Out of 125 participants of the Environmental Quiz, Creshia Liskeng of Mt. Province snatches the First Place with P 5, 000 cash prize while Dexie Liskeng from the same province places Second with P 3,000 cash prize; and Aldana Morelle Heyrosa, Baguio City resident, in Third with P 2, 000.

The Environmental Quiz was conducted online with participants from the different provinces in the Cordillera Administrative Region from ages 15 to 18 years old.

The participants were given a set of questions related to the programs, policies and activities of the agency - from national to local.

The activity also helps the agency to determine information that may be used in planning future Information Education Campaigns.

Among biggest trees in the region have been located.

Through the Search for the Biggest Trees launched by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CAR, the biggest coniferous and broadleaved trees were found.

The measurement is based on diameter at breast height (DBH) which is the standard for measuring trees.

Based on the entries, the biggest of the coniferous species was a Benguet pine tree found at Gueday, Cayapas, Baculongan Norte, Buguias, Benguet. It has a circumference of 454 centimeters (cm) and a height of 30.8 meters. The entry was submitted by a Jona Cabaling.

The second biggest is also Benguet pine tree situated at Mt. Mapao, Agawa, Besao, Mt. Province. It has a circumference of 437 cm and a height of 15.24 m.

The third biggest is another Benguet pine tree found at Moling, Cayapas, Baculongan Sur, also in Buguias, Benguet.

Of the broadleaved species entries, the biggest were found in Danglas, Abra.

A dao tree was found the biggest. It is situated at Mt. Sedir in Nagaparan, Danglas, Abra. It has a circumference of 2,000 cm and a height of 35 m. The entry was submitted by Norriel Montejo, Dominique Acnam, Redentor Tauro, Danny Blanes, and Randy Bernal.

On the second place is a dao tree with a circumference of 1,400 cm and a height of 30 m; while the third place is a pasakla tree with a circumference of 1,400 and a height of 27 m.

Cabaling and Montejo received P25,000 each for their winning entries.

“𝙀𝙭𝙥𝙡𝙤𝙧𝙚, 𝙐𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙋𝙧𝙤𝙩𝙚𝙘𝙩”. This is the main goal of the celebration of the International Year of Caves and Karst 2021 (IYCK 2021) which is organized by the International Union of Speleology, a global organization of cave and karst explorers, scientists, managers and educators. This initiative aims to raise the level of understanding and respect for these critically important and widespread natural resources.
The Biodiversity Management Bureau calls for the participation of the citizenry to join the celebration of the #InternationalYearofCavesandKarst as it turns the spotlight on children and youth, whose views and voices are often ignored or absent in influence processes and decision-making. Through Children Writing for Children, an online creative writing workshop for young aspiring writers in Grades 4-6,will be held on November 15 - 19, 2021. The celebration aims to provide a meaningful opportunity for children and youth to understand and take action for these priceless natural resources.
In the Cordilleras, 3 caves are classified as Class I, as follows: Ganuway, Calao and Jessie caves. Likewise, 21 caves were classified as II to include, Tabong, Baulan, Banat Caves1 and 2, Guano, Quiling, Manonot, Rizalista, Manacota Underground River, Lussok, Allabang, Ahabang, Bellang, Malayugan Avvu, Aran, Tenedkaw, Longog, Aki, Sumaguing, Lumiang and Balangagan caves. Also, 11 caves classified as Class III are Sibud-sibud, Kaungugan, Angib, Agapang, Simembaan, Kimmatre, Kimmampana, Pang-ot, Dangwa, Ansagan, and Pangagawan Caves.
These caves are treasures of the Cordillera region that need to be protected and preserved to sustain its beauty and natural rock formations.
Class I are caves with delicate and fragile geological formations, threatened species, archeological and paleontological values, and extremely hazardous conditions. Allowable use may include mapping, photography, educational and scientific purposes while the caves Classified as Class II are those with areas or portions which have hazardous conditions and contain sensitive geological, archaeological, cultural, historical and biological values or high quality ecosystem. It may be necessary to close sections of these caves seasonally or permanently. Particularly, it is open to experienced cavers or guided educational tours and visits. Also, Class III caves are generally safe to inexperienced visitor with no known threatened species, archeological, geological, natural history, cultural and historical values. These caves may also be utilized for economic purposes such as guano extraction and edible birds nest collection.



Green recovery and regional autonomy advocated on Cordillera month

“Working together towards Cordillera autonomy through green recovery”.

