MANILA, Philippines - There is a growing public awareness to protect the environment and increasing approval of the environmental programs of the government, the latest Pulse Asia survey showed.
The poll, conducted from Nov. 23 to 29 among 1,200 respondents, showed that protecting the environment was among the national issues that received majority approval ratings.
The government’s campaign to stop the destruction and abuse of the environment gained an approval rating of +60 percent, a 10 percent increase compared to last September.
“This is a testament to the growing public awareness and appreciation of government efforts to preserve the environment and address the problems of environmental destruction and devastation,” Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said.
“The public knows that we are doubling our efforts to fight ecological abuses because we need to lessen the destruction brought about by the changing climate and its damage to human lives and properties. Our recent calamities are a clear proof of why we need to improve the state of our environment for future generations,” Paje said.
He cited the total log ban, National Greening Program (NGP), new mining policy and the distribution of geohazard maps.
Paje said the log ban pursuant to Executive Order 23 has substantially reduced illegal logging hotspots from 197 to 31.
EO 23, which President Aquino signed in February 2011, stopped timber extraction of some 148 million board feet a year.
EO 26, which provides for the NGP, seeks to plant trees over 1.5 million hectares by 2016. The DENR has so far planted seedlings on more than 232,000 hectares nationwide.
The DENR also distributed close to 70,000 geohazard maps all over the country.
The maps, which were prepared by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, will help local government units pinpoint barangays that are prone to landslides and flooding.