The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) MIMAROPA Region and the Municipality of Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro on Saturday signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) establishing the municipality as a local chapter of Tayo ang Kalikasan (TAK), the DENR’s advocacy that aims to engage communities as partners in addressing issues and challenges on environmental protection.
Under the MOA, Puerto Galera shall strengthen strict enforcement of waste segregation at source and prohibition on the use of single-use/disposable plastics such as plastic bags, cups, straws, and stirrers which often end up polluting lands and seas.
“We are tasked to mainstream the campaign into our activities, hence, we ensure it is implemented not only in our offices but primarily in the region’s top tourist destinations, such as Puerto Galera,” Regional Executive Director Henry Adornado said.
In December 2018, El Nido was launched as TAK local chapter to intensify solid waste management amidst the ongoing rehabilitation in the island.
“This campaign is also in support to Secretary Roy Cimatu’s pronouncement on a department order that would soon ban the use of single-use plastics nationwide,” Adornado added.
Recently, Cimatu announced that the DENR is in the process of finalizing an order that prohibits the use of single-use plastics as a measure to enhance solid waste management policies and address the alarming plastic pollution in the country.
“We understand that the LGU of Puerto Galera has already issued an ordinance regulating the use of single-use plastics. Now that it is established as a TAK chapter, we look forward to forging a strengthened partnership to substantially reduce the volume of plastic wastes and eventually prevent it from polluting our marine environment,” Adornado remarked.
The MOA signing was held on December 7, 2019, in time for the celebration of the 92nd Founding Anniversary of Puerto Galera, one of the country’s prime tourist spots undergoing rehabilitation spearheaded by the DENR, DILG, DOT, the LGU and in cooperation with the the provincial government of Oriental Mindoro.
Present to sign the MOA were Puerto Galera Mayor Rocky Ilagan, Vice Mayor Marlon Lopez, and Oriental Mindoro Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Mary June Maypa and Provincial Environment Management Officer Ederlita Labre, representing DENR MIMAROPA RED Adornado and Environmental Management Bureau – MIMAROPA Regional Director Atty. Michael Drake Matias, respectively. (Photo by PENRO Oriental Mindoro).