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That water is a precious resource is dramatized every time the dry season hits a blazing peak from March to May. That means now, when authorities warn that the dams supplying water to Metro Manila are approaching critical levels. In the provinces, high temperatures and lack of water are not only affecting farmlands needing irrigation but also exacerbating the horrific conditions in evacuation centers.
By Juan L. Mercado
The fires that razed 50 hectares of forests on Mt. Banahaw in Quezon Province late March have flickered out. Mindanao has less than 10 percent of forest cover left. Will a Bangsamoro regime reverse that skid, assuming the 11-step transition roadmap is completed?
We congratulate Environment Secretary Ramon Paje and Director Mitch Cuna of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) for signing the Minamata Convention and for their work in drafting and negotiating, on behalf of the Philippines, this historic agreement. They were our national team at the mercury negotiations, and they did the country proud.
Living in an archipelago of over 7,000 islands, Filipinos are well-acquainted with the Pacific Ocean. For many of us, the sound of the waves is the soundtrack of daily life. In parts south, the Badjao live most of their lives on houses right over the water, and all over the world, countless Filipinos are recognized as skilled seafarers.
By Bernie Lopez
At present, there are big gaps between the government and nongovernment sectors that inhibit better governance and advocacy. The two sectors do not see eye to eye; one accuses the other of misdeeds. They have somehow acquired the modus operandi of not talking to each other, and believe they can work on their own. This is true for the many issues of today—environment, energy, agriculture, agrarian reform, defense, and so on.
Here’s one way of making sure the May elections don’t turn dirty: Campaign against poll litterbugs. Last week, three crucial government agencies came together to form a task force that will strive to counter the expected flood of garbage after the campaign whirlwind.
By Juan L. Mercado
On March 21, Thursday, 193 United Nations member-states will mark “International Day of Forests.” That includes a Philippines stripped to only a fifth of its original 27.5 million-hectare tree cover. There’s no other way but up.
This refers to J.H. Primavera’s letter (Inquirer, 2/14/13) recommending indigenous species over mahogany and other introduced species for watershed rehabilitation and biodiversity conservation.
It is a perfect fit, making the Philippines synonymous with the amazing flora and fauna found here—and earning tourist dollars in the process.
I am so thankful to see the Inquirer’s Oct. 19 editorial cartoon (by Gilbert Daroy) depicting illegal quarrying in Mount Banahaw. I myself am against quarrying in our municipality (Sariaya, Quezon). In fact, I have submitted a formal report/complaint to Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources central office has since initiated an on-site investigation.
By Solita Collas-Monsod
In the aftermath of Tropical Storm “Sendong” last year, with its death toll of close to 1,500, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources fell under heavy criticism for its failure to complete and/or distribute its geohazard maps that classify areas according to low, moderate, or high susceptibility to floods, flashfloods and landslides. Well, no one can blame the DENR now. Early this year, it reportedly distributed the maps to every city, municipality, and province in the country, and made these accessible to the general public in its website.
This is in reaction to the news item on the 10 multinational companies cited by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for their “green” policies (Inquirer, 11/29/12). We take issue with the DENR’s careless awarding of its “Official Seal of Approval.” There being no complaint against those companies does not mean they adhere to [...]