Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CAR's Assistant Regional Director for Management Services, Atty. Cleo D. Sabado- Andrada, Director III, is the Class Valedictorian of the Master of National Security Administration Program Regular Class 58 at the National Defense College of the Philippines. She has earned the gold medal for the Academic Excellence Award and an Outstanding Thesis Distinction.
Sabado-Andrada's Master thesis, entitled "The National Greening Program on the Identified End Local Communists Armed Conflict (ELCAC) Barangays in Abra: Status and Directions," showed the impact of the implementation of DENR's flagship reforestation program in areas formerly controlled or affected by communist insurgents.
"I was driven by both a contemporary and cultural sense of service. In completing my master's thesis, I felt a sense of accomplishment, personal and professional. I was relieved and proud to learn that the DENR-CAR has made a meaningful environmental and socio-economic impact on ELCAC areas. At the same time, I was relieved to have finished a substantial thesis that I can use to make informed plans and decisions in my organization," she said.
In finishing the MNSA program, Andrada did not only earn a graduate degree. She will also become a reservist of the Philippine Army, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). She will also obtain a Career Executive Service Eligibility (CESE), leading to a Career Executive Service Officer rank, after complying with the requirements set under Executive Order No. 145 and its implementing guidelines, CESB Resolution No. 1639.
"Now, I graduated as an officer with greater knowledge and a new skill set to serve me well as a leader. The Defense College has sharpened my mind and strengthened my physique, which is vital for the responsibilities of leading, be it in an organization, in the Armed Forces, in the DENR, and my community," Andrada expressed while highlighting that she was lucky to have experienced the prestige of being admitted in the college.
Other MNSA Regular Class 58 graduates from DENR's attached agencies are Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) Executive Director, Atty. Teodoro Jose Matta; and Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Aaron Andrew Ching from the National Mapping and Resource Information Agency (NAMRIA).
Matta earned the Leadership Award and an Outstanding Thesis Distinction for his "A Policy Framework Approach in Foreign Espionage and Covert Action " thesis. He was this batch's Class President. On the other hand, Ching earned the Gold Medal for Best Thesis for his study entitled "The Philippines at the Maritime Crossroads: An Analysis of the Options for Archipelagic Sea Lanes."
Regular Class 58 is composed of 67 graduates. Of these, 46 are from the AFP (26 from the Philippine Army, nine from the Philippine Air Force, eight from the Philippine Navy, and three from the Technical Staff); 10 are civilians from the government sector; three other civilians are from the private sector; and eight are international students from Bangladesh, Brunei, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Thailand.
The MNSA program is a graduate-level program that covers a spectrum of formulation, implementation, and evaluation of policies and programs in the specialized field of national security administration.
The NDCP is a prime defense college in the Philippines to prepare and hone potential national defense leaders, public officials from the different branches of the government, and select executives from the private sector in national security policy formulation and implementation; high command and staff duty; and the conduct of strategic and international studies as basis for national policies.
Its motto, "Where Admission is an Honor," speaks of the rigid selection of candidates for admission, which requires them to undergo a series of written, oral, and medical examinations, interviews, and screenings, making sure that the graduates become efficient and effective leaders capable of making an impact in the society.

Building climate resilient and adaptive communities should be on top of our agenda. This, Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CAR Regional Executive Director, Engr. Ralph Pablo reiterated during the Regional Management Conference of the Department as he echoed President Ferdinand Marcos’ call for preservation of life through environmental protection.

