 7,375 fish cages and other floating structures within the lake had been dismantled.
The Taal Volcano Protected Landscape was proclaimed a protected area in 1996 under Presidential Proclamation No. 923.
Paje sacks 30 officials due to unabated illegal logging in Regions 11, 13
Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje today relieved 30 officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for their failure to stop illegal logging.
“It’s been a year and four months since President Aquino ordered a logging ban, yet we continue to receive reports of log confiscations in thousand pieces,” Paje said.
Paje identified the relieved regional officials as follows: Region 13 Executive Director Leonardo Sibbaluca and Region 11 Executive Director Jim Sampulna; Region 13 Regional Technical Director (RTD) for Forestry Musa Saruang, Region 11 RTD for Forestry Hardinado Patnugot.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) – Agusan del Norte Belo Udarbe, PENRO-Agusan del Sur Emelyn Garong and PENRO-Surigao del Sur Domingo Cabrera, Jr.
PENRO-Davao del Norte Marcia Isip, PENRO Davao Oriental Gregorio Lagura, and PENRO-Compostela Valley Julius Valdez.
Also sacked were Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO)-Butuan City/Nasipit Merlyna Ocaya, CENRO-Tubay/Cabadbaran Elvin Indig, CENRO-Bayugan Ruel Efren, CENRO-Bunawan Vicente Sembrano, CENRO-Loreto Alberto Bacanaya, CENRO-San Francisco Marlon Gelingo, CENRO-Talacogon Eufracio Subayno; CENRO- Cantilan Mario Tioaquen, CENRO-Bislig Ferdinand Alba, CENRO-Lianga Jose Mario Reyes, and CENRO-Tandag Rogelio Montenegro.
CENROs from Region 11 who were likewise relieved of their posts were CENRO-Davao City (West) Napoleon Paje, Davao City (East) Melchor Ozaraga, CENRO-Baganga Robinson Camacho, CENRO-Lupon Basilio Caralos, CENRO-Mati Restituta Dime, CENRO-Manay Dioscor Gavarra, CENRO-Maco Marvin Parilla, CENRO-Monkayo Victor Billones, and CENRO-Nabunturan Antonio Inguillo.
President Aquino in February 2011 issued Executive Order No. 23 declaring a moratorium on the cutting or harvesting of timber in natural and secondary forests nationwide. Under the order, an anti-illegal logging task force was likewise created to ensure the successful implementation of the logging ban, comprising of the secretaries of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of National Defense (DND), chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, chief of the Philippine National Police, with the DENR secretary as chairman.
Paje said the relief of the officials is part of the continuing effort in pursuit of good governance in DENR.
As of May 2012, a total of 32 employees were dismissed/suspended, 34 were charged of various offenses, while 176 were under investigation.
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