DENR underscores role of brgys in zero-waste drive

By Roi Lomotan

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Engr. Marco Andrew Silveron of the Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR-CENRO II)  underscores the important role of barangay officials in minimizing solid wastes during a briefing with public information officers held on Jan. 23, 2020 at NORECO-II Office in Dumaguete City. (PIA7-NegOr)

If solid waste is managed correctly, only five percent of these will go to final disposal facilities.

Engr. Marco Andrew Silveron of the Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR-CENRO II) here cited this in a briefing with members of the Association of Negros Oriental Public Information Officers (ANOPIO) recently.

The DENR officer was there to promote the department’s zero waste advocacy and also tackle the role of Local Government Units (LGUs) in raising awareness about this endeavor to their constituents.

Silveron said the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act emphasizes waste segregation and volume reduction at the source noting that it should begin at the household level.

He added the law calls for efficient garbage collection, waste diversion, and waste disposal systems and these responsibilities fall on the LGUs including the barangays.

“According to Republic Act 9003, mao ni ang mandate sa barangay level. Pinakadako gyud ang role ng barangay sa management of solid waste kay dinhi man magsugod sa ilaha ang pag-segregate, collection, and diversion. Ang sa city (or municipality) only ang disposal (The barangay has the most important role in management of solid waste because segregation, collection, and diversion of wastes should start here. The city or municipal government’s role is to dispose the waste. This is the mandate to the barangay as per R.A. 9003. ),” Silveron noted.

“Mao na ang barangay gyud, magsige mi ug enforce ug implement their ordinances, their policies kay sila man naa gyud power. Dagko man gyud power ang barangay compared to mayor. Ang barangay mismo silay naa authority, naa’y direct contact sa ilang area of jurisdiction, sa mga household so kinahanglan ma-implement nila (We really push the barangays to implement their ordinances or their policies because they have more power compared to the mayor. The barangays have direct contact with their households or area of jurisdiction. They really have to implement it),” he added.

R.A. 9003 also mandates barangays to establish and operate Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) for the efficient solid waste management systems.

MRFs are used for the final sorting, segregation of wastes, composting, recycling, and transferring of resulting residual wastes to a long-term storage or disposal facility.

However, Silveron said the reality is that only 10 percent of the barangays in Negros Oriental have functional MRFs.

In Dumaguete City, only five barangays have functioning MRFs and while there are barangays in Negros Oriental that have MRFs, some of them are used as temporary pig pens or for other purposes.

Silveron said notices were sent to barangays that are not compliant with the proper use of MRFs and they are following the due process in addressing this concern.

Meanwhile, the law states that “local government officials and officials of government agencies concerned who fail to comply with and enforce rules and regulations promulgated relative to this Act shall be charged administratively in accordance with R.A. 7160 and other existing laws, rules and regulations.”

With this, Silveron reiterated the importance of complying with the law.

He said R.A. 9003 has been enacted for 17 years and yet only 30 percent of the law has been enforced over the years.

He also warned that if improper waste management practices would still continue, it would lead to various negative effects such as contamination of water, air pollution, flooding, and sickness to humans.

As per the 2010 data of the DENR-Environment Management Bureau, the number of per capita waste generation in the Philippines is pegged at 0.40 kg per capita per day.

“I think 137,000 na daw ang (population) sa Dumaguete City. Imagine pila na ang volume of waste. Mao nang potential generation of waste sa Dumaguete alone (I think the population in Dumaguete City is now at 137,000. Imagine how much volume of waste generated in Dumaguete City alone),” Silveron told ANOPIO members.

NegOr agri agencies ready to provide El Niño mitigating measures

By Roi Lomotan

 

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DA – 7 Official Marina Viniegas (with microphone) cites some of the department’s measures to mitigate the negative impacts of El Niño in Negros Oriental’s agriculture sector during a Kapihan sa PIA forum held on April 30, 2019 at Bethel Guest House, Dumaguete City.

 

The Department of Agriculture (DA) and Negros Oriental Provincial Agriculturist Office (PAO) are ready to provide support interventions to help farmers cope up with the possible effects of El Niño in the province’s agriculture sector.

In a Kapihan sa PIA forum held April 30 here, DA-7 Official Marina Viniegas said there is P63 million budget allocation for the implementation of the department’s El Niño mitigating measures in Central Visayas and most of these are already attributed to DA’s programs for 2019 particularly in rice and corn production.

