The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is closely monitoring the activity of Mayon Volcano and will advise the public on its potential effects on the environment and public health.

 

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu gave this assurance following his visit to Albay province on Monday to check on the air quality conditions of affected areas in the towns of Camalig and Guinobatan and cities of Tabaco and Ligao, as well as the vicinities of the 6-kilometer danger zone and the extended 7-km danger zone.

 

“The DENR, in close coordination with the Department of Health, will continue to monitor the air and water quality on affected areas and river systems to minimize environmental and health impacts of the volcanic eruption,” Cimatu said.

 

He said the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Region 5 will also coordinate with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, the Office of the Civil Defense, and the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office regarding the announcement of advisories and evacuation plan.

 

“We need to observe harmonized protocols among concerned agencies to ensure zero casualty,” said Cimatu, a former Armed Forces chief and special envoy for overseas Filipino workers in distress.

 

Director Eva Ocfemia of the EMB-Region 5 reported that of the affected areas, only Guinobatan showed increasing results of total suspended particulates (TSP) concentration.

 

Ocfemia, however, said the sulfur dioxide concentrations in Camalig and Guinobatan still conformed to the national ambient air quality guideline value of 0.034 parts per million. 

 

Cimatu, meanwhile, warned that volcanic gases, particularly sulfur dioxide, have significant environmental impacts and hazardous effects on human health.

 

He said that when sulfur dioxide combines with water and air, it forms sulfuric acid, which is the main component of acid rain.

 

“We all know that acid rain can cause deforestation, acidify waterways to the detriment of aquatic life, and corrode building materials and paints,” Cimatu pointed out.

 

In terms of health, Cimatu said sulfur dioxide could affect the respiratory system, particularly lung function, and can irritate the eyes.

 

Sulfur dioxide irritates the respiratory tract and increases the risk of pulmonary tract infections. It causes coughing, mucus secretion and aggravates conditions such as asthma and chronic bronchitis. ###

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.

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DENR 8 Regional Director Atty. Crizaldy Barcelo accepts the Chairmanship of Eastern Visayas’ Regional Ecotourism Committee (REC) for a three-year term from the Department of Tourism represented by its Officer-In-Charge, Ma. Trinidad Dacuycuy.

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Some of the retired key officials and employees of DENR pose for a picture with DENR Regional Director, Atty. Crizaldy Barcelo.

DENR 8 Regional Director Crizaldy M. Barcelo (L) presents Certificates of Recognition to partners in law enforcement for their invaluable support and contributions to environmental law enforcement operations in Eastern Visayas.

Ms. Melba Ariño (center), Land Management Officer of DENR CENRO Pambujan receives award for extending invaluable assistance to the programs of 8ID PA from DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu and Maj. Gen. Raul Farnacio, Commander, 8ID.

Tacloban City communities join this year’s #InternationalCoastalCleanUp activities. DENR Region 8, together with other government agencies and private institutions joined hands in cleaning up the coastal areas and waterways within the city.

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu recently visited the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office of Samar in Catbalogan City. During his interface with DENR employees in Samar province, Secretary Cimatu laid his plans to help reduce poverty. Among these are increasing livelihood opportunities through the Enhanced National Greening Program (E-NGP), reinventing mining to ensure that the country’s mineral resources will benefit the people without compromising the environment, and promoting cacao commodity to augment the livelihood of NGP PO beneficiaries in Samar.

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