Press Releases

Zero Waste Month: Be responsible of the waste we generate

Proclamation No. 760, dated May 5, 2014, the then President Benigno Aquino III declared January of every year as Zero Waste Month, which aims to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.

Regional Executive Director Paquito D. Melicor, Jr. urged our local government units (LGUs) to pass resolutions for a sustainable and comprehensive waste management policies and support practices that would reduce waste to the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and also the Clean Air Act. We really appreciate and recognized the efforts of some LGUs in crafting and enforcing local ordinance banning the use of single use plastics/observance of plastic holidays.

As we celebrate the Zero Waste Month this January, let us be mindful of the waste we create. Be responsible. Reduce, reuse, recycle and refuse single use plastics.

Plastic has an extremely long-term impact on the environment. The production of fossil fuels, as well as the petrochemical industry in general, creates a lot of carbon dioxide, so reducing our dependence on plastic means reducing carbon emissions. Producing plastic also contributes to climate change. It takes up to 500 years to decompose plastic bags.

Never leave your home without a tote bag, a reusable water bottle, and a coffee travel mug, your own food containers for takeout and carry your own straw made from bamboo, glass or stainless steel when going out for a drink.

RED Melicor also requested for the manufacturers to establish a buy back mechanism and collection center or drop box to help protect the environment. Irresponsible disposal of discarded plastic waste always ends in our waterways and into the ocean that makes more harm to our ecosystem.

All our decision count, during this pandemic let us all do our bits to flatten the curve before things become critical. If every single person, do their share managed to contribute a little rather than only a few hundred successfully leading a radical zero-waste life. People change if they feel you understand them and if you give them the chance to change gradually. This might buy us time to find more technical solution for our waste management problem. Gradually changing your lifestyle to become more sustainable was also the overarching theme of this month’s Bouncing Back from the Pandemic to a greener and healthier environment”, he added. ###

LOOK: One (1) Night Heron and Four (4) reticulated pythons turned over to DENR Central Visayas.

DENR-7 Conservation and Development Division (CDD) Biologist Reginaldo G. Bueno retrieved One (1) Rufous Night Heron or nycticorax caledonicus that was rescued and turned-over by Ms. Cherry Piquero-Ballescas, author, a resident of Canangcaan, Mandaue City after reporting about the said wildlife.

The Rufous Night-Heron is a stocky rufous and white heron with a black crown and white head plumes when breeding. It is also a nocturnal bird, feeding primarily at night and in the morning and evening. It is partially migratory, depending on the persistence of suitable feeding and nesting conditions, some populations are sedentary, others nomadic, moving around response to rainfall and flooding events to take advantage of newly opened foraging conditions according to the IUCN-SCC Heron Specialist Group.

More wildlife were also rescued by the City Disaster Reduction Risk Management Office (CDRRMO) led by Mr. Ramil V. Ayuman, four (4) reticulated phytons (Malayopython reticulate) were retrieved from different barangays in Cebu City and turned-over to the Regional Office, DENR-7 on December 03, 2020.

Reticulated python is a species of snake in the family Pythonidae. The species is native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. It is the world’s longest snake and listed as least concern on the IUCN Red list because of its wide distribution. The reticulated python get its name for the “reticulated” or netlike pattern on its back. This pattern is an impressive camouflage that allowed these snakes to hide from their prey.

The rescued wildlife species were now sheltered in the Regional Wildlife Rescue Center for safekeeping and monitoring for its health or injury before releasing it back to the wilds.

Public urged to report poachers, collectors of illegal wildlife plants.

With the alarming trend of illegal trade of endemic and threatened wildlife plants amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 has reiterated its call to the public to immediately report illegal poachers and collectors of wildlife, whether plants or animals.

"Cutting, collecting and gathering wild plants in the forest is a violation of Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act," said DENR 7 Regional Executive Director Paquito D. Melicor.
According to Melicor, DENR is responsible for the protection of wildlife from poaching and illegal commercialization, and while DENR wildlife enforcement officers are working closely with partner enforcement agencies regionwide, they also seek the help of the public to tip or report violators in their respective areas.

DENR 7 Wildlife Enforcement Officers under the monitoring units in seaports and airports and all the deputized wildlife enforcement officers in the four provinces in Central Visayas were also directed to intensify monitoring and surveillance activities. "We want to remind everyone that collection and trade of threatened species are prohibited unless such acts are covered by a permit issued by the DENR, please help us protect our wildlife by not patronizing and reporting these illegal activities," he said. He added that the increasing demand of unattended and unregulated trade of wild flora/wild plants in the market results to the detriment of the number of endemic and threatened wildlife plants in our forests or loss of biodiversity.

Because of the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic, communities in rural areas resorted to poaching of wild plants as alternative source of income and have them sold to interested buyers.
Under RA 9147, the penalty depends not only on the act committed but also on the conservation status of the wildlife.

For hunting and trading, the penalty ranges from two to four years of imprisonment and/or fine of P30,000 to P300,000 for hunting and P5,000 to P300,000 for trading of wildlife. For the mere transport of wildlife, the penalty is six months to one-year imprisonment and/or P50,000 to P100,000 fine.

To report wildlife related crimes, please contact the DENR- Community Environment Offices nearest you through the following numbers: CENRO Cebu City - 254-2565; CENRO Argao - 367-7387; CENRO Tagbilaran City - (038) 412-1026; CENRO Talibon - (038) 416-0156; CENRO Dumaguete City - (035) 422-4367; CENRO Ayungon - (038) 404-0829; PENRO Siquijor (035) 377-2419

Below are some of the commonly traded wildplants.


Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy A. Cimatu ordered the suspension of two dolomite firms in Alcoy, Cebu, after an inspection conducted today (Friday, 25 September), pending the results of the investigation for the alleged coral reef damage, water quality monitoring, and ambient air quality.

Cimatu suspended the Dolomite Mining Corporation (DMC) for its quarry operations and Philippine Mining Service Corporation (PMSC), a processing plant for dolomite.

He directed the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau in Region 7 to conduct a water quality sampling on waters below the conveyor at the shiploading facility, and ambient air quality.

He also ordered the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources-Cebu to conduct a coral assessment to determine the health condition of the corals which was the subject of the complaint by the Provincial Government of Cebu.

Cimatu also instructed the DENR-Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau (MGB) in Region 7 to convene the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board of Cebu chaired by MGB-7 Regional Director to discuss mining related concerns.

There was no ongoing mineral processing and shiploading operations during the inspection.

DMC, the only large-scale producer of dolomite materials, is a holder of a 25-year Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) denominated as MPSA No. 208-2005VII covering 524.6103 hectares of dolomite property located within the municipalities of Alcoy and Dalaguete, Cebu and to expire in 2030.

PMSC is a holder of a mineral processing permit denominated as MPP-007-2005VII which will expire in 2023, undertaking the crushing and screening of the raw materials.

In celebration of the World Bamboo Day on September 18, 2020, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources through the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office in Bohol is set to conduct a simultaneous signing of the Letter of Agreement (LOA) with families from the municipalities of San Isidro and Candijay, Bohol for the establishment of a 500-hectare bamboo plantation.

The Letter of Agreement (LOA) will cover both productions of 102,000 planting material this year and the 500-hectare site development for the year 2021.