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Archive for May, 2014





MOWD prepares for contingency in case of El Niño
Read 642 times | Posted on May 31, 2014 @ 5 years ago

By Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

OZAMIZ City, Misamis Occidental – The Misamis Occidental Water District (MOWD) has laid out its contingency plan in preparation of El Niño.

The plan includes the designation of the Molicay Pumping Station in Barangay Molicay, this city, as its standby reserve station in case water will go scarce due to the phenomenon, Samson N. Naranjo, MOWD Executive Assistant B, said.

He said the expected long drought brought about by El Niño may result in the decrease of water level, low water production, increase in water demand, salt water intrusion in pumping stations, and possible deterioration of water quality.

He said the frequent power interruptions can also lead to increase in operational water production cost, thus, MOWD will make sure that there is enough supply of reserve diesel fuel for their electric generator sets to ensure an uninterrupted service.

Naranjo, however, said no reports of parched lands, dried up farms or scarcity of water in the households have been monitored and reported to MOWD, as of press time.

But just the same, MOWD will monitor closely the level of water extraction among its other stations, located in barangays Bacolod, Carangan and Bagakay, and its reservoirs in Barangay Segatic and Bukagan, Malaubang, he said.

Meanwhile, MOWD has planned to launch an information and education drive for the public on how to conserve water.

On the other hand, Naranjo assured that all the pumping stations of MOWD have been insured with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to warrant their immediate repairs in case of damage, if any. (RCA/PIA10-Misamis Occidental)



Philippine Hawk Eagle released in Oro
Read 268 times | Posted on May 31, 2014 @ 5 years ago

CAGAYAN de Oro City – The Philippine Hawk Eagle refused to fly at first and preferred to perch on the gloved hands of Roel Dahonog, acting chief of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Division of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-X, at the slopes of Malasag Hill in the city’s outskirts on Monday (May 26).

Prodded on to fly, the raptor flew but landed on the ground a little farther from Dahonog and other bird handlers.

One of the handlers, Dr. Miguel de Leon, stepped gently toward the bird and picked it up with his bare hands.

“This is not good. The bird is becoming tame. It’s a raptor and it should not have allowed anyone to touch it,” de Leon said.

He had to break into a trot with the large bird on his hand before it flew to its freedom toward the nearby trees on the slopes of Malasag Hill.

PAWD-X recovered the Philippine Hawk Eagle from an unauthorized collector in Barangay FS Catanico, this city last May 14.

Weighing only about 1.5 kilos, the raptor had a huge gash from its beak to the back of its head and its handlers had given up the bird for dead.

The DENR gave the bird to de Leon hoping he could save it. De Leon, an ophthalmologist by profession and son of the late Mindanao Herald weekly publisher Cynthia de Leon, is a wildlife enthusiast.

“When I saw the bird, I thought it would not survive. It had deep avulsions for its injuries,” he said.

But the bird recovered after de Leon performed a surgical procedure on it.

The DENR and de Leon scheduled an early release date for the bird to prevent it from getting domesticated. Last Monday, the bird was released back to the wild at the slopes of Malasag Hill.

“Philippine Hawk Eagles are birds of prey. It hunts for its food. It will get lazy and will lose its hunting skills if we continuously feed it,” de Leon explained.

According to the wildlife monitoring group Birdlife International, there are only 320 to 340 pairs of Philippine Hawk Eagle in Mindanao and some 220 pairs in Luzon.

The group classified the Philippine Hawk Eagle as “vulnerable” due to loss of its forest habitation, hunting and trade.

Dahonog said the DENR has to resort to asking help from people like de Leon because it lacks the expertise and personnel.

Dahonog said a Philippine Eagle Owl nicknamed “Chico” they have given to de Leon was found to have lost its hunting skills.

He is asking for any kind residents to adopt the bird and like de Leon, the DENR would issue them with Certificates of Wildlife Registration allowing them to keep the owl.

There are at least 100 individuals issued with the certificates in Region 10 and each of them is allowed to acquire wildlife so long as its origin is legal.

Dahonog said they are strictly monitoring the collectors because the trade of wildlife is a booming market despite DENR efforts to get rid of it since 10 years ago.

“The attraction of having an exotic pet is fueling a multi-billion peso illegal trade of wildlife in the country. It is ongoing despite our efforts to stop it ten years ago,” he said.

On May 16, a raid conducted by the Philippine National Police Criminal Detection and Investigation Group on a suspected gunrunner’s house yielded, aside from firearms, several wildlife species in cages including a crocodile.

Dahonog said the internal traffickers of wildlife still use the old port of entry in General Santos City to smuggle turtles, geckos, snakes, turtles and mynahs from Indonesia which are placed in cramped boxes.

He said because the DENR lacks the personnel to monitor the illegal trade, the smugglers could easily bring the wildlife species to Manila by trucks via the Lipata ferry in Surigao City.

He said another preferred route used by wildlife smugglers is via Palawan and most of the animals end up for sale on the streets of Cebu City.

