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DENR CARAGA (Updated)

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PEMSEA CHAIR-EMERITUS DR. CHUA THIA-ENG; PEMSEA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MS. AIMEE GONZALES; PEMSEA COUNCIL CHAIRPERSON DR. ANTONIO LA VIÑA; U.N.D.P. PHILIPPINES RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE MR. OLA ALMGREN; ILOILO GOVERNOR ARTHUR D. DEFENSOR SR.; HEADS OF DELEGATION OF CHINA, HIS EXCELLENCY ZHANG ZHI; LAO PDR, HIS EXCELLENCY XAYAVETH VIXAY AND; VIETNAM, HIS EXCELLENCY VU SI TUAN; DISTINGUISHED DIGNITARIES AND DELEGATES, PARTICIPANTS, STAKEHOLDERS AND GUESTS, GOOD MORNING.

IT IS MY HONOR, ON BEHALF OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES AND THE FILIPINO PEOPLE, TO WELCOME EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU TO THE EAST ASIAN SEAS CONGRESS 2018!

IN THIS CONGRESS, THE PHILIPPINES, IN COLLABORATION WITH AN INCLUSIVE ARRAY OF STAKEHOLDERS, HOPE TO CONTRIBUTE IN WORKING ON DEVELOPING BETTER AND STRONGER REGIONAL ACTIONS THAT ARE ATTUNED TO THE GLOBAL OCEAN AGENDA.

TOGETHER WITH THE MEMBERS OF THE PARTNERSHIP IN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT FOR THE SEAS OF EAST ASIA, THE PHILIPPINES IS PROUD TO CELEBRATE OUR 25 YEARS OF PARTNERSHIP FOR HEALTHY OCEANS, PEOPLE AND ECONOMIES.

 

THROUGH THE YEARS, THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT HAS RECOGNIZED THE CRITICAL ROLE OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, PARTICULARLY OF OUR COASTS AND OCEANS, IN THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRY. LOCATED IN THE APEX OF THE CORAL TRIANGLE, THE REGION IS KNOWN AS THE CENTER OF MARINE SHOREFISH BIODIVERSITY. IT IS THEREFORE ESSENTIAL FOR US TO STRENGTHEN MEASURES IN CONSERVING ITS COASTAL AND MARINE ECOSYSTEMS AND ITS RESOURCES TO ENSURE FOOD SECURITY AND IMPROVE POVERTY REDUCTION.

FOR YEARS, PEMSEA HAS PROMOTED INTEGRATED COASTAL MANAGEMENT TO ADDRESS THE GOVERNANCE OF HUMAN ACTIVITIES AFFECTING THE COASTAL AND MARINE ENVIRONMENT. ON THE PART OF THE PHILIPPINES, EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 533 WAS SIGNED IN 2009, AS THE PRIMARY FRAMEWORK FOR ALL OF ITS COASTAL AND MARINE CONSERVATION INITIATIVES. E.O. 533 MANDATES DENR TO DEVELOP A NATIONAL ICM PROGRAM, IN CONSULTATION WITH OTHER CONCERNED AGENCIES, SECTORS AND STAKEHOLDERS, TO PROVIDE DIRECTION, TECHNICAL SUPPORT, AND GUIDANCE TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS AND STAKEHOLDERS IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THEIR LOCAL ICM PROGRAMS.
INTEGRATED COASTAL MANAGEMENT HAS ALSO BEEN MAINSTREAMED IN THE PHILIPPINE DEVELOPMENT PLAN OF 2017-2022 TO SERVE AS ONE OF THE MAJOR STRATEGIES TO ENSURE ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITY, AND CLEAN AND HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT. CURRENTLY, A BILL ON ICM IS UNDER LEGISLATIVE DELIBERATION IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES THAT WILL SECURE OPTIMUM RESOURCE UTILIZATION AND SUSTAINABLE COASTAL MARINE DEVELOPMENT BY MAINSTREAMING ITS IMPLEMENTATION IN ALL LEVELS OF THE GOVERNMENT.

ONE OF THE TEN MAJOR PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS OF THE DENR IS THE COASTAL AND MARINE ECOSYSTEMS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM. THIS FULLY-BUDGETED NATIONAL PROGRAM COVERS ALL COASTAL AND MARINE AREAS USING THE ICM APPROACH. THE PROGRAM AIMS TO COMPREHENSIVELY MANAGE AND ADDRESS THE CHALLENGES ON COASTAL AND MARINE ECOSYSTEMS IN COLLABORATION WITH LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS.

THE PHILIPPINES CONTINUES TO EXPAND ITS COASTAL AND MARINE AREAS UNDER PROTECTION AND SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT INCLUDING THE DECLARATION OF A PORTION OF THE PHILIPPINE RISE AS A MARINE RESERVE ON MAY 15, 2018.

