"It is incumbent upon us in government to provide alternatives for our citizens who are affected by our policies. We want to protect the environment, and want to show that we can save lives and provide livelihood at the same time," said Lopez.

According to Lopez, the DENR together with ten other government line agencies are prepared to invest close to four billion pesos to provide employment opportunities for 25 to 30 thousand households.

The other agencies include the Department of Labor and Employment, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Science and Technology, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine Coconut Authority, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

"We have a very good, very doable plan that will provide employment in the short and long term, jobs that do not involve mining activities that will damage our much-needed watersheds," explained the DENR chief.

Short-term employment opportunities include reforestation, desilting of agricultural land, napier and bamboo farming, livestock raising, and biochar manufacturing.

Biochar is a powerful soil enhancer that holds carbon and makes soils more fertile. It can boost food security, discourage deforestation and preserve cropland diversity. Biochar systems can reverse soil degradation and create sustainable food and fuel production in areas with severely depleted soils, scarce organic resources, and inadequate water and chemical fertilizer supplies.

Medium  and long-term jobs, on the other hand, will be generated by the manufacture of charcoal briquettes, ecotourism activities, infrastructure, and agro-post harvest processing.

Lopez stressed that "providing economic opportunities and protecting the environment are not mutually exclusive."

"It is not one or the other; we can and should do both at the same time, because we cannot sacrifice the welfare of future generations to meet short-term economic objectives."

The environment secretary added that even experts from the Mineral Policy Center based in Washington, D.C. have referred to water as "mining's most common casualty."

"Any competent scientist will tell you that mining affects fresh water through the heavy use of water in processing ore, and through water pollution from discharged mine effluent and seepage from tailings and waste rock impoundments," explained Lopez.

Lopez said she hoped legislators and fellow cabinet secretaries "look at the issue of protecting our watersheds in the long term because we could face a very, very serious problem with water many years down the road."

A study conducted by the think tank World Resources Institute (WRI) said in late 2015 that the country is in danger of experiencing water scarcity in 23 years. The study predicts the Philippines will experience a "high" degree of water shortage in the year 2040.

The Philippines is ranked 57th out of 167 countries that will likely be a water stressed country in 2040. The study defines water stress as “the ratio between total water withdrawals and available renewable surface water at a sub-catchment level.” ###

DENR press releases and other news/feature articles are posted at the DENR website: www.denr.gov.ph. For queries/comments, write: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • Cimatu: DENR to reclaim ‘missing’ Boracay wetlands

    Monday, March 05, 2018

      The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will reclaim four wetlands encroached by business establishments and illegal settlers in Boracay, Secretary Roy A. Cimatu assured on Friday.   Cimatu made the assurance during the public hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, chaired by Senator Cynthia Villar, which was held at a resort in the pollution-challenged island paradise.   “They (wetlands) need to be restored because…


Photo Releases

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu (in black coat) officiates the turn-over ceremony from outgoing RD Arleigh J. Adorable to incoming RD Crizaldy Barcelo.

DENR 8 Regional Director Atty. Crizaldy Barcelo lights the Flame of Sportsmanship to formally start the DENR Sportsfest 2017.

DENR 8’s ARD for Management Services Arturo N. Salazar presents Updates on Government Policy on Climate Change during the 2nd Regional Climate Change Conference conducted by PH Haiyan Cooperative in cooperation with the Climate Change Commission.

Mangrove forest and eco-park in Naungan, Ormoc City developed by the Naungan San Juan Mangrove Planters Association from what used to be a plain mudflat.

DENR 8 technical personnel record and monitor sightings of migratory birds in the wetlands of Eastern Visayas.

Residents of Brgy. Tagpuro join the mangrove tree planting activity spearheaded by the PH Haiyan Advocacy Cooperative.

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