In celebration of Philippine Environment Month this June, and the World Environment Day on Monday, June 5, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has kicked off the month-long celebration with a series of activities.
Environment Secretary Antonia “Toni” Yulo-Loyzaga and senior officials of the DENR started the local celebration of World Environment Day with a tree-planting activity at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City.
The tree-planting activity was followed by a forum on new ways by which the environment department can work together with different stakeholders. Per the agency, the forum about the best practices on plastic waste management of its partners from the private sector was attended by youth leaders, women organizations, and national and local government representatives.
Meanwhile, the DENR- Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) also held Luntiang Puso- Women in Action for Environment Awarding Ceremony, which intends to honor women’ s organizations and their significant contributions in the planning, implementation and monitoring of environmental management projects of the bureau.
The agency said that it will ink three memoranda of agreement with the Office of the Vice President for its PagbaBAGo: A Million Learners and Trees program, with Energy Development Corporation on nature- based solutions, and with Green Convergence on greenhouse gas accounting on June 7.
On June 19, the environment department, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme Philippines and the Climate Change Commission, is set to launch a nationwide campaign dubbed as "LOOPFORWARD: Linking Opportunities and Partnerships Towards Circular Economy through EPR” to back the enforcement of the Republic Act 11898, or the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act of 2022. This intends to convene the national government, private sector, and other development partners to inform stakeholders on their role and gather support in the EPR Act implementation.
In January, Loyzaga signed the implementing rules and regulations of the EPR law, which seeks to address the mismanagement of plastic waste and uphold circularity through maximizing the material value of plastics as it serves as the environmental policy approach and practice that requires producers to be environmentally responsible throughout the life cycle of a product, especially its post- consumer or end- of- life stage.
From June 21 to 23, the first- ever Marine Litter Learning Activity will be conducted by the DENR and UN- Habitat Philippines. It seeks to spread awareness on marine litter, its impacts on communities and wildlife, and empower young people to take action on its prevention as individuals, in their households and in their communities.
Expected to take part in the event are representatives from youth- led organizations on environment and officers of Youth for Environment in Schools Organization or YES- O.
The DENR chief recognizes the salient role that the youth play in protecting the environment and in fighting the effects of climate change.
On June 30, the DENR-EMB will launch the Luntiang Puso- Outstanding Community Livelihood Projects Through Local Waste Recovery as culminating activity for the Environment Month. Such aims to recognize livelihood programs initiated by communities in their efforts to reduce and recover wastes.
Citing the United Nations, the DENR noted that more than 400 million tons of plastic is produced worldwide every year, one third of which is used just once.
“It also said that every day, the equivalent of over 2,000 garbage trucks full of plastic is dumped into the world’ s oceans, rivers and lakes,” said the environment department.
According to the agency, it seeks to end plastic pollution in the Philippines through a circular economy where all plastic applications are reused, recycled, and responsibly managed during and after use while enabling a lower greenhouse gas emissions plastic economy.
By virtue of Proclamation No. 237 signed in 1988 by then President Corazon Aquino, the month of June was declared Philippine Environment Month to raise environmental consciousness among Filipinos.