Press Releases

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has announced that the rehabilitation of the world-famous El Nido beach in Palawan will continue, but it would remain open to tourists.

Cimatu, however, said that the “no swimming” policy would remain in effect in certain areas within Bacuit Bay and Corong-Corong due to high coliform levels.

Citing a recommendation by the regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in MIMAROPA, Cimatu said these areas are not safe for swimming for having high fecal coliform counts reaching nearly 16 million most probable number per 100 milliliters (mpn/100ml).

“We waited for this so that we can make a decision. The decision is that we will continue the rehabilitation,” Cimatu announced during a press conference after emerging from a meeting with Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año in Camp Aguinaldo last Thursday, August 1.

The DENR chief added: “We will not close El Nido, and we will continue the ‘no swimming’ in [three outfalls] in Bacuit Bay and one in Corong-Corong.”

He identified the three outfalls in Bacuit Bay as El Nido Estero, Cabugao and Masagana.

Aside from the degradation of water quality that was caused by lack of sewerage systems of household and commercial establishments, Cimatu said the encroachment in easement zone and timberland, solid waste management and violation of environmental laws were also found to have contributed to the dreadful conditions in El Nido.

Cimatu has directed the regional executive director of DENR MIMAROPA to form an inter-agency task force composed of regional offices of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government and representatives from the local government unit (LGU) to “undertake investigation and inspection of establishments, including households” within El Nido’s tourism area.

The task force will have 20 days starting August 5 to conduct their operations and is expected to submit the results on August 25.

Cimatu ordered the task force to identify non-compliant commercial establishments or those that violate environmental laws, no business permits and without DOT accreditation.

“Ito ‘yung mga gagawin nila, including ‘yung violation sa timberland kung saan nag-build sila ng mga resort doon without the necessary permits from the government,” he added.

The former military chief emphasized that if there will be recommendations from the task force to shut down establishments, it will only be “individual” businesses and not the entire ecotourism area.

Asked about the cause of the current state of El Nido, Cimatu cited the lack of regulatory measures from the LGU, especially the mayor, despite the Local Government Code designating LGUs as in-charge of their respective tourism sites.

“Ganito po ang nangyari sa Boracay noon, walang nagko-control, but this time we are able to stop all this. And we will continue to stop this because we cannot allow na mag-deteriorate itong El Nido into another Boracay,” said Cimatu.

“That is the reason why we cautioned the mayor, because the mayor, technically, is in-charge of this, it is not our task force. However, we are providing technical assistance and all other assistance that the government can do in order to save El Nido.”

The same plan used in the rehabilitation of the Boracay Island will be followed for the rehabilitation of El Nido and the rest of the ecotourism areas in the country, such as Coron, Siargao, Panglao, and Puerto Galera. ###

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has commended the regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Central Luzon after its radio program won the “Best Public Affairs Program” during the recently concluded 27th Golden Dove Awards of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP).

Hosted by the DENR-Central Luzon’s Public Affairs Office, “Earth Hour Central Luzon” is a one-hour program aired at 9 am of every second and fourth Tuesday of the month over DWRW 95.1 FM, a local radio station based in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Cimatu said the award received by the Central Luzon office from the prestigious annual television and radio competition brought honor to the DENR.

He said the success of the radio program was “attributed to the DENR’s continuing mission to educate the public about the environment, so they may conserve and protect it.”

“We are thankful to KBP for recognizing our efforts to educate the public at large about the pressing environmental issues of the contemporary time. We are assuring everyone that we will continue this noble pursuit,” he added.

For his part, DENR Central Luzon Regional Executive Director Paquito Moreno thanked the KBP for the award and the public for supporting the program.

Moreno also expressed his gratitude to Secretary Cimatu for “his guidance and directives that encourage the region to do its best.”

“This award will further boost our public affairs program to sustain our efforts in bringing DENR programs closer to the people,” he said.

He also promised that the DENR Central Luzon will continue to provide the public with timely, relevant and accurate information on developments in the environment and natural resources sectors in the region.

“Earth Talk Central Luzon” aims to promote the priority programs of the DENR, increase public awareness on various pressing environmental issues, and solicit public support and cooperation towards environmental protection and conservation.

The Golden Dove Awards is considered the most prestigious and most credible award-giving body in the country that recognizes television and radio stations, programs, personalities, public service announcements, and promotional materials from broadcasting companies who are members of the KBP.

KBP is a non-government, non-profit organization of the broadcast media in the Philippines with more than 120 members from various radio and television companies nationwide. ###


Pinuri ni Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu ang regional office ng Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Central Luzon matapos na manalo ang radio program nito bilang “Best Public Affairs Program” sa katatapos lang na 27th Golden Dove Awards ng Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP).

Ang “Earth Hour Central Luzon” na pinangangasiwaan ng Public Affairs Office ng DENR-Central Luzon ay isang oras na programa tuwing alas-9:00 ng umaga sa DWRW 95.1 FM, isang local radio station sa San Fernando, Pampanga. Ito ay sumasahimpapawid tuwing ikalawa at ikaapat na Martes ng bawat buwan.

Ayon kay Cimatu, isang malaking karangalan ang ibinigay ng Central Luzon office sa sa DENR sa pagkakakuha ng naturang parangal. Ang Golden Dove Awards sa prestihiyosong taunang kompetisyon sa radyo at telebisyon.

Aniya, ang tagumpay ng radio program na ito ay bahagi ng misyon ng DENR na makapagbigay ng imporasyon at maturuan ang publiko tungkol sa kapaligiran upang matuto ang mga ito na pangalagaan at ipagsanggalang ang ating kalikasan.