Some of the activities to be carried out by the department include reproduction and distribution of information materials on El Niño advisories for farmers, cloud seeding operations, distribution of drums and pipes for water storage, irrigation system, training for alternative livelihood, provision of vaccines and biologics for livestock, monitoring of pest and diseases for crops and animals, and pest control.

“Although mo-advocate ta for (although we advocate for) organic agriculture, when it comes to pest outbreaks, we have to be ready with chemical control,” Viniegas explained.

The DA official also confirmed that Bohol and Negros Oriental will have the biggest slice of the budget since Bohol is the major producer of rice in the region while Negros Oriental is the major producer of corn.

For their part, PAO Operations Division Chief Alvin Blaza said their office will conduct information campaign on climate change mitigation to farmers, procurement and distribution of drought-tolerant varieties of rice, identification of sites for small scale irrigation systems to the areas prone to drought prior to the onset of El Niño, and provide alternate sources of livelihood for farmers as part of their interventions.

Part of the programs for alternate livelihood for farmers includes intensifying swine fattening and native chicken dispersal.

Aside from this, PAO is also conducting a pest monitoring for army worm and locusts which are prevalent during the dry season.

“A total of over P9 million forms our request as mitigating measures (A total P9 million have been allocated for our mitigating measures),” Blaza shared.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA)-Negros Oriental Chief Meteorologist Neptune Catarata reported during the Kapihan Forum that the province experienced below normal rainfall over the past three months which is an indication of dry spell.

Catarata said the majority of the climate models suggest weak El Niño condition may persist June, July, and August.  However, based on the monthly outlook which he presented during the Kapihan, Negros Oriental may be able to experience near normal rainfall condition by June.

In relation to this, Blaza said the municipalities of La Libertad and Mabinay and Canlaon City have submitted their agricultural damage reports to PAO.

Based on their reports, around 252 hectares of rice fields in the aforementioned areas with different stages of crops (seedling, vegetative, and reproductive) are affected by the dry spell.

Blaza also disclosed that there are some local government units (LGUs) like Bayawan City which directly sent their report to the DA and their reports are not included in PAO’s data.

With this, Blaza said the Provincial Agriculturist made a request to city and municipal agriculturist in other LGUs to send copies of their reports to PAO so that they can include their data in the agency’s records.

PAO NegOr braces for El Niño

By Jennifer C. Tilos

 

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Provincial Agriculturist Nestor Villaflores (w/ mic) presenting the mitigating measures to reduce the impact of El Niño phenomenon in the province during a Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Managment Council (PDRRMC) meeting. (PIA Negros Oriental)

 

The Office of the Provincial Agriculture (PAO) here is preparing for the possible effects of El Niño.

In a Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) meeting, local PAGASA Chief Neptune Catarata said a weak El Niño is present in the tropical Pacific and will likely affect the province with below normal rainfall conditions.

With this, Provincial Agriculturist Nestor Villaflores presented some mitigating measures to lessen the impact of the heat wave in the province.

While dry spell will be experienced in the province, Villaflores said it is expected that rice and corn production may decrease to 50 to 70 percent.

With this, various mitigation and adaption measures are set to include intensification of information dissemination to farmers and other affected stakeholders and production of fruit and forest trees.

The farmers will also be provided by drought-tolerant varieties of rice while increasing the establishment of small scale irrigation systems to farming communities including solar-powered irrigations systems and distribution of polyethylene hose to farmers.

However, Villaflores said some of these mitigating activities may need more than P5 million budgetary requirements.

He also mentioned that the effects of El Niño may lead to a loss of 20-50 percent of crop production in the province due to the possible occurrence of plant pests and diseases.

A series of surveillance and training on pest management and control will be conducted for farmers and “Bantay Peste Brigade” volunteers while providing insecticides upon the occurrence of plant pest during the period and the onset of rainy season.

PAO also braces to respond to expected consequences such as shortage of fish seeds production, damage of crops in shallow water, a decrease of income of farmers, and possible occurrence of red tide in some of the bay areas in the province.

Villaflores said his office has received reported damage of 78 hectares of rice at repining stage in seven barangays in the municipality of Mabinay, but this report is yet to be validated by his office.

Catarata said the weather system may cause varying impacts such as warmer than average surface temperatures and a prolonged dry season.

In May, Negros Oriental is one of the identified areas in the Visayas that will experience a dry spell.

Dry spell means three consecutive months of below-normal rainfall (21 percent to 60 percent reduction from average) or two months of consecutive way below normal rainfall (more than 60 percent reduction from average).