“But the major market for the illegal wildlife sale is Cartimar Market in Pasay City. You can find every species of wildlife for sale in Cartimar,” Dahonog said.

The sale of wildlife in Cartimar Market is also advertised openly in social networks and blog sites. In one blog site, allthingsmanila.blogspot.com , a picture of an 11-month macaw for sale for P75,000 was posted.

Dahonog said the sale of exotic wildlife is not only in Cartimar Market. It is also rampantly advertised in other websites.

Philippine Congress passed Republic Act no. 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation Act to protect the country’s wildlife from illicit trade, abuse and destruction.

The law also regulates the collection and trade of wildlife and spurs conservation efforts in its habitats. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)



Greenpeace seeks ban on shark hunting
Read 639 times | Posted on May 31, 2014 @ 5 years ago

By Roel Catoto of MindaNews

SURIGAO City – A conservation group urged local government units in the Surigao provinces to impose a ban on the catching of all kinds of sharks.

Vince Cinches, campaigner for Greenpeace-Philippines told MindaNews Friday a ban was needed to prevent the extinction of sharks.

“Shark poaching is not just in Surigao but it’s all over the country and abroad,” he said.

Local fishermen have been lured into shark hunting by the high price of shark fins.

In 2011-2012, local buyers would buy shark fins at P11,000 to 14,000 per kilo depending on the type of shark, its size and moisture. They preferred sun-dried fins.

Current prices, however, have dropped to P5,000 or lower. “The price suddenly went down because buyers in Manila cannot export it to China or other countries,” a local buyer said.

Local buyers here said they continue to buy shark fins even if they know it’s illegal as no one seems to enforce the law against it.

For their part, some fishermen still hunt sharks despite the drop in prices of their fins because their bodies can now be sold.

“Shark body buyers will just meet us in the high seas, they will buy the bodies at 70 per kilo and bring them to Cebu to make fish balls,” a fisherman from Punta Bilar said.

Cinches said the continued capture, sale and transport of sharks and their products, both in domestic and international markets, threaten shark populations and have affected the ecosystem.

He said there has been “no national regulation to protect the species 13 years after the enactment of RA (Republic Act) 9147 and 15 years after RA 8550.”

RA 9147 is known as the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act, while RA 8550 is known as the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998.

Cinches said it’s now high time to protect this marine species otherwise they would be gone.

The country celebrates Ocean Month every May.

“Taking out the sharks in the ocean can destabilize the food chain and has the widespread negative ecological impacts on community structure,” he said.

Cinches said Cebu province recently passed an ordinance against shark poaching.

He said the other local government units should pass a similar ordinance.

Local legislators in Surigao, particularly those who are handling environment committees, have been silent on the issue.

Officials of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Caraga Region as well as the Philippine National Police Maritime Command have remained mum too. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)



DENR chief calls for protection of island biodiversity, ecosystems
Read 516 times | Posted on May 31, 2014 @ 5 years ago

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje called on Filipinos to protect and preserve the country’s biodiversity and ecosystems for the essential goods and ecological services they provide.

“The Philippines has the distinction of being one of 17 megadiverse countries in the world. This is a reason to rejoice. Biodiversity, as we know, provides the essential goods and ecological service that constitute the source of life for all,” Paje said in a message during the celebration of International Day for Biological Diversity (IDBD) on Thursday at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City.

With theme, Island Biodiversity, Paje also stressed the one-day festivity gave the country the chance to “showcase its awesome endemic species and promote the importance of conserving our islands as habitats of these unique life forms.”

Paje said the country’s 7,107 islands provide habitat to very rich and unique species of flora and fauna, the reason why the Philippines was named as one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world. He said among these unique species are the tamaraw and the Philippine eagle, both considered as critically-endangered.

Known as the country’s largest and most impressive mammal, the tamaraw can only be found on Mindoro Island. While the Philippine eagle, a national symbol that stands more than three feet tall with a headdress of spiky feathers, lives only in the islands of Luzon, Mindanao, Samar and Leyte.

Paje said the country was also lucky to have the Verde Island Passage Marine Corridor that has been identified by scientists as the “center of the center of marine shorefish diversity in the world.” Verde Island is within the Sulu Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion, which is recognized as having the highest coral diversity in the world.

But despite having one of the greatest biodiversities on the planet, he said the country is facing biodiversity loss with the list of threatened and endangered species increasing every year.
“Ironically, however, our country is also identified as one of the hottest of hotspots in terms of biodiversity loss,” he lamented.

The DENR official blamed the accelerating biodiversity loss to habitat destruction, over-utilization and poaching. He said the country also has to deal with the destruction brought by natural disasters and the threats of climate change on biodiversity.

It is for this reason, he said, “protection of biodiversity is high on the agenda of the DENR.”

“We have programs to combat desertification and to rehabilitate critical watershed ecosystems especially in the islands of Luzon and Mindanao where many species are threatened,” Paje said.

He added: “Another program to conserve biodiversity and ecosystems, especially for sensitive habitats, is to place those areas under the coverage of the National Integrated Protected Areas System or NIPAS. Many of our biodiverse and critical islands have been put under the protection of NIPAS.”

