Duterte Pushing for a Smoke-Free Nation

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“I have signed Executive Order No. 26 imposing a ban on smoking in public places to mitigate its consequences. We want to minimize access to tobacco products, and provide a more supportive environment for those who are attempting to quit tobacco use,” Duterte said.

HealthJustice Philippines, a think tank and advocacy group with legal expertise in tobacco control and health promotion, was quick to offer support to Duterte after he stated during his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) that he would limit access to tobacco products.

“It is inspiring to be working with a President who values the health of our people. We assure him of our continuous support and guidance in minimizing access to tobacco. More

Saving Dory, Nemo and Blue Fin Tuna at Benham Rise

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Philippine Rise Pledge (Oceana)
Time to give our oceans some attention before we lose our underwater treasures. Benham Rise (renamed recently as Philippine Rise) is “an important source of biodiversity and contributes to the resiliency of threatened ecosystems . . . also home of the Pacific Blue Fin Tuna”.  These are just some of the discoveries made of the area, exploration still ongoing.

Together with its allies in the government and private sector, Oceana Philippines is urgently pushing for the legal protection of Benham Rise as a marine protected area including the declaration of Benham Bank, the shallowest portion of Benham Rise, as a no-take zone, where human activity is not allowed.

In a policy dialogue called “Bayanihan Para sa Benham” hosted by Oceana and graced by representatives from various government agencies and other stakeholders, Director Mundita Lim of the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources shared that Benham Rise was designated as an Ecologically and Biologically Significant Marine Area (EBSA) by 196 countries during the 13th Meeting of the Convention of Parties (COP) to the Convention of Biological Diversity in Mexico in December 2016.
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Oceana Salutes DENR Lopez’s Bravery

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Oceana LogoMost Filipinos did  not take DENR Secretary Gina Lopez’s Rejection by the Commission on Appointments very well because of her passion and determination to truly help the environment and the people.  Unfortunately, money speaks louder and has more power over lives.  Oceana bravely releases a statement to acknowledge DENR Lopez’s contribution and dedication to the environment on behalf of the rest of the population who didn’t agree with the CA decision.  The environment can not afford to lose another ally, and the people won’t take this loss sitting down.

Oceana’s Statement:

As Earth’s largest marine conservation nonprofit, Oceana commends the trail-blazing achievements of outgoing DENR Secretary Lopez in bravely pushing for policies to sustainably protect the country’s environmentally-critical areas including protected seascapes and save them from destructive activities that threaten their ecological integrity.

Secretary Lopez has set the highest standards for environmental stewardship and mainstreamed partnerships with civil society organizations – a feat that merits replication by her successor.

Her commitment and sterling leadership in ensuring justice and equity especially to affected communities most dependent on a vibrant web of life is her most precious legacy for all of us. Oceana is most grateful.

Amended Fisheries Code Clarified by Oceana

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Oceana Fisheries PrimerPrimer<http://ph.oceana.org/publications/reports/amended-fisheries-code-primer> serves as a simple guide for fishers, local government units and the general public to understand and follow the amended Fisheries Code

Press Update:
The Philippine Fisheries Code (Republic Act 8550) was amended on 27 February 2015 by RA 10654, providing higher penalties while mandating better monitoring systems to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Top marine conservation group Oceana Philippines recently launched a simple primer on RA 10654 in Cebu City. The handy, notebook-sized booklet is meant to serve as a simple guide for fishers and private institutions to better understand the amended Fisheries Code, while helping government agencies enforce the law and empowering citizens to know their rights.

“The amended code is a Godsend for the fisheries sector – but understanding a set of complicated rules might not be easy for all. To address this, we created printed and downloadable primers. We hope this makes the implementation of the amended Fisheries Code faster,” shares Oceana Philippines Vice-President Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos.

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PH Govt Urged to Protect Benham Rise

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Philippine Flag ©OceanaUPLB
Press Update:
Oceana, Earth’s largest international non-government organization working on ocean conservation, urged the Philippine government to protect Benham Rise – an undersea territory east of Luzon brimming with natural resources.

“Benham Rise is part of Philippine territory. We must exercise our sovereignty over this area and assert our rights. The immediate creation of a management framework to ensure the protection of this special place and the conservation of its marine resources is a compelling first step,” says lawyer Gloria Estenzo Ramos, Vice-President for Oceana Philippines.

The Department of National Defense (DND) recently disclosed that a Chinese vessel conducted an unsanctioned survey in the region, believed to be rich in both marine and mineral resources.

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A New Playground for Bikers at Circulo Verde

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Biking is not only fitness-friendly, environment-friendly, but it’s also a friendly fun activity for friends and family-bonding time . . . or even for your alone time. And now biking has gotten even more exciting with the new Circulo Verde’s The Bike Playground.
Offering a unique Biking Experience, The Bike Playground has so much to offer biking enthusiasts and newbies — the Philippines’ first Signature Pump Park, a 1 km Outdoor Trail, and an Outdoor Kids Track. The Bike Playground will no doubt encourage more Filipinos to take up biking and at the same time elevate the biking scene to another level.

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TOFARM Finalists Named for Farming Inspired Music and Film Creativity

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tofarm-songwriting-competition-finalists-2017
After Levi Celerio’s classic “Magtanim Ay Di Biro” (Planting is No Joke), the time has come to find a present-day take on uplifing music that celebrates the life of a farmer. Not just in music, but in film as well. The search for a moving story about the farm life has wrapped up as well for 2017 with six finalists selected in a variety of genres. This, together with the ten finalists for the TOFARM Songwriting Competition was presented last February 8 at Novotel Hotel in Cubao.
The event allowed media to interact with the finalists and ask more about how they came up with their works and what was their inspiration. Clearly the music presented by the 10 finalists were rich in melody and thought-provoking in lyrics, and at this point all of them were winners already. Whoever will be announced as the final winnner in April 9 will just be a formality. The same goes for the six finalists of the film category. They are already winners as they were selected from the numerous entries. The theme for 2017 centered on “Planting the seeds of Change”.

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