EMB-CAR led by EMB CAR Regional Director Ma. Victoria V. Abrera hosted three (3) significant events of the office namely Memorandum of Agreement Signing with Philex Mining Corporation in the Adopt-a-Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station Program, Ceremonial Turnover of DMC 2022-18 on the Balili River Reclassification and Blessing of its New Building on May 12, 2022 at the EMB CAR, Gibraltar Road Baguio City.  

Gracing the lined-up activities were Undersecretary for Field Operations for Luzon, Visayas and Environment Atty. Juan Miguel T. Cuna, EMB Director Engr. William Cunado, EMB Assistant Director Vizminda Osorio, DENR-CAR RED Ralph C. Pablo, Philex Mining Corporation OIC for Padcal Operations Ricardo Dolipas’ environment and Legal Division’s team, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, La Trinidad Mayor Romeo K. Salda and EMB Region 10 Director Reynaldo S. Digamo (former EMB – CAR RD). Members of the Balili River System Water Quality Management Area, Municipal MENR Officers, CEPMO-WAMD, DENR CAR top officials, EMB and DENR CAR employees.

  1. PHILEX MINING CORPORATION PENS MOA WITH DENR EMB CAR TO STRENGTHEN PARTNERSHIP ON THE ADOPT A CONTINUOUS AMBIENT AIR QUALITY MONITORING STATION PROGRAM

The Environmental Management – CAR inks a Memorandum of Agreement with Philex Mining Corporation on the Adopt-a-Continuous-Ambient-Air-Quality Monitoring Station Program. Said program was launched by DENR-EMB last year to monitor the compliance of industries in terms of air quality management. This program encourages partnership with industries to promote clean air and alleviate the major causes of air pollution. Philex Mining Corporation supports the program as one of its corporate social responsibilities in the attainment of clean air through responsible mining. The mining company assures the public that air pollutants spewed in the air are mitigated and minimized at acceptable levels.

Meanwhile, Director of the Environmental Management Bureau Engr. William Cunado who initiated the said program expresses his support to the private sector and capped off his remarks saying “I have high hopes that this activity will encourage the continuing efforts of our department toward a more sustainable environment. Together with the top officials of the DENR, RD Mavic and RED Pablo, we are one with you in promoting clean air. The management of environment is conventionally within the mandates of the DENR but please come to an agreement with me that we cannot do this alone. We need your support in order for us to carry out our duties and responsibilities because we win as one, we battle air pollution as one!”

Undersecretary for Field Operations for Luzon, Visayas and Environment Atty. Juan Miguel T. Cuna underscored in his message that the Environmental Management Bureau has been so close to his heart being a former Director of the bureau. He said that the said program for clean air is a very good initiative because of the high maintenance cost of air quality monitoring equipment in the country.  He lauded the Philex Mining Corporation for being one of the first private companies who responded to the bureau’s program prior to the launch and hopes that there would be more partnerships with the company in other major environmental programs of the DENR. With the lifting of EO 79 or the Institutionalizing and Implementing Reforms in the Philippine Mining Sector to Ensure Environmental Protection and Responsible Mining in the Utilization of Mineral Resources, there is a corresponding responsibility in terms of the implementation of environmental and mining laws.

In terms of Air Quality, the DENR-EMB continuously manages and monitors hotspot areas. Recent data show that there is an improvement in the air quality since the pandemic and the agency hopes to carry it on even after the pandemic and the years to come.

  1. usec. CUNA LEADS CEREMONIAL TURNOVER OF Department memo circular on the reclassification of balili river TO baguio city and LGUS SABLAN and LA TRINIDAD

Undersecretary for Field Operations for Luzon, Visayas and Environment Atty. Juan Miguel T. Cuna hands over the official document on the approval of the Department Memo Circular 2022-18 on the Reclassification of the Balili River to WQMA LGUs in a Ceremonial Turnover held last May 12, 2022 at EMB CAR, Gibraltar Road Baguio City. The Department Memorandum Circular 2022-08 has been approved as a result of the affirmative response from the public during the Public Consultation on the Reclassification of Balili River from Class A to Class B. The said move was initiated by the WQMA members backed by LGUs Sablan, La Trinidad and Baguio City due to high fecal coliform levels in the river in the last ten years. Another is the Baguio City’s plan of rehabilitating the Baguio STP by expanding its capacity from 8600 cubic meters to 35,000 cubic meters.

Honorable Benjamin B. Magalong responds by thanking the efforts of the EMB and DENR in fast tracking the approval of the reclassification of the Balili river with special mention to USEC. Jonas R. leones, undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs expressing his sincerest appreciation. He also takes full responsibility and apologizes to LGUs La Trinidad and Sablan for polluting their river and further reiterating that it is the City’s moral obligation to clean the it.

In a message of Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Atty. Jonas Leones read by Regional Executive Director- CAR Ralph C. Pablo, “The DMC 2022-18 or the Reclassification of the Balili river manifests our shared responsibility to rehabilitate the remaining treasures of this generation. We aim to leave a legacy to our future children by taking care of our environment and initiate the restoration of the pristine Balili river that we once have but little by little, we would like to restore and revive.  May we leave a footprint in the hearts of the public we serve, may we always ask ourselves if we’ve done our part to better the environment, and again, may we always ask ourselves, what are we here for?……But above all, mananatili tayo sa ating sinumpaang tungkulin para magsilbi sa bayan, para pangalagaan ang ating kapaligiran.”             The Department Memo Circular on the Balili River Reclassification is the fastest document that has been approved during the time of Secretary Jim O. Sampulna. The Reclassification of Balili River from Class A to Class B is beneficial to the Local Government Units of Baguio City, Sablan and La Trinidad, Benguet. With Baguio City’s ongoing rehabilitation and expansion of its BSTP to a 35,000 cubic meter capacity, the environmental bureau anticipates an improved water quality of the Balili river in the ensuing quarters.