THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has set up a new task force (TF) as part of
government efforts to ensure strict enforcement of environmental laws in Metropolitan Manila (MM).
The creation of the new TF is seen to strengthen the department’s law enforcement unit, which
is described as the “weakest link” in the fulfillment of DENR’s mandate, according to Secretary Roy
In creating “Task Force DENR Metro Manila,” Secretary Cimatu, a retired military general,
lamented that it is ironic that enforcement is still the weakest link to the DENR’s organizational
This, despite the sufficiency of existing laws, rules and regulations that have been in
operation for over a decade now, said Cimatu during the recent launch of the newly-formed
environmental task force.
The task force is divided into four teams assigned to three to seven cities. Each team is
composed of 12 members coming from various DENR offices, including the Environmental Management
It will be recalled that when he assumed the top DENR post last May, Cimatu said that the
enforcement of laws on clean air, clean water and solid waste management would be at the top of his
In highly-urbanized areas, like heavily-populated Metropolitan Manila, across the Philippines,
air/water pollution and uncollected garbage remain major headaches of national and local government
“Panahon na para mahigpit na ipatupad ang lahat ng environmental laws, lalo na sa mga
malalaking syudad at bayan, kung gusto nating malinis ang kapaligiran at malusog ang mga tao,” said a
In fact, if many low-lying communities in the metropolis go under floodwaters during a brief
but heavy downpour, blame it partly on clogged drainage canals, rivers, esteros and other waterways.
Note that tons of garbage, particularly plastic materials, clog waterways during the rainy
The DENR deserves the full support of the public as it exerts efforts to strictly enforce the
country’s environmental laws, rules and regulations not only in the metropolis but throughout the