Pablo recently iterated the need to accelerate climate action and strengthen disaster resiliency in the Cordilleras, especially this monsoon season.
“Climate change is everyone’s concern, so climate action should be everyone’s business”, he said emphasizing that this could be made possible by starting with behavioral change among people.
The goal to build climate-resilient and adaptive communities, he said, should be translated into policies, processing and technical capacities of the people.
He, therefore, called for multi-stakeholder engagement for science-based and evidence-informed environment and natural resources governance.
The DENR, in collaboration with the Department of Interior and Local Governance and the Local Government Units in the Cordilleras, shall carry out Project TRANSFORM which stands for Transdisciplinary Approach for Resilient and Sustainable Communities which seeks to provide technical and financial assistance for ecosystem conservation and protection and development of resource-based enterprises enhancing community resilience. The project, although initially launched among LGUs, is eyed to be replicated for a whole-of-government and whole-of-society partnership for environment and natural resources management, climate and disaster resilience, and socio-economic development.
According to the Regional Executive Director, climate action should be holistic.
He, therefore, emphasized the need to advance integrated water resources management by collaborating with all agencies with water-related functions. At the national level, a Water resources Management Office was already created through Executive Order No. 22 in the DENR to be primarily responsible in the management of water resources in the country.
The DENR regional offices are then tasked to look closely in the increasing demand for water, impacts of climate change to the water sector, the lack of infrastructure or engineering interventions, and even related and/or inconsistent government regulations concerning water.
The Director also advocated for better protected area management to protect and conserve the region’s rich biodiversity. In the Cordilleras, the DENR-CAR is lobbying for the establishment of additional protected areas namely the Upper Amburayan Watershed Protected Landscape, the Tineg Forest Protected Landscape, and the Pasil Protected Landscape.
In employing innovative science and technology in environmental and natural resource management, Pablo again called for better knowledge management through a regional natural resources geospatial database. With these, he said the DENR can better and confidently contribute to the National Economic Development Authority’s Natural Capital Accounting Program which seeks to identify, account for, and put value to the region’s environment, natural resource, services and all benefits derived therefrom.
In enhancing waste management and promoting circular economy, Pablo hoped that the Republic Ac No. 11898 otherwise known as the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act of 2022 could be properly implemented in the region, as the DENR-CAR and its Environmental Management Bureau-CAR continue to ensure the implementation of Republic Act No. 9003.
The Director also reminded the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-CAR to continue promoting for responsible mining, be it among the large scale mining companies or small-scale mining communities.

He noted that mining activities should be allowed within the context of goals for inclusive, resilient, and sustainable development. The destructive aspect of it should, therefore, be minimized.

“Start small, do something for the environment, and create a multiplier effect”. This was the message of Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CAR Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services, Engr. Benjamin Ventura during the 10th Philippine I Transform! Young Leaders Convention held in Baguio City recently.

Speaking under the theme “A Decade of Action: Championing Sustainable Communities”, Ventura introduced the Priority Thrusts and Directions of the DENR under the leadership of Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga. These are adopting a climate risk lens in national planning; increasing forest cover; conserving protected areas and biodiversity resources; improving air and water quality and waste management; ensuring water security and resilience in water-stressed areas; sustainably managing mineral resources; and managing lands.
According to Ventura, all these are aimed towards achieving the Sustainable Development Agenda for 2030, especially Goal 6 which focuses on Clean Water and Sanitation; Goal 11-Sustainable Cities and Communities; Goal 12-Responsible Consumption and Production; Goal 13-Climate Action; Goal 14-Life Below Water; and Goal 7-Partnership for the Goals.
The Assistant Regional Director encouraged the youth participants to take action for the environment, either in their own ways or by participating in environmental programs, projects and activities.
He emphasized that the role of the youth cannot be discounted considering that they make up a huge part of the present population who are affected by the impacts of climate and environmental crises.
On a personal level, he said the youth should be informed and educated by learning more about climate science and climate change. Based on that, the youth should build knowledge and skills so they can influence others through various means and platforms. He also added that before the youth should be a person of influence, they should start among themselves by reducing their personal impact.
At the community level, he encouraged the youth to spread the word and be advocates for climate action within organizations and communities. He told them to start exploring and working within existing structures and exercise their rights to engage. This may be done by joining local, national, or global movements.

He motivated the participants stressing that with youth participation and collective action, more could be achieved.

Environmental conservation and protection efforts should be community-based or grassroots-focused. This, Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CAR Regional Executive Director, Engr. Ralph Pablo said during the first-ever Provincial Environmental Summit in Apayao held recently.

