A total number of 36 pieces of Kuling Manok and Malaruhat lumber, 567 pieces of rattan poles, and 104 bundles of split rattan was apprehended at Brgy. Pandan, Real, Quezon last June 25, 2019. The information was reported to LAWIN patrollers in the area. The apprehension was done by personnel from Enforcement Division and CENRO Real during their Deputize Environment and Natural Resources Officer (DENRO) Training at Sta. Monica Resort.
The total apprehended forest products were estimated as Php 11,475 for the rattan poles, Php 20,173.60 for lumber, and Php 29,700 for the split rattan.
The apprehended forest products were proclaimed as abandoned and are currently in custody of CENRO Real for safekeeping.
An Administrative Confiscation Proceedings will be headed by CENRO Real for appropriate storage and disposal of the forest products.
Anyone who will be caught cutting and transporting forest products without the necessary permits will be charged for violation of Section 77 of R.A. 7161, formerly Section 68, PD 705, as amended.
An example of a very promising Solid Waste Management story is the development of the Barangay Queens Row Central, Bacoor, Cavite. They started engaging the community for the last six years, but no serious impact can be observed. Daluy-nungan urged them to take more action.
Daluy-nungan, which means, a wave of knowledge, is an Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) Campaign of the Manila Bay Site Coordinating Management Office (MBSCMO) 4. It aims to teach proper waste segregation and to raise awareness regarding the conservation and rehabilitation of Manila Bay.
Before, the barangay’s main concern was proper handling and segregation of their wastes, but as of date, according to Barangay Captain Reynaldo C. Palabrica, their generated wastes decreased almost 50%.
Capt. Palabrica’s shared his four main strategies, which are: (1) communicate first with your friends, (2) involve the schools, so that the teachers can help disseminate information and practice the waste segregation. (3) Involve the churches, because according to Palabrica, people will more likely follow the orders and teachings of the religious leaders. “Naniniwala po ako na pag sila ang nagsalita mas maniniwala sila” he added. Lastly, he believes in the importance of direct communication with the people.
He conducted house to house talks to directly communicate with the residents. He also talked with every section in their schools regarding proper waste segregation. He also involved the community by giving out small rewards to those who can report people who were caught littering.
He approved several environmental ordinances such as anti-littering, proper segregation, prevention of noise pollution, generation of the Solid Waste Management Committee and prohibiting the proliferation of ambulant vendors within 30 meters’ radius of school premises, because these vendors were outsiders and they contribute a huge amount of wastes.
According to Palabrica, the biggest challenge was the person’s attitude and laziness. He added that we need to show people that segregating is not hard and will not take up a lot of time. He emphasized the importance of one on one communication with the community.
Palabrica’s hard work paid off, as the waste generated in their barangay decreased more or less 50% and only residual wastes were generated in their barangay. The biggest challenge now is “kailangan masustain, maintain and improve.”
Additional to the barangay’s Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), composting, backyard gardening, and weekly clean ups, future projects of Queen’s Row Central include their continued fight for zero waste, treatment of rainwater due to water shortage, and the “EnviroKids” which will organize grade school students from public and private schools to become environmental advocates of the community.
Palabrica reaches out to other LGUs to work hard in encouraging the community. “Hindi kaya ng DENR lang yan, ng CENRO o ng PENRO, higit sa lahat, barangay talaga. Kasi barangay ang may direktang kaugnayan sa mga residente sa kanyang lugar.” he emphasized.
In line with Administrative Order No. 2019-16, “Expediting the Rehabilitation and Restoration of the Coastal and Marine Ecosystem of the Manila Bay and Creating the Manila Bay Task Force” and the continuous efforts and support of the Department and Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON on the Manila Bay Rehabilitation, The Manila Bay Site Coordinating Office-4 (MBSCO-4) conducts a quarterly of Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) campaigns campaign entitled “Daluy-nungan” which means “wave of knowledge”. It is a series of lectures conducted within different barangays in the region to promote Solid and Liquid Waste Management.
The Daluy-nungan with the advocacy, “MANILA BAYanihan Para sa Kalinisan” were conducted in a total of 18 barangays, six from Batangas, Laguna and Rizal. It aims to increase and promote awareness on the current situation of the Manila Bay and its adjacent rivers. The discussions focused on four main parts.
First, is the status of the barangay and the main sources of pollution, second, SWM with the tagline “May Magagawa Ka!” (MMK), third, laws concerning the environment and their respective sanctions, and lastly, the action planning, where issues and concerns were raised and identified. The community brainstormed on how these issues can be addressed.