“We are thankful to KBP for recognizing our efforts to educate the public at large about the pressing environmental issues of the contemporary time. We are assuring everyone that we will continue this noble pursuit,” dagdag pa nito.

Samantala, nagpasalamat din si DENR Central Luzon Regional Executive Director Paquito Moreno sa KBP para sa binigay na parangal at sa publiko dahil sa patuloy na pagsuporta ng mga ito sa naturang radio program.

Nagpasalamat din si Moreno kay Cimatu dahil sa patuloy nitong pagbibigay ng gabay at direktiba upang mahikayat ang kanilang rehiyon na gawin ang lahat ng makakaya para makapag serbisyo sa publiko.

“This award will further boost our public affairs program to sustain our efforts in bringing DENR programs closer to the people,” ani Moreno.

Ipinangako pa nito na ipagpapatuloy ng DENR Central Luzon ang kanilang pagbibigay ng napapanahon at tamang impormasyon tungkol sa kapaligiran at likas na yaman sa rehiyon.

Layunin ng “Earth Talk Central Luzon” na ipaalam sa publiko ang mga pangunahing programa ng DENR, makapagbigay ng karagdagang imporamasyon sa environmental issues at makakuha ng suporta sa mamamayan upang mapangalagaan at maprotektahan ang kapaligiran.

Ang Golden Dove Awards, na itinuturing na pinaka-prestihiyoso at pinaka-pinagkakatiwalaang award-giving body sa buong bansa, ay kumikilala sa mga radio at television stations, programs, personalities, public service announcements at promotional materials mula sa mga broadcasting companies na miyembro ng KBP.

Ang KBP ay isang non-government, non-profit organization ng mga broadcast media sa Pilipinas na mayroong 120 miyembro mula sa iba’t-ibang radio at television companies sa buong bansa. ###


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Kalipunan ng mga Kawani ng Kagawaran ng Kalikasan (K4) recently signed a new Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) providing for additional benefits to DENR workers for the next three years.

K4, which has a total of 16 regional chapters nationwide, is duly accredited by the Civil Service Commission and has been recognized as the sole and exclusive negotiating representative of all DENR rank-and-file employees for almost one decade already.

The CNA was signed by DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu and K4 national president Jose Isidro Michael Padin during the celebration of the DENR’s 32nd founding anniversary last June 14. It was the second CNA signed between DENR and K4.

Cimatu said he was honored the new DENR-K4 deal was signed under his watch even as vowed for “continued harmonious relationship between the union and the management.”

“This CNA is a recognition of the fact that the DENR’s strength relies on the unity and well-being of its workers,” Cimatu pointed out.

The DENR chief also thanked the K4 officers and members of the Board of Directors who helped make the CNA signing possible.

Under the new CNA, the DENR and K4 agreed to extend mutual cooperation and assistance to each other “with the end in view of improving the welfare and well-being of the workers.”

At least four new employees’ benefits have been added in the agreement, which will take effect until June 2022.

These benefits include provision of hazard pay and accident insurance, establishment of a wellness program, and formulation of a comprehensive health insurance.

Those covered by hazard pay and accident insurance are workers engaged in law enforcement activities against illegal logging, mining, and illegal trade and poaching of wildlife species.

The wellness program includes provision of free maintenance medicine for, but not limited to, cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.

It also includes annual medical, optical and dental examination; stress management program; and immunization and screening for tuberculosis and Hepatitis B.

The CNA also calls for formulation of a comprehensive health insurance for workers in addition to the benefits available under the Employees Compensation Commission, the PhilHealth Insurance Program, and other applicable programs and policies of the government.

The CNA was a product of a month-long negotiation, which ended last June 7. The final agreement was presented to the DENR Executive Committee on June 10 or four days before the actual signing. ###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is eyeing Panay Island as the center for bamboo production in the country.

This developed as DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu expressed his and the agency’s support to the National Convergence Initiative for Sustainable Rural Development (NCI-SRD) when it recently held its third summit in Iloilo City.

As part of the DENR’s commitment to the convergence, Cimatu said that with Panay Island being naturally abundant with bamboo, he would “transform [it] as the center for bamboo production and make it the DENR’s major contribution to the NCI-SRD.”

“We will adopt the latest technology in producing lumber and timber out of the bamboo stands. This can usher in inclusive development in the island and provide income and livelihood not only to the marginal farmers, and promote Panay as the country’s ‘bamboo capital’,” he said.

The environment chief then directed DENR Western Visayas Regional Executive Director Francisco Milla, Jr. to conduct an inventory of all existing bamboo plantations on the island, and to fast-track the establishment of bamboo processing plants that would produce engineered bamboo products.

He also instructed Milla to plant bamboo in identified denuded areas around the island.

The DENR in Western Visayas had initially identified 60 hectares for the propagation of bamboo in Panay Island, where more than 6,100 hectares of plantation currently exist.

The agency has committed to plant 13,500 hectares of industrial bamboo species such as bamboo tinik, Giant buho, bayog, and bolo in 2020.

To achieve this, some P10million has been initially earmarked in the 2019 budget for the production of planting materials and capacity building of farmers.

Bamboo is envisioned as one way to address the country’s wood requirements as an alternative for high-value forest products. It has been included as selected species to use for reforestation activities under the government’s National Greening Program (NGP).

Under the NGP, farmers would be capacitated on scientific methods of harvesting bamboo. They would be entitled to regular salaries while caring for bamboo plantations prior to harvest season. ###