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PIA Press Release

DENR implements laws to fight persistent organic pollutants

by PS Mabaquiao

San Jose, Antique (27 October) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is actively pursuing its campaign to fight Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in order to preserve the environment and protect the people from harm due to exposure to pollution.

POPs are chemical substances belonging to the organochlorines and aromatic hydrocarbon groups and asbestos which exhibits the characteristics of persistence, bioaccumulation, capability of long range transport and toxicity, said Josephine Maguad, of the Environmental Management Bureau, Region 6, based in DENR-Antique.

Examples of POPs according to Maguad are red label pesticides like Aldrin, Chlordane, and Heptachlor among others used to kill termites and other farm pests. Polychlorinated Biphenyl found in electric transformers also generates POPs. When these pollutants accumulate in our environment, its toxins are linked to various illnesses like cancer, hormonal dysfunction and reproductive disorders.

Further DENR Antique headed by Vicente Sardina enforces strict compliance to the Clean Air Act particularly to industries which emits smoke like huge rice mills with generators and even the Semirara Coal Corporation in the Island town of Caluya. Report showed the rice mills in the province conform to regulations of Clean Air Act while Semirara Coal Corporation has its own pollution control mechanism.

Antique Electric Cooperative which was given notice of violations in 2005 due to presence of Polychlorinated Biphenyl in their transformers has replaced transformers to meet the standard requirement and get rid of this Persistent Organic Pollutants said Maguad.

Earlier, DENR Secretary Angelo Reyes stressed that the government’s focus is on programs to fight POPs which projects the government’s foresight in anticipating threats to the environment and the moves to reverse the trends and in the process protect the future of the Filipinos.

The Administration’s efforts in preserving and protecting the environment lies in its conviction that environmental care goes hand in hand with economic growth.

With stricter compliance to environmental laws, Antique endowed with rich natural resources and clean environment will continue to enjoy rural ambiance and fresh air, Maguad added. (PIA) [top]

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