Talking about the theme, “yApayaos of the 21st Century: Balancing Progress, Nature, Culture and Human Well-being in a Changing World” the Regional Executive Director recognized and highlighted the importance of sustaining indigenous knowledge, systems and practices (IKSPs) in environmental management and involving people at the grassroots level.
“In all our diversity, we, living in indigenous cultural communities, never forgot the basic principle that our environment should be at the heart of our economies and societies rapidly growing. Our ancestors have lived centuries of direct interaction with nature, and they passed on to us the belief of the oneness of life. We grew up recognizing that humanity is part of nature, not apart from, neither above it,” he said.
He noted, however, that while IKSPs or customary legal systems are effective systems of environmental management, lands of indigenous peoples and indigenous cultural communities are not safe from degradation as they continue to be threatened by agriculture, land conversion, infrastructure development, extractive industries as a result of rapid urbanization of communities.
To deliver on environmental goals, especially the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030, and to prevent the worsening climate crisis, Pablo made a few points such as going back to the basic but holistic approaches in environmental management. This way, he said people in different communities will be involved while conserving the IKSPs which are an essential part of culture and identity.
He also put emphasis on putting a value on the rights of indigenous peoples and all other vulnerable sectors in the communities, such as the elders, women, children, and persons with disabilities.
“In carrying out environmental policies, programs, projects, and activities, there must be mechanisms that recognize their rights. Consequently, we can come up with appropriate grievance redress or stakeholder management platforms and mechanisms,” Pablo noted.
Apart from these, he asked various stakeholders in society to guide each other in reshaping value towards nature, recognizing that each one or each sector has something to contribute that would help address environmental and climate crises.
“Let us point out the strengths and weaknesses of each other in our actions towards nature. Let us fix our mistakes. Let us integrate our actions into blueprints or frameworks. Let us mobilize ourselves as one. Let this be the beginning of a more inclusive, participatory environmental governance”, he closed.
The first Provincial Environmental Summit in Apayao was led by the Provincial Government of Apayao, in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CAR, Provincial ENR Office Apayao, and the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners – Northern Luzon (PIEP-NIL) Apayao.

The activity brought together policymakers, planners, experts, representatives from government agencies, the private sector, and indigenous cultural communities to talk about timely and relevant issues about the environment and climate.

Ang Kagawaran ng Kapaligiran at Likas na Yaman ng Cordillera Administrative Region, ay nagkaroon ng seremonya ng pagbibigay ng parangal para sa mga empleyado nito na nagsipagtapos sa kanilang ENR Frontline Course.

Dalawampu't-walong (28) empleyado ng DENR-CAR ang nagsipagtapos sa nasabing pagsasanay. Ang grupo at pinangalanang Batch 109-Maka-kalikasan.
Si Bb. Camille O. Bangilan na mula sa probinsya ng Mt. Province ang hinirang na class valedictorian sa kanyang pagtamo ng pinakamataas na grado. Siya ay may grado na 86.16%. Pumangalawa naman si G. Michael M. Balusdan, mula sa Benguet, na may gradong 85.93%. Pumangatlo naman si Bb. Millicent C. Cabanilla, mula sa Abra, na may gradong 84.34 %.
Sa kanyang inspirasyonal na mensahe, sinabi ni Regional Excutive Director, Engr. Ralph C. Pablo na kailangan magtulungan upang magkaroon nang maayos na pag-sasama sa trabaho at para sa maayos na takbo ng Kagawaran.
“This is not just an end, but a new beginning – the beginning of a journey where you will embraced the call of service to our environment. The knowledge you have acquired, the experience you have gained, and the bonds you have formed during this course will serve as a solid foundation for your future endeavor,” payo rin ni OIC-Assistant Regional Executive Director ng Management Services na si Atty. Mark E. Bias na

Iminungkahi naman ni OIC-Assistant Regional Executive Director ng Technical Services na si Engr. Benjamin A. Ventura, na balikan ang mga talaan at alalahanin ang mga leksyon na kanilang natutunan upang hindi mahirapan sa mga susunod na trabaho.