Visayas marine life ‘deteriorating’ according to the DENR

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje told the Senate finance committee during a performance audit of the agency that based on its studies, Visayan seas are becoming polluted.

This includes the waters of Boracay,  a world-famous tourist destination.

“We believe human activity in the Visayan sea is inducing the deterioration,” Paje said during Thursday’s hearing.

However, he noted an improvement in marine life in the West Philippine Sea, including the Tubbataha Reef.

Sen. Loren Legarda, an environmental advocate, urged the DENR to focus on restoring and rehabilitating corals in the area.

She said that aside from human activity, climate change is destroying corals, which are home to fishes and other marine species.

“We should be proactive in coral reforestation as we are in our denuded mountains,” Legarda said.

Paje explained that pollution on the land affects the sea.

“The best way to protect the corals is to focus on the people. Stop pollution on the ground,” he said. “It’s still better to focus on the ground if you want to stop pollution in the marine areas.”

To save marine life, Paje said the DENR has pilot-tested coral rehabilitation in the seas off Sabtang and Uyugan Island in Batanes, San Fernando in La Union, and Cebu.

He added that the agency needs at least P98 million next year to intensify its coral restoration and rehabilitation projects. by Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

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