Press Releases

More than 200 employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here have already received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, through the massive rollout of the Resbakuna program for government employees in Pampanga.
 
Paquito Moreno, Jr., executive director of DENR in Region 3, said efforts of the local government units to secure vaccines for essential government workers were fundamental to safeguard the health and protection of employees, especially those who usually go on ground to do environmental monitoring and patrolling.
 
"We cannot forego the value of getting vaccinated during this time of pandemic, especially for our environmental frontliners who do daily works on field," Moreno said.
 
He also expressed his sincere appreciation to Governor Dennis Pineda of Pampanga for his initiative to organize a vaccination program for personnel of national government agencies.
 
To date, 141 employees from DENR provincial and community offices across the region have already been vaccinated.
 
Moreno stressed that the DENR supports the national effort to contain the spread of the virus and to encourage more Filipinos to be vaccinated.
 
Based on the latest record of the World Health Organization, more than six million vaccines have been administered in the Philippines. (-30-)
 
Some 2,240 residential and agricultural patents or land titles covering 47 hectares were distributed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here last year, benefitting well over 11,200 landless farmers and their families in Central Luzon to address social equity and poverty in rural areas, environment authorities reported.
 
Paquito Moreno, Jr., DENR executive director in Region 3, said the massive rollout of the 'Handog Titulo' program was part of the improved land administration and management program, which was among the major thrusts of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.
 
“Our land titles or patents provide protection on our property rights and guarantee security to the land we occupy,” he said, adding that the DENR’s land distribution program plays a critical role in the economic development and poverty alleviation efforts in the region.
 
Ricky Hernandez, chief of the regional office Licenses, Patents and Deeds Division (LPDD) added that apart from the agricultural and residential patents, the DENR also distributed 407 miscellaneous patents for commercial and industrial purposes, while another 22 special patents were already issued for public schools, local government offices and quasi-public use.
 
Moreno stressed that upholding land rights and distributing free patents that provide security of tenure enable residents of Central Luzon to improved their lives.
 
“With effective land administration system, land can serve as an important asset for poverty reduction and economic development. Our patent is an absolute proof of one’s ownership of land. Let us make our lands more productive to maximize the benefits offered in the free patents,” he ended.
 
Since 2011, the land distribution program of DENR has benefitted around 320,000 landless farmers and their families from the issuance of 66,959 land titles covering 20,899 hectares in the region.
 
The DENR here is set to distribute 1,725 land titles this year, which will potentially benefit more than 5,000 residents in Central Luzon. (-30-)

More than 122,000 hectares of denuded forestlands and watersheds have been rehabilitated in Central Luzon through the Enhanced National Greening Program (E-NGP) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here since 2011, environment authority reported.
 
Paquito Moreno, Jr., executive director of the DENR in Region 3, said the government's flagship reforestation program has continued to rehabilitate the region's degraded areas and has reinforced its efforts on increasing the survival rate of these plantation sites.
 
"In average, the survival rate of our plantation sites is around 81%. This rate is significantly affected by natural occurrences, such as forest fire and extreme weather changes," Moreno explained, adding that work limitations brought by the pandemic have affected regular operations and activities for the E-NGP.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the DENR has established another 300-hectare bamboo plantation in Bulacan last year, as an additional forest cover in the Angat-Ipo-Maasim River Watershed, Moreno reported.
 
This is in addition to the more than 14,000-hectare bamboo plantations established since 2011 under NGP.
 
He said partnership and collaboration with private firms were also strengthened to develop and achieve a higher survival rate of these plantations, where 62 unfunded NGP areas have already been adopted by different organizations.
The DENR has likewise partnered with Peoples’ Organizations, Philippine National Police and Philipine Army in the region to monitor the development of plantations and facilitate quick response and reporting of illegal forest activities in NGP areas.
 
Apart from its ecological value, the NGP, since its implementation on 2011, has generated 228,592 jobs in the region from its plantation maintenance and protection activities.
 
NGP aims to reforest 1.5 million hectares of denuded forestlands and watersheds in the country. It was expanded until 2028 under Executive Order No. 193 to reforest and develop remaining degraded forest areas in the country. (-30-)
 
Amid the prevailing threats of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here appeals to public to dispose face masks properly to curb risks of pollution and biodiversity loss in Central Luzon.
 
Paquito Moreno, Jr., executive director of DENR in Region 3, said healthcare wastes, such as face masks and gloves, must be separated from other regular household wastes, since they are considered hospital wastes, which pose danger to health and the environment.
 
"The proper disposal of these potentially contaminated healthcare items starts at home. These wastes must be placed in a yellow bin or any separate container, properly labeled as 'household healthcare wastes,'" he explained.
 
He added that the participation of households in the proper segregation of these wastes has played a significant part in containing the spread of the COVID-19, and that the public must refrain from indiscriminately throwing in public places, offices and open bins used face masks, as they pose potential health hazards to people who come in contact with them.
 
DENR records show that around 4,500 tons of hazardous wastes, usually composed of healthcare items like used face masks, personal protective equipment, face shields, and gloves have been collected in the region since July 2020.
 
The DENR warned the public that if this figure would rise, plastic pollution and marine litter would affect the sustainability of aquatic and terrestrial animals, and would likewise smother the natural habitat of wildlife in the region.
 
Improper disposal of hazardous wastes is punishable under Republic Act No. 6969, also known as Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990. (-30-)
 
Over 124 tons of solid wastes were collected from 125 floating trash traps installed in critical water bodies in Bataan, Bulacan and Pampanga by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here in an effort to clean and save the Manila Bay.
 
Paquito Moreno, Jr., executive director of the DENR in Central Luzon, said these trash traps were strategically installed in rivers and streams to reduce the volume of solid wastes directly flowing to the greater portion of the Manila Bay.
"In addition to our cleanup efforts, we heighten our efforts to curb wastes and floating debris in our local waterways by putting up these recyclable trash traps," he said.
 
As a mitigation strategy, Moreno noted that this trash trapping initiative has reduced the volume of plastic wastes in water bodies and has curbed single-used plastics, candy wrappers, containers, and other pollutants from entering waterways and flowing downstream, since solid wastes were captured directly from their source.
 
The DENR has assured the public that this sustainable waste management efforts of putting up trash traps in local waterways does not hamper the movement of fishes and other aquatic species, it instead protects physical habitats and coastal and marine ecosystems from being polluted.
 
Since the Manila Bay rehabilitation program started on January 2019, more than 4,300 tons of biodegradable, residual, recyclable, and hazardous wastes have been collected in Central Luzon.
 
The DENR here continues to appeal to the public to properly segregate and dispose their wastes to lessen the burden of plastic pollution and to protect the natural habitat of marine wildlife. (-30-)