This was the theme for this year’s 34th celebration of the Cordillera Month hosted by the Watershed and Environmental Management Sectoral Committee of the Regional Development Council-CAR. The Sectoral Committee is chaired by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CAR through Regional Executive Director Ralph Pablo.

The theme highlights the need for a sustainable and resilient return to growth and development after COVID-19 through environment-friendly technologies and practices for production such and ecosystems restoration. These technologies and practices include the investment on and use of renewable energy, regenerative agriculture, responsible mining, and indigenous knowledge, systems and practices in watershed and natural resources management.

The celebration also brought to mind the call for unity among Cordillerans to attain regional autonomy, an aspiration the Cordilleras has had for more than three decades now.


Cordillera Month kick-off

On July 1, the celebration was kicked off with a ritual and a ceremonial simultaneous tree planting activity in all provinces. A total of 4,066 seedlings of various species were planted across the region during the activity.

The tree planting activity was followed by a live and virtual Kapihan joined by various stakeholders from the public and private sectors in the region. The press conference was hosted by Philippine Information Agency-CAR Regional Director, Dir. Helen Tibaldo while serving as panelists were DENR-CAR Regional Executive Director, Engr. Ralph Pablo; Environmental Management Bureau-CAR Regional Director, Dir. Maria Victoria Abrera; Department of Agriculture-CAR Regional Director, Dir. Cameron Odsey; and National Economic and Development Authority-CAR Assistant Regional Director, ARD Stephanie Christiansen. Other officials of the Regional Development Council-CAR; provincial, city,and municipal government units; different government agencies; and non-government organizations also joined via Zoom.

Discussed during the kick-off program was the regions existing efforts and plans on green recovery, it's three-decade quest for regional autonomy, and other related matters such as highland agriculture, ecosystem restoration, and the indigenousness of the Cordilleras.


Cordillera Day celebration

The month-long celebration was highlighted by the Cordillera Day program on July  15 where government officials and ordinary citizens, alike, celebrated the region’s indigenousness and called for strengthened unity towards Cordillera autonomy and green recovery. Keynote Speakers were DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu and Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar whose keynote speeches put emphasis on sustainable practices in environmental management and agriculture to sustain the region’s natural resources.


Advocacies and promotional activities

Apart from the highlighted events, several other activities were conducted in celebration of the Cordillera Month.

Every Sunday of the month, various were showcased and sold by Baguio-based micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) along Session Road. The activity allowed MSMEs to promote high quality local products that are truly Cordilleran.

Every Monday of the month, the 3rd International Conference on Cordillera Studies was held. The series was organized and hosted by the University of the Philippines Baguio - Cordillera Studies Center. It provided a venue to discuss timely topics relevant to indigenous communities.

Series of webinars covering topics such as environmental management, ecotourism, agriculture, entrepreneurship, and consumerism among others were also conducted. To be more specific, government agency partners hosted webinars on ornamental bamboos; climate and disaster risk assessment; vertical gardening; aquaponics; green consumerism and sustainable consumption; sustainable tourism and carrying capacity; topics related to the region’s booming weaving industry; rocknetting; and environmental statistics.

Other activities also conducted were those catering to different audiences and the varying interests of Cordillerans.  Among these are a virtual energy investment forum; a nature and wellness assessment; the smart destination forum; a biking activity; a community-based culinary activity; a nutrisong contest; creative pottery-making; and tourism officers meeting.

The limited face-to-face and virtual activities were spearheaded by the Regional Development Council-CAR, itself; Watershed and Water Resources and Development Extension Center; the Department of Energy-LFO; the Department of Tourism-CAR; the Department of Trade and Industry-CAR; the Department of Science and Technology-CAR; the National Nutrition Council-CAR; and the Philippine Information Agency-CAR.


State of the Regional Address

On July 30, the Cordillera Month celebration was culminated with the delivery of the State of the Regional Address.

Forming the panel were chairpersons and members of the different committees of the Regional Development Council-CAR. The 2020 State of Region Address was delivered by RDC-CAR Co-chairperson Philip Tingonong while the 2020 State of Regional Development was delivered by NEDA-CAR’s Assistant Regional Director, ARD Stephanie Christiansen. During the forum session, each committee of the RDC-CAR were given the opportunity to report about their major accomplishments for the previous year, as well as their strategies in addressing challenges affecting their sectors given the pandemic.

The forum was followed by the symbolic turnover of leadership from the Watershed and Environmental Management Committee to the Social Development Committee, and the distribution of tokens to the chairpersons and members of the different committees of the RDC-CAR.