Paje also urged for continued public awareness on the importance of protecting and preserving biological diversity by making “biodiversity conservation a shared responsibility.”

“We can all be catalysts of change, through conscious efforts to practice conservation in our daily lives. By working together, I believe that there is hope for our biodiversity,” he stressed.

He then enjoined the public to participate more actively in environmental programs, especially those aimed at protecting biodiversity and the ecosystems, such as the National Greening Program which aims to grow more forests as wildlife habitats.

He likewise encouraged the more than 80 student participants to the Biodiversity Management Bureau’s summer youth camp at the NAPWC to become “future advocates and champions for biodiversity conservation” by sharing their learning and experiences and committing to conservation practices.

The IDBD celebration also saw the launching of a coffee table book entitled, “Treasures of the Philippine Wild,” which brings focus to six threatened wildlife species found in the country. These are the Philippine Eagle, Philippine crocodile, tamaraw, the golden-crowned flying fox, the Philippine cockatoo and marine turtles.

The book was produced by BMB as part of its continuing information campaign on biodiversity conservation, and was distributed to partners in conservation and other government agencies such as the Department of Education.

Another highlight of the program was the announcement of winners of the biodiversity photo contest themed “Protecting the Reservoir of Life, Selfie for Biodiversity”. The contest, which was open to the public from April 15 to May 15, was organized by the BMB, together with the German International Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).

Each of the grand prize winners for the digital camera and mobile phone categories were awarded with all-expense paid trips to Palawan and Mt. Pulag, respectively.

The BMB also kicked off the Philippine Biodiversity Festival at the NAPWC grounds. The month-long activity will exhibit various eco-friendly products from various regions and provinces, and educational materials on their biodiversity.

The IDB is celebrated every May 22 of the year to commemorate the adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. www.denr.gov.ph



M’nao river basin master plan secures inter-regional support
Read 872 times | Posted on May 31, 2014 @ 5 years ago

Three regional development councils in Mindanao endorsed the implementation of the Mindanao River Basin (MRB) master plan, paving the way for its operationalization and the eventual creation of an institution that will manage, rehabilitate, and develop the river basin and its resources. (more…)



DTI, nagkaloob ng mga kagamitan sa kooperatiba ng mga magkakape sa Dona Remedios Trinidad
Read 819 times | Posted on May 30, 2014 @ 5 years ago

By VINSON F. CONCEPCION

LUNGSOD NG MALOLOS, Bulaca – Nakaloob nitong Martes ng may 500 libong pisong halaga ng kagamitan ang Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) sa Kalawakan Women’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative sa Dona Remedios Trinidad upang mapabuti at umunlad ang industriya ng kape roon.

Pinangunahan ni DTI Provincial Director Rhine Aldana ang turn-over ng stainless coffee bean dryer, grinding machine, digital scale with printer, vacuum sealer, stainless working table, at band sealer table top. (more…)



Bus operators, drivers, conductors in CL undergo training on Basic Occupational Safety and Health
Read 865 times | Posted on May 30, 2014 @ 5 years ago

By CARLO LORENZO J. DATU

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – A total of 60 bus operators, drivers and conductors coming from the provinces of Bataan and Zambales and representing 57 companies recently participated in a training on Basic Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) conducted by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in partnership with Corporate Occupational Safety and Health Environment Association of the Philippines.

“The five-day activity was meant to impart to the attendees the necessary skills and knowledge on Occupational Safety, Occupational Environment, Occupational Health, and responses to various OSH issues and concerns faced by the transport industry,” DOLE Regional Director Raymundo Agravante said. (more…)



Behavior change of stakeholders plays vital role in revitalizing BaIiIi River
Read 821 times | Posted on May 30, 2014 @ 5 years ago

By SUSAN C. ARO

BAGUIO CITY – Behavior change of stakeholders play a vital role in the upkeep of the Balili River system.

This was underscored in a two-day Behavior Change Workshop of the Balili River System Revitalization Coalition(BRSRC) held recently. (more…)



Final run for Vigan’s global campaign for 7 Wonder-Cities
Read 837 times | Posted on May 30, 2014 @ 5 years ago

By BEN P. PACRIS

VIGAN CITY – The provincial government has upped the ante as it goes full blast in its worldwide campaign to support Vigan as one of the “New 7 Wonders- Cities of the World”.

Vice- Gov. Deogracias Victor Savellano said the provincial board has passed a resolution urging Ilocos Sur residents to support Vigan, among the 28 contenders in the worldwide competition. (more…)



Be lured by the Philippine’s first sundials in Tagudin
Read 904 times | Posted on May 30, 2014 @ 5 years ago

By IMELDA C. RIVERO

Tagudin, Ilocos Sur – Anyone can have a quick visit to this history-filled town and have selfie photos near the two oldest sundials in the Philippines.

In Tagudin, visitors can also enjoy its church and belfry, the view deck overlooking the wide Amburayan river and bridge, the more than 100 year old-old light house, Farola beach and the 200-meter Ambalayat hanging bridge. (more…)

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