Category Archives: Environment

Save the Binturong! Wait―What’s a Binturong?


The Philippines just set aside more than 100,000 acres for pangolins, hornbills, forest turtles, and the mysterious, mustachioed “bearcat.”

Deep in the few remaining mature forests of the Philippines dwells an animal that defies easy explanation. It’s a fuzzy creature, with the squat body of a wolverine and the smirk of a raccoon. A prehensile tail with a bald patch helps the mammal lift its 50-pound body high into the tree canopy, and long, white whiskers give the furball the countenance of a woods wizard. Perhaps most intriguing of all, its anal gland secretions are said to smell like buttered popcorn. Mmmm. Continue reading

DENR refutes alleged illegal mining operation in Palawan

kThe environment department’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Region IV-B refutes allegations by an NGO against the alleged continuing operations of a mining firm.

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines – Contrary to the claim of a non-governmental organization, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Region IV-B (DENR-MGB 4B) said that the alleged illegal mining operation in Sofronio Española town is part of a mining firm’s rehabilitation of a mined-out area. Continue reading

Palawan’s natural assets to undergo recreational services accounting


PRISTINE BEACH. A beach in San Vicente town, Palawan. Photo from Keith Anthony Fabro

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines – White sand beaches, towering limestone cliffs, lush forests, and incredible diving sites are just a few of the images associated with Palawan. This paradise-like island province has lots of breathtaking natural attractions to offer, making it one of the top choices for both domestic and foreign tourists.

But how much does it really contribute to the Philippine economy? Continue reading

Palawan mining firm operating despite suspension order, says NGO

2However, the firm, Citinickel Mining and Development, says they are doing rehabilitation activities, not mining operations .

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines – A mining company in Sofronio Española town is still operating even under suspension order, a non-government organization here alleged, but the company says they are actually rehabilitating the area. Continue reading

Philippine Home of Pangolin and Indigenous Tribe Wins Protection

1An island wildlife paradise that is home to a tribe of hunter-gatherers, the most trafficked mammal in the world gained new protections today.

Today it was announced that 101,766 acres of forestland on the island of Palawan in the Philippines will be protected, helping to save the most trafficked mammal in the world — the pangolin — as well as the last 200–300 members of the indigenous Batak tribe. Continue reading

Coffee table Tubbataha a chronicle of world heritage


MANILA, Philippines – It is no secret that the Philippines is host to one of the most amazing natural wonders in the world, the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park within the Sulu Sea. Such a natural gem made it to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Indeed, it is one of the most important marine ecosystems on the planet, providing not just beauty and biological diversity, but food and sustenance.  Continue reading

Cleopatra’s Needle in Palawan declared critical habitat

untitled-1Cleopatra’s Needle Forest Reserve (CNFR), one of the oldest and most diverse forests in the country, now has additional protection

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Cleopatra’s Needle Forest Reserve (CNFR), one of the oldest and most diverse forests in the country and home to countless endemic species, has gotten additional protection following its declaration as a critical habitat. Continue reading

New coffeetable book highlights Palawan’s Tubbataha Reefs

tubbataha_03MANILA — Palawan’s precious coral reefs — the Tubbataha Reefs — became the subject of a new coffeetable book expected to set the Philippines as a model for conservation and a diving hub of choice.

his, after the Department of Tourism (DOT) launched the coffeetable book on the sidelines of one of the world’s leading global travel and trade show, the World Travel Market (WTM) in London earlier this week. Continue reading

Little Known Agri Potentials of Palawan


Did you know that there is a big area in Palawan that is typhoon-free and that could be developed into a food bowl of rice and high-value crops? The harvests could be for export as well as for local consumption. This is the area in southern Palawan, which boasts of 730,000 hectares. Would you believe that by developing the area, it is possible the Philippines could as well forget importing rice from Vietnam and Thailand? Continue reading

Gina Lopez: I really don’t like Tampakan open-pit mine at all

DENR Sec. Gina Lopez during press conference at the Bulwagang Ninoy, Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City on Wednesday. Photo by: JOEL LIPORADA

DENR Sec. Gina Lopez during press conference at the Bulwagang Ninoy, Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City on Wednesday. Photo by: JOEL LIPORADA

Environment Secretary Gina Lopez says she will review permits given to the $5.9-billion mining project of Sagittarius Mines Incorporated in South Cotabato

MANILA, Philippines – “I really don’t like Tampakan at all. Not a little, but you can put that in capital letters – AT ALL.” Continue reading

PECR 5 awarding still possible this month, Energy dep’t says

introTHE AWARDING of new petroleum service contracts under the fifth Philippine Energy Contracting Round (PECR) could still take place within this month even if the recommendation for award has yet to be secured, Energy department officials said yesterday.

“We have already completed the evaluations of the applications. We will present the results on Thursday,” Rino E. Abad, director of the Energy department’s Energy Resource Development Bureau, said via phone.

Continue reading

Stone fish killed tourist in Coron, Palawan?


MANILA — A 25-year-old man died after he allegedly stepped on a poisonous sea creature, possibly a stone fish, while on vacation in Coron, Palawan last Friday.

The victim, Miguel Ruiz, was on vacation with his boyfriend, Travis Millard, in Palawan last week when the incident occurred.

Millard, 24, said he and Ruiz booked a guided tour of the island, where they were supposed to visit several destinations. Continue reading

Palawan benefits from DOST’s flood hazard mapping project

DOST_Palawan_CNNPHThe topographic maps will be used in flood modeling of disaster-risk prone areas in Palawan, said Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, program leader of the University of the Philippines’ (UP) DREAM program.

Puerto Princesa (CNN Philippines) — Palawan is one of the many provinces that benefited from the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) flood hazard mapping project. Continue reading

Australia’s Otto Energy abandons PH Hawkeye-1 well


MANILA – Australia-listed Otto Energy Ltd. said on Monday it would plug and abandon a deep-water exploratory well in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), which did not reveal commercial oil and gas volumes.

While the drilling of Hawkeye-1 well in the Philippines’ Palawan Basin has proven the existence of hydrocarbons in the area, the size was “at the very low end of expectations and is not economic to develop,” Otto said in a statement. Continue reading

Saving the last ecological frontier


Part of the Foundation for the Philippine Environment’s (FPE) first Sarihay Award for journalists were out-of-town trips to FPE project sites. Four of us chose to go to Palawan, the others went to Surigao del Sur and Negros Occidental. If you’re a journalist, you know you would be on a working trip, and you hope to stumble upon some surprises on the rugged terrain or at the end of the road. Continue reading