The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here urges the public to actively participate in the celebration of the World Wetlands Day (February 2, 2020) to raise awareness and solicit public support on the protection of wetland areas in the region.

The world wetlands day is celebrated on February 02 of each year which also marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar known as the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.

Ramsar Convention defined wetlands as areas of marsh, peat land or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed 6 meters.

Wetlands are home to important plant and fish species including mollusks and crustaceans. It serve as natural sewage treatment plant as it filters contaminants from flood water.

It is also vital to humans as important source of food, livelihood and as ecotourism and recreation areas.

In Central Luzon, there are about 17 wetland areas covering more than 16,000 hectares. Some of these important wetlands are the Candaba swamp in Pampanga; Uacon lake in Zambales; Pantabangan dam and Paitan lake in Nueva Ecija, Angat and Ipo dams in Bulacan; Puerto rivas in Bataan and Canarem and Tambo lakes in Tarlac.

Migratory birds from as far as China, Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand prefer these important wetland areas in the region as a wintering refuge, feeding and breeding from October to March to escape the cold winter.

This year's theme "Wetlands and Biodiversity" underscores the important biodiversity thriving in a wetland area, its status and why it matters, and to promote actions to reverse its loss.

Let us protect our wetlands and save our environment.

More than 5,000 individuals from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here and other government agencies, local government units (LGU), business sectors, academe and civil society organizations rallied yesterday to conduct massive cleanup of Manila Bay in the three provinces in Central Luzon to avert further degradation of the historic bay and bring back its water level fit for swimming.

Current fecal coliform level in Manila Bay is at 330 million most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliters. The acceptable level for Class SB water, which is deemed safe, is 100 MPN/ 100 ml.

According to Paquito Moreno, Jr., executive director of DENR regional office, the cleanup was conducted simultaneously in the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga and Bataan in Region 3, Metro Manila in National Capital Region (NCR) and Cavite in Region IV-A on January 27, 2019 as ordered by environment Secretary Roy Cimatu as the start or “D-day” for the launching of massive cleanup and rehabilitation of the Bay.

“Bringing back Manila Bay to its original state is a gargantuan task for the DENR, which requires a lot of commitment, cooperation and support from other government agencies, local government units (LGU), business establishments, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders,” he stressed.

He said the launching of Manila Bay clean up in Central Luzon was conducted at the Obando river in Barangay Tawiran in Obando, Bulacan; Guagua river in Barangay Sto. Filomina in Guagua, Pampanga and in the more than 700 meters stretch of Mariveles coastline in Barangay Lucanin in Bataan.

“Actual cleanup was conducted in these areas while the total volume of waste collected was more than 5,000 kilograms.  Three thousand mangrove species were also planted in these sites to protect our coastal areas,” he explained.

Moreno emphasized that the phase one of the rehabilitation program is the cleanup and water quality improvement, which involve the actual cleanup of designated esteros and waterways to reduce fecal coliform level and toxic discharges from establishments, and the implementation of solid waste management.

The DENR will also mobilize other government agencies including those mandamus agencies tasked to clean the bay like Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Department of Education, Department of Health (DOH), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Local Water Utilities (LWU) and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to carry out the rehabilitation of the bay.

Statistics from the Manila Bay Coordinating Office (MBCO) of DENR in Central Luzon showed that the number of informal settler families (ISF) living along the coastal areas and rivers in Bulacan are 23, 051 while there are also 9,363 ISF in Pampanga and 10,166 in Bataan or a total of 42,580 families.

“Notices of violation (NOV) will also be issued to non-compliant establishments or if appropriate cease and desist orders (CDOs) will be issued, Moreno said.

In the heydays of the yesteryears, every Filipino adored the beauty of this body of water. With its crystalline surface, tranquil environment and captivating scenery— that’s the Manila Bay our old foks had cherised for a long time. 

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In the faraway Barangay Kalabugao, in the town Manolo Fortich in Bukidnon lives a Philippine eagle with the barangay’s namesake that has been through the extremes of life and death, and now, has fully matured and had her own family.  Kalabugao, a female raptor, is the world’s first case of a rescued and rehabilitated young eagle surviving and successfully breeding after her release back to the wild.  

Feature Kalabugao revised web2

Officials and employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), including visitors nowhavethe chance to familiarize themselves with the agency’s priority legislative agenda through an exhibit set up at the DENR Central Office main lobby.

The week-long exhibit, which runs from June 10 to 14,coincides with the 32nd anniversary celebration of the DENR, as well as the 121st Philippine Independence Day.

It showcasesproposals that have been pending in the legislative mill for years but are up for re-filing in the upcoming 18th Congress.

These include: the Land Use Bill (House Bill or HB 5240); amendment in the Mining Law (HB 6259); E-waste Management Bill (HB 2964); and the Delineation of Forest Limits Bill (HB 143).

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The exhibit was put up by the DENR Legislative Liaison Office (DLLO), which is headed by Assistant Secretary Joan Lagunda as the agency’s appointed Legislative Liaison Officer.

Lagunda in her message assured the DENR of the DLLO’s steadfast commitment in advancing the interest of the environment.

“Under the present leadership, the environment-loving community can be assured that the LLO is striving to be heard by our revered lawmakers to craft legislations that will empower the Department more in performing its mandate,” she stated.

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The exhibit also features a video presentation on the background of the DLLO, as well as the officials who have managed the office. Among these officials are Undersecretaries Ernesto Adobo, Juan Miguel Cuna, and AnalizaRebuelta-Teh; Assistant Secretary Joselin Marcus Fragada; and Director NiloTamoria.

The DLLO is the office tasked to liaise with both houses of Congress regarding all matters impinging on relations between the DENR and the legislative branch.

It is also the official representative of the DENR in the Legislative Liaison System of the Office of the President, with Secretary AdelinoSitoy, head of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office, as the Chief Legislative Liaison Officer.

Parties interested in pending environmental legislative proposals may contact the DLLO via telephone number 920-1761, or through email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..###