Environmental group launches online petition vs Manila Bay white sand project

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 9, 2020   •   1448

MANILA, Philippines — Marine conservation group, Oceana Philippines, has launched an online petition to stop the “white sand” project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Manila Bay.

Oceana Philippines, with other non-government organizations, said they are fighting for the protection and conservation of the country’s vastly threatened fisheries, biodiversity, and natural resources.

The petition cited five laws which the project allegedly violated:

  • Environmental Impact System Laws and Regulations
  • The Fisheries Code (RA 8550) as amended by RA 10654
  • The Clean Water Act, RA 9275
  • The National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009, RA 10066
  • The Local Government Code of 1991, RA 7160

The groups are calling for the accountability of officials behind the project and recommend that the Manila Bay rehabilitation be focused on addressing the ecological degradation, pollution and socio-economic issues in the area.

“The dumping of crushed dolomite boulders in Manila Bay can only be described as an abdication of that grave responsibility to protect and preserve Manila Bay. This is happening at the time when our nation faces serious health, economic and climate crises,” the petition reads.

READ: Cimatu defends Manila Bay white sand project, says dolomite is safe

The so-called “white sand” project has drawn criticisms from environmental groups and netizens who described the initiative as unnecessary government expenditure. AAC

Pangolin found in Ayala Alabang to return home in Palawan

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 19, 2021

The pangolin that was found in Barangay Ayala Alabang in Muntinlupa will soon be homeward bound to its natural habitat in Palawan.

Last Monday (August 16), a resident turned over a Philippine pangolin to the National Wildlife Rescue and Research Center (NWRRC) after finding it in their backyard. Rescuers immediately responded and took custody of the pangolin which was named ‘Pandi’.

According to the NWRRC, Pandi has minor cuts around his body but his health is in stable condition.

Bukod doon sa mga minor scratch niya wala pa namang alarming na sign na medyo kailangan naming bantayan ng sobra, (Aside from minor scratches [Pandi] does not have any alarming signs that would need our utmost attention),” according to NWRRC chief and in-house veterinarian Dr. Glenn Maguad.

Pandi is now scheduled to return to Palawan, however, no date has been set yet.

Pangolins are considered a critically endangered species and the most traffic wildlife. Pangolins are being traded primarily as ingredients in traditional Chinese medicine.

Maguad said pangolins are considered gardeners of the forest because they like to dig rotten trees for termites. They contribute to the ecosystem through soil conditioning. -AAC (with reports from Janice Ingente)

PNP deploys more cops to enforce health protocols at Manila Bay dolomite beach

Robie de Guzman   •   July 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Guillermo Eleazar on Tuesday ordered the deployment of more personnel at the Manila Bay dolomite beach to ensure the enforcement of minimum health protocols amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“I have tasked the Manila Police District to deploy additional policemen in the area to ensure that persons who visit the beach observe minimum public health safety standards and follow quarantine protocols,” Eleazar said in a statement.

“Kailangan ng masusing pagpaplano at regular na monitoring sa lugar upang matiyak na hindi na maulit ang nangyari last year na hindi nasunod ang social distancing ng mga taong bumibisita,” he added.

Eleazar recalled that an MPD official was relieved after failing to enforce the social distancing rule among visitors during the beach’s brief opening last year.

The PNP chief urged the public to cooperate with authorities and follow health protocols when visiting the beach.

“Mahigpit ang bilin ng SILG Secretary Eduardo Año na iwasang mangyari ang super spreader events lalo ngayon na may mga report ng local transmission ng COVID-19 Delta variant,” Eleazar said.

“Sa mga kababayan naman natin na nagpaplanong pumunta sa dolomite beach, sumunod tayo sa mga alituntunin at huwag na tayong maging pasaway dahil para din ito sa inyong kaligtasan,” he added.

The beach was opened again to the public on Sunday. Visitors may visit the area until July 20.

Another coral garden discovered in Maragondon, Cavite

Marje Pelayo   •   June 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The country has yet another natural treasure discovered in the waters of Cavite that is connected to Manila Bay.

Members of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and volunteer divers were having a clean up drive, “scubasurero” and seagrass monitoring activity in Barangay Patungan in Cavite when they accidentally discovered another coral garden coinciding with the celebration of World Environment Day.

“Recently lang po last June 5, na-discover din po namin na meron din pong coral garden sa Cove ng Barangay Patungan sa Maragondon,” said Andrea Panganiban of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Cavite.

Panganiban said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is currently conducting an assessment on the said coral garden.

On June 15, PENRO Cavite held another “scubasurero” activity in Maragondon and Ternate in Cavite where they installed marker buoys within the area covering the newly discovered coral garden and within the Maragondon Fish Sanctuary.

It can be recalled that on May 17, over 169 square kilometers of coral garden was discovered at the core zone of Ternate Marine Park within the vicinity of Barangay Sapang Uno and Barangay Bucana.

“Ang nangyari po noon, kami po ay nasa project na maglalagay ng marker buoys para palatandaan kung hanggang saan po ang boundary ng ating core zone upang mabigyan ng impormasyon ang ating mga mangingisda na hindi sila pwedeng pumasok doon. Then kasama po natin sa paglalagay ang mga volunteer divers po natin na gusto nilang makatulong sa pagdodokumento ang proseso po ang ating proyekto,” Panganiban said.

“Nung natapos po natin iyon, nag-scout sila sa ilalim ng dagat. At ayun nga po nadiscover na meron pa tayong napakagandang coral garden sa core zone natin,” she added.

The coral garden measures about 20 meters away from the shoreline of Caylabne and approximately 26 meters in depth.

These new discoveries will contribute greatly to the province’s tourism industry.

“Kasi kung io-open po ito as diving site at kung i-offer po ito as a tourist destination ng management board, magkakaroon po ito ng magandang epekto. Malaki pong potensyal ang lugar pag na-open po siya sa turismo. Magkakaroon po ng pagtaas ng pagkita ng mga mamamayan doon aside from that matutulungan po ang ating community ng fisherfolk na kumita na hindi na nila kailangan magextract sa dagat.” Panganiban noted.

“Posible rin na mabawasan ang mga ilegal fishing sa area dahil sila na mismo ang mangangalaga sa lugar dahil iyon ay pinagkakakitaan na nila,” she added.

PENRO Cavite calls on the public to properly manage disposal of waste in their areas to prevent water pollution.

“Sa lahat ng mga mamamayan na nakapaligid po sa Manila Bay, isakatuparan lang po natin ang tamang pagtatapon ng basura dahil ang basura po na nagmumula sa taas yan po ay napupunta sa dagat,” Panganiban said.

“Kahit po mga simpleng pagtatapon ng balat ng candy, malaking katulungan po iyan sa atin na hindi na mapupunta pa sa dagat,” she added reminding the public to observe safety health protocols to fully experience safe and fun travel in the new normal.

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