The DENR-Environmental Management Bureau – Region I through the Environmental Education and Information Unit conducted the β€œKabataan, Kasangga para sa Kalikasan” (KKK) for Sangguniang Kabataan Officials on April 28, 2022 at Hotel Ariana, Bauang, La Union. The KKK is an environmental caravan that aims to strengthen environmental education among the youth and drive positive behavior change towards environmental protection and conservation. It was attended by 55 Sangguniang Kabataan Chairpersons and Officials in the Municipality of Bauang, La Union.

EMB-I Regional Director, Engr. Maria Dorica Naz-Hipe, warmly welcomed the SK Officials and underscored their significant role as youth leaders who can influence their fellow youth and even the public to take part in protecting the environment. β€œIt feels invigorating to partner with our SK officials in this environmental endeavor for your energy, optimism, passion, ingenuity and determination are exactly what the DENR needs to successfully carry out our goal of intensifying climate and environmental literacy,” said Regional Director Hipe.

Bauang, La Union Mayor, Hon. Menchie L. de Guzman expressed her gratitude to EMB-Region I for holding the KKK in their municipality and urged the SK Officials to apply what they have learned from the training to intensify their environmental programs, projects and activities.

EMB-I Ambient Monitoring and Technical Services Section Chief Jayson Paolo Resultay discussed the salient features of Republic Act 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 and the proper Sewage Collection, Treatment and Disposal process. He also presented the Water Quality Management Areas in Region I, namely the Naguilian River System WQMA, Sinocalan Dagupan River System WQMA, Lower Amburayan River System WQMA and Bolo River System WQMA, including the WQMA Programs and Activities, Water Quality Monitoring Data of WQMAs for Calendar Year 2021, Classified Rivers in Region I and Beach Ecowatch Program.

Mr. Resultay also discussed the salient features of Republic Act 8749 or the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999, Air Pollution and Classification of Pollution Sources. He presented the Results of Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring in Region I, which is generally good and encouraged the participants to download the Philippines Air Quality Index Application for Android to get real-time air quality monitoring data. Mr. Resultay also shared the various programs and activities under the Northeastern Pangasinan (NEPA) Airshed.

Senior Environmental Management Specialist, Engr. Melecio Llanes Jr., of the EMB-I Ecological Solid Waste Management Section discussed the salient features of Republic Act 9003 or The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, conceptual framework of RA 9003, types of wastes according to source and how to ecologically manage them. He also talked about the roles of the DENR-EMB and LGUs in the implementation of RA 9003 and stressed that the LGUs shall be primarily responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the said law. Segregation and collection of solid waste shall be conducted at the Barangay Level for biodegradable, compostable and reusable wastes and the collection of non-recyclable materials and special waste shall be the responsibility of the municipality of the city. He emphasized the importance of the local government solid waste management plan which shall be the foundation for the effective solid waste management of cities and municipalities through the leadership of their local executives.

Engr. Maureen Malazo, EMB-I Chemical & Hazardous Waste Management Section Chief, presented the salient features of Republic Act 6969 or the β€œToxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990” and enumerated the common toxic and hazardous wastes and their adverse effects to the environment and human health. She also shared with the particpants the proper management, transport and disposal of hazardous and healthcare wastes starting from the household up to the Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility.

Engr. Rogelio Gabuyo Jr., EMB-I Climate Change Unit Head, talked about the climate system, the greenhouse effect, sources of greenhouse gases, global warming potential, climate change and its causes and effects. He also presented the indicators of a warming world, evidences of climate change, future global climate risks, findings from the IPCC 2022 Report on Climate Impacts, Drivers and Impacts of Climate Change, and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation strategies. Engr. Gabuyo also discussed the Global Action on Climate Change and the Philippines’ Commitments on Climate Change.

Engr. Ryanne Narvaez, EMB-I Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement Division Chief, concluded the activity by thanking the SK officials for their support and active participation. β€œWe appreciate that as young as you are, you already have the passion and drive to care for the environment. Your small acts of preservation and conservation of the environment will collectively make a big impact towards a sustainable future,” he said.