 

IT IS IMPERATIVE TO RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF PHILIPPINE RISE BECAUSE OF ITS VAST AREA OF HIGH BIODIVERSITY. IT ALSO SERVES AS A NURSERY AND SPAWNING AREA OF KEY SPECIES SUCH AS THE ENDANGERED BLUEFIN TUNA.

MOREOVER, THE RECENT ENACTMENT ON JUNE 22, 2018 OF REPUBLIC ACT 11038 OR THE EXPANDED NATIONAL INTEGRATED PROTECTED AREAS SYSTEMS GUARANTEES LEGISLATED PROTECTION OF KEY BIODIVERSITY AREAS BOTH IN TERRESTRIAL AND MARINE ECOSYSTEMS. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF MARINE PROTECTED AREAS (MPAs) HAS ALWAYS BEEN CONSIDERED AS ONE OF THE KEY CONSERVATION STRATEGIES OF THE COUNTRY IN PROTECTING ITS COASTAL RESOURCES WHICH IS NOW GEARED TOWARDS SCALING-UP TO NETWORKS OF MPAS.

OTHER MAJOR PROGRAMS ON WATER RESOURCE PROTECTION ARE ALSO BEING UNDERTAKEN IN THE COUNTRY. ONE OF WHICH IS THE MANILA BAY REHABILITATION PROJECT THAT AIMS TO RESTORE AND MAINTAIN ITS WATERS TO A LEVEL THAT IS FIT NOT ONLY FOR SWIMMING, SKIN-DIVING, AND OTHER FORMS OF CONTACT RECREATION BUT FIT FOR FISHERIES AS WELL.

IN BATAAN, A PROVINCE LOCATED NORTH OF THE COUNTRY’S CAPITAL, PEMSEA HAS ASSISTED IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PROJECT MANAGEMENT OFFICE FOR INTEGRATED COASTAL MANAGEMENT. WHILE IN BATANGAS, A PROVINCE LOCATED AT THE SOUTH OF METRO MANILA, MONITORING SYSTEMS WERE ALSO PUT IN PLACE AS BASIS IN DEVELOPING THEIR STATE OF THE COASTS REPORT.

MOST OF YOU MAY HAVE ALREADY HEARD ABOUT THE CLOSURE AND THE RE-OPENING OF THE BORACAY ISLAND TO THE TOURISTS. THE CLOSURE MAY BE VIEWED AS A RESULT OF NATURE NEGLECTED IN PURSUIT OF UNRESTRAINED ECONOMIC INTERESTS, YET IT MAY ALSO EXEMPLIFY THE KIND OF LEADERSHIP WITH A POLITICAL WILL THAT TARGETS TO RECTIFY THE ABUSE AND MISMANAGEMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT. THE DENR, TOGETHER WITH OTHER NATIONAL AGENCIES, INITIATED REHABILITATING THE ISLAND’S NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS WHICH HAS CAUGHT HOTELS AND RESORTS DIRECTLY PUMPING OUT THEIR SEWAGE INTO THE SEA. THESE ESTABLISHMENTS WERE FINED AND REQUIRED TO PUT UP THEIR OWN SEWAGE TREATMENT FACILITIES. IN ADDITION, WETLANDS WITHIN THE ISLAND WERE CLEANED, AND RECOVERED FROM ILLEGAL SETTLEMENTS AND STRUCTURES.

PREVIOUSLY, THESE WETLANDS RECEIVED LITTLE ATTENTION YET THEY PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN ABSORBING EXCESS RAINFALL TO PREVENT FLOODING AND IN SERVING AS HABITAT FOR NATIVE AND MIGRATORY WILDLIFE.

THE PHILIPPINES ALSO MAINTAINS ITS COMMITMENT TO INTERNATIONAL MULTILATERAL ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENTS SUCH AS THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY WHICH PURSUES THE EXPANSION AND EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF MARINE PROTECTED AREAS. PARALLEL EFFORTS ON STRENGTHENING TRANSBOUNDARY EFFORTS ON COASTAL AND MARINE CONSERVATION WITH NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES UNDER THE CORAL TRIANGLE INITIATIVE, AND THE CONVENTION ON THE CONSERVATION OF MIGRATORY SPECIES OF WILD ANIMALS ARE ALSO BEING PURSUED.

OUR REGION RATES HIGH IN TERMS OF VULNERABILITY TO CLIMATE RISKS. THUS, WE NEED TO SCALE UP OUR WORK IN ADAPTING TO THE CHALLENGES THROUGH MAINSTREAMING ECOSYSTEMS-BASED APPROACH IN COMBATING CLIMATE CHANGE AND DISASTERS.

THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES IS ALSO IMPLEMENTING A SUSTAINABLE TOURISM MANAGEMENT APPROACH IN AREAS OF HIGH INTEREST FOR TOURISTS SUCH AS BORACAY ISLAND AND TUBBATAHA REEF, AMONG OTHERS. IF NATURE-BASED TOURISM WILL EFFECTIVELY AND EFFICIENTLY BE PUT IN PLACE, NOT ONLY WILL WE BE ABLE TO SUSTAINABLY MANAGE COASTAL RESOURCES, BUT WE CAN ALSO GENERATE REVENUES FOR BOTH THE GOVERNMENT AND COASTAL COMMUNITIES.

WE SHALL CONTINUE WITH OUR COORDINATION WITH ALL CONCERNED STAKEHOLDERS AND ENHANCE OUR COMMUNICATION CHANNELS TO ENABLE EFFECTIVE RESPONSE TO THE CHALLENGES.

LET OUR ACTIONS IN THIS EAST ASIAN CONGRESS BE DEFINED AS SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO ACHIEVING GLOBAL TARGETS FOR THE SEAS OF EAST ASIA AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS. AS WE DISCUSS THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY FOR THE SEAS OF EAST ASIA (SDS-SEA), THE REGION’S COMMON FRAMEWORK OF ACTION FOR THE COASTAL AND MARINE RESOURCES MANAGEMENT, LET ME REITERATE THE PHILIPPINES’ SUPPORT AND COMMITMENT TO OUR PARTNER COUNTRIES.

THE COUNTRY LOOKS FORWARD TO THE NEXT STEPS AHEAD FOR PEMSEA WHICH INCLUDES MORE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH FOR BASELINE DATA; STRENGTHENING TRANSBOUNDARY COOPERATION AMONG THE MPAS; UNDERTAKING RESOURCE VALUATION STUDIES; SOURCING GREEN FINANCING; SCALING-UP OF COMMITMENT OF COUNTRIES AND NON-COUNTRY PARTNERS; AND CONSISTENTLY PROMOTING ADOPTION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF ICM.

WE NEED STRONG RESOLVE AND DECISIVE ACTION TO MOVE FORWARD. KNOWING ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ARE MULTIDISCIPLINARY, CROSS-SECTORAL AND TRANS-BOUNDARY IN NATURE, ACTING SEPARATELY WILL ONLY LEAD TO COMPLEX PROBLEMS THAT ARE VERY DIFFICULT FOR INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES TO SOLVE. THEY ARE A PRESSING AND URGENT CONCERN THAT WE NEED TO FACE TOGETHER.

THUS, I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE IN THIS CONGRESS TO EXPAND OUR COOPERATION ON HOW WE CAN MOVE FORWARD IN PROTECTING OUR COASTAL AND MARINE RESOURCES. THE MINISTERIAL FORUM, ON THE OTHER HAND, SHOULD BE A VENUE FOR US TO FORGE AGREEMENTS TO CONCRETIZE OUR INDIVIDUAL COMMITMENTS FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS.

I EXPECT NOTHING LESS FOR THIS CONGRESS TO BE A SUCCESSFUL AND PRODUCTIVE ENDEAVOR GIVEN THE KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM OF ALL THE PARTICIPANTS.

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK EVERYONE WHO HAS PROVIDED SUPPORT IN ORGANIZING THIS CONGRESS, PARTICULARLY THE PROVINCIAL AND CITY GOVERNMENTS OF ILOILO, THE PROVINCE OF GUIMARAS AND OUR VARIOUS DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS.

WE COMMEND THE PEMSEA RESOURCE FACILITY FOR ITS DEDICATION AND HARDWORK IN PROVIDING MEMBER COUNTRIES, PARTNERS, AND STAKEHOLDERS THE OPPORTUNITY TO GATHER IN THIS CONGRESS.

TO ALL THE PARTICIPANTS, THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT AND ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE SEAS OF EAST ASIA. I ALSO CONGRATULATE EVERYONE, IN ADVANCE, FOR BEING HERE AND BEING PART OF THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE IN MANAGING OUR COASTAL AND MARINE RESOURCES.

THANK YOU AND MABUHAY!

Press Release

    • DENR 13 personnel chip in one-day salary for food packs to motorela drivers
      Thursday, May 07, 2020
      Butuan City – DENR 13 Regional Executive Director Atty. Felix S. Alicer has commended the personnel of the DENR 13 Regional Office for donating at least their one-day salary to the Bayanihan Program of the President for relief goods to the indigent families suffering from the lockdown due to coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis. “This is our humble way of reaching out to the indigent families who are the most severely affected by the lockdown as economic activities had stopped“, RED Alicer...

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