The DENR aims to increase the success of its IEC campaigns by promoting behavioral changes in different communities. Through Daluy-nungan, the MBSCO-4 reiterated and emphasized the importance of SWM and its role for a successful rehabilitation of the Manila Bay.
On Sunday, May 26, BFAR issued warnings that the dissolved oxygen, which should be between 5 to 6 and which is how fish breathe, was at a dangerously low level of 2.8 parts per million (ppm). Fish cage owners were advised to move their cages or harvest early. On Monday evening, about 10 cages were reported to have had mortality. By Tuesday, BFAR continued to decline and the same announcement was dispensed. By Wednesday, the DO went as low as 0.52ppm at the bottom and 0.86ppm at the surface.
By Thursday, nearly 200 metric tons of fish were dead and floating. At the inspection of RED Maria Paz Luna by the afternoon, 33 cages still had floating dead fish waiting to be hauled to shore and buried. Newly dug mortality pits were at over capacity.
An emergency Executive Committee meeting was called this morning, March 31, to address the crisis. BFAR has again reported a declining DO, 0.33ppm at the surface and 0.06ppm at the bottom. BFAR strongly recommended that remaining fish cage owners harvest immediately. Not all fish cage owners are capable harvesters, since they do not own large boats for hauling. The harvesters are currently hauling dead fish from their own cages.
Existing boats will also temporarily serve as aerators until water quality improves.
Regulation of the cage industry started in 2006 when the carrying capacity was established and 6000 cages were decreed to be allowed. The Unified Rules and Regulations were passed by the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape and Management Board (TVPL PAMB) and dismantling started in earnest with the help of the Batangas Provincial Government and its newly created task force.
By 2011, what was once 14,000 cages was down to 6,000 even dipping below that during certain periods.
But not all rules were followed. Stocking density was routinely violated and regulators had no way to count the fish already in the cages. Required certifications that owners had mortality pits for daily mortality and fish kills were falsified. Rules requiring floating feeds, the excess uneaten of which will merely be eaten later, took years to reach critical mass of compliance.
An industry coalition, who is represented in the PAMB conducts monthly clean ups. The Taal Lake Aquaculture Alliance polices its own ranks, but it does not represent majority of the fish cage owners. Worse, what was intended for democratizing access to the lake -- requirements that registrants must be local residents, was flouted. Financiers and feed companies were the real owners and the registered locals were mere caretakers.
As it turns out, the industry is incapable of addressing large fishkill incidences due to lack of large harvesters. The mortality pits certified as existing were nowhere to be found, the free trainings all caretakers attended might as well have been in a foreign language.
Currently, there are 121 affected fish cages in Barangays Boso boso and Gulod in Laurel, and in Barangay Bañaga in Agoncillo, Batangas. The fishkill is already estimated at 605 Metric Tons.
This is not expected to affect supply and prices, and the public is advised that this merely comprises a small percentage and while they should continue to check their fish purchases for freshness, there is no cause for alarm in the market.
The PAMB Execom resolved today that owners are given only 24 hours upon notice by a Municipal Agriculturist to remove dead fish from their cages or face sanctions.
Revisions to the Unified Rules and the carrying capacity as well as to the Management Plan and a draft TVPL bill will also be crafted and the public consultations scheduled.
In celebration of the International Day of Biological Diversity on May 22, 2019, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources CALABARZON conducted a press conference and a tree planting activity in the vicinity of the Regional Office located at Brgy. Mayapa, Calamba City. Species such as Banaba, Bani, Ipil, Talisay, Teak, Molave, and Bamboo, with a total of 53 seedlings were planted.
During the press conference, RED Maria Paz G. Luna, focused on the agency’s two innovation, composting revolution for healthy biodiversity and rich soils and planting of flowering native trees to attract birds and bees.
RED Luna disclosed that up to 62% of the region’s wastes remain unmanaged and 30% of the unmanaged wastes can be reduced through composting. She introduced the concept of circular economy by giving the vertical food garden, as an example.
Meanwhile, the tree planting activity aims to attract birds and bees so that they increase the biodiversity in the area. Luna reminded that “Biodiversity is not just in the forests. Biodiversity should also be here.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released a report that we are facing possible extinction of one million plants and animals in the near future, as early as one decade from now (article can be accessed here). Luna added that the next 12 years are the only years left for people to change our behavior. She reminds everyone, “We don’t have time.”
Luna encourages people to change the way we address climate change, “we used to think, ang masukal ay kailangang putulin, ngayon hindi na po linisin, kailangan pasukalin ulit.”