In a virtual retirement ceremony marking the 41 years and 6 months of its Assistant Regional Executive Director for Technical Services’ (ARED-TS) tenure in government service, DENR-CAR sent off For. Augusto Dapig Lagon, CESO IV.
The soft-spoken Forester from Tabuk City, Kalinga was born on August 28, 1956, hence, meriting the name ‘Augusto,’ meaning majestic and venerable. He is married to Glea T. Lagon, also a DENR employee in CENRO Baguio. They are gifted with 4 children.
ARED for Management Services (ARED-MS) Atty. Cleo D. Sabado-Andrada paid homage to her retiring counterpart in the DENR-CAR Regional Office by recognizing his exemplary service and well-thought out ideas that contributed to the excellent performance of the DENR-CAR in the recent years.
“Sir, I'd like you to know that I have so much respect for you and what you do; your wisdom when you speak; and your well-thought out ideas which are very substantial and helpful in attaining our goals, in addressing our issues, or simply in making our work easier,” she confided.
Lagon started his government service in 1979 as an Assistant Instructor at the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) in La Union. Being a true-blue forester, he moved to the Forest Development Bureau as a Forester and rose from the ranks, occupying various key positions first as a Division Chief in 1989, then as a CENR Officer of the then CENRO Wangal, La Trinidad in 1995 and playing a key role as a PENR Officer of PENRO Apayao in the DENR’s transition during the separation of the provinces of Kalinga and Apayao from 1997 until the closing of the 20th Century.
His short stay in Region 8 as an ARED for Operations from August 1- October 10, 2000 marked the halfway mark of his government service and his only stint outside his beloved Cordillera Administrative Region. Carrying his position, he returned to CAR and on March30, 2004, he was promoted to Director III and served as DENR-CAR’s Regional Technical Director for Forest Management Services. He was conferred the Career Executive Service Officer IV rank in 2010 and on January 18, 2015, he held the position of Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services, a position he held on until his retirement.
ARED Lagon received prestigious citations as a DENR Official like the coveted EAGLE award as a CENR Officer in 1995. For 2 consecutive years, he was again a recipient of the Outstanding Performance Award as a CENRO of the DENR in 1996 and 1997. He also received a Certificate of Recognition for his achievements in the DENR consistent to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s State of the Nation Address in 2002. In the following year, he also received a Certificate of Achievement in the implementation of the Forestry Sector Project (FSP) of the DENR. In addition, in 2006, he received the KALSA Award for Public Service from the Benguet State University.
The outgoing DENR-CAR ARED-TS is a product of the Benguet State University’s long list of foresters. He pursued his graduate studies in the University of the Philippines, Los Banos (UPLB) earning him a Master’s Degree in Forestry.
15 other retiring DENR-CAR personnel joined ARED Lagon in the send-off ceremonies. They are: Sylvia M. Kitayan, Elias S. Botangen and Ernesto A. Aguyos of PENRO Benguet; Delfin B. Felipe of PENRO Kalinga; Aurelio O. Moog, Juan Manahan B. Wegiyon and Florencio B. Banggolay of CENRO Paracelis; Magdalena A. Buyogan and Rosita K. Sallidao of PENRO Kalinga; Nena M. Sangdaan, Janet L. Olat, Edgar S. Sallidao, Lolita C. Baggay and Francisco B. Nagoy of CENRO Tabuk and Alberto G. Balnao of CENRO Pinukpuk.
Taking turns in thanking all their comrades for the years of serving the DENR-CAR, the honorees attributed their long tenure in the service in enjoying their work and finding satisfaction in contributing to the improvement of the environment for future generations.
Meanwhile, true to his unassuming character, ARED Lagon thanked his comrades and credited everything to the fulfillment of the will of his Creator.
“It is not about me, it was Divine Guidance that led me to achieve everything. I am nothing,” he noted.
He also thanked all his mentors and expressed his optimism on the younger breed of servants in the DENR. He urged his fellow workers to “look beyond themselves” and to enjoy serving because being in the service is a constant process of learning and adapting.
Regional Executive Director Ralph C. Pablo expressed his admiration to all the retiring personnel and thanked them for their contributions to the department and their dedicated and humble service to the people.
Addressing the outgoing ARED for TS, Pablo credited him for being the “moral barometer” of the DENR-CAR in all its accomplishments.
“You are a constant reminder to all of us, especially to your younger colleagues, of making an impact to the communities through our service. Your devotion to God has always been manifested in the sincerity of your service to the people,” he spoke of Lagon.