Press Releases

Regional, bureau and field officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CAR gathered for its Regional Management Conference to discuss its accomplishments for the past semester and plan for the implementation of its programs, projects and activities for the remaining semester.

Regional Executive Director, Engr. Ralph Pablo stressed the need to manage both internal and external affairs efficiently and effectively to ensure smooth and impactful implementation of its programs, projects activities in the Cordilleran communities.
He told field officials to be vigilant in protecting the remaining forests of the Cordilleras as they remain among the most valuable resources in the region, which is known as the Watershed Cradle of the North.
The Director noted that forests should remain intact while they are augmented and nurtured through the continuing implementation of the National Greening Program. He told field implementors to make sure small-water impounding systems are functional to serve as a water reserve for dry seasons.
To ensure sustainability, the arboretums established within field offices’ vicinities shall be properly maintained and enhanced, if need be, for continuous seedling production. Such shall serve as a source of seedlings and saplings for tree planting activities led by the DENR and other partner stakeholders.
The existing Forest Product Monitoring Stations and Checkpoints, he said, should always be manned by the forest protection officers and forest guards, in coordination with the Philippine National Police’s enforcement officers. Said enforcement officers are expected to be stiff and fair in enforcing forestry laws so as to ensure safeguard of the environment and natural resources in communities by preventing or repelling illegal forest activities.
For improved monitoring and enforcement of forestry laws, he suggested that the use of drones be maximized by LAWIN patrollers as they can be used for remote surveillance while providing a safe, efficient and cost-effective ways to monitor areas. He noted the advantages of using such in real-time visual data collection, and long range of operation and the ability to reach remote locations. It may be used to collect evidence, track perpetrators of or conduct of illegal activities, and to perform search and rescue operations.
On land disposition, while the DENR-CAR continues to innovate on ways to bring its land titling services to the people, Pablo instructed the officials to lead the assessment, cleansing and reconciliation of land-related data and records to provide better and easier access to the public.
He instructed the field officials to conduct an inventory of all government lands in their areas of jurisdiction to map out which ones are not yet titled, or are in conflict. Such, he said, should be titled in favor of the government for public use and purpose.
Speaking of knowledge management, Pablo highlighted the need to embrace the use of geospatial data in planning, project implementation, and monitoring. These data shall serve as reference for all levels of policy and decision-making.

In other matters, the Director demanded for a hands on implementation of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Project of the Department of Labor and Employment. Under which, the DENR-CAR committed to providing short-term employment opportunities under its NGP and river protection initiatives.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CAR is looking at contributing its expertise in government administration for better knowledge management in local governance.

This, as the DENR-CAR, through its Regional Executive Director, Engr. Ralph Pablo, inked a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Interior and Local Government-CAR, and other partner institutions from the executive department, academic institutions, and non-government organizations for the creation of the Multi-Stakeholders Advisory Council (MSAC) and the operationalization of the Local Government Regional Resources Center (LGRRC).

The LGRRC is a dynamic and interactive convergence platform that contributes to building a Knowledge-Centric Organization (KCO) and builds learning communities that pursue excellence in local governance through knowledge sharing, management and innovation. The key principles of the LGRRC are knowledge management; multi-stakeholder participation in the sense that there is no monopoly of knowledge, hence should be shared to promote efficiency, effectiveness and learning; and convergence in local governance through harmonization of initiatives in local governance.

The DENR-CAR, as a member of the MSAC shall focus on human resource management, organizational development and local administrative development. The Department, along with the DILG-CAR, the Department of Budget and Management, the Civil Service Commission-CAR, the Department of Labor and Employment-CAR, and the Anti-Red Tape Act Northern Luzon shall address the issues pertaining to the creation of Local Government Unit positions.

In 2022, the DENR-CAR was awarded bronze medal by the Civil Service Commission-CAR for its excellence in human resource management under the Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management (PRIME-HRM). It goes to show that the DENR-CAR’s standards in human resource management are aligned with global standards of good people management practices.

Other members to the MSAC are the Bureau of Fire Protection-CAR; Bureau of Local Government Finance-CAR; Commission on Higher Education-CAR; Department of Education-CAR; Department of Information and Communications Technology-CAR; Department of Health-CAR; Department of Science and Technology-CAR; Department of Tourism-CAR; Department of Transportation-CAR; Department of Public Works and Highways-CAR; Department of Social Welfare and Development-CAR; Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development-CAR; Department of Trade and Industry-CAR; National Police Commission-CAR; Philippine National Police-CAR; National Commission on Indigenous Peoples-CAR; National Economic Development Authority-CAR; National Youth Commission-CAR and Region 1; Office of the Civil Defense-CAR; Philippine Information Agency-CAR; Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Inc.; Professional Regulations Commission-CAR; Philippine Statistics Authority-CAR; Technical Education and Skills Development Authority-CAR; Commission on Population Development-CAR; Cordillera Career Development College; Council for the Restoration of Filipino Values-CAR; and the People’s Organization for Social Transformation Development Network, Inc.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CAR is set to carry out the Tulong Pang-hanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Program of the Department of Labor and Employment.

TUPAD is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers, for a period of 10 to 30 days.

Among its components are social community projects, economic community projects, and agro-forestry community projects, hence, the partnership entered by the DENR and DOLE Central Offices.

In the Cordilleras, a cleanup drive and seed production activities with a budget of almost P12,000,000 will be implemented. Of this, P109,538 will be spent for the cleanup of the Ibulao River, Bued River, and Gibraltar Creek. The remaining P11,793,354 will fund seedling production and reforestation activities in all provinces of CAR. The funds shall cover the wages of beneficiaries to be hired as laborers, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), insurance premiums, and administrative costs.

The DOLE has set out criteria for the selection of beneficiaries to be hired under the program who are displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers.

The activities under TUPAD will be carried out this month of August until September.

Environmental education is to be augmented by exposure in forest libraries.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CAR and the Department of Education-CAR have inked a Memorandum of Agreement for the establishment of a forest library at Conner Elementary School at Malama, Conner, Apayao.
Under the MOA, the DENR-CAR commits to extending technical assistance in the identification and delineation of site within the school to be used as a forest park, forest library or arboretum. It shall also provide assistance in the preparation of such for it to be ready for site development. The seedlings and saplings to be planted and nurtured in these areas will be provided by the DENR-CAR through its field office, the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office Conner. For assured site maintenance, DENR personnel will educate and train teachers, learners, and even parents on nursery operation, plantation establishment, site monitoring and maintenance.
For its part, the DepEd undertakes to allot a portion of the school campus for a forest library, forest park, or arboretum. It will put up eco-walkways, and facilities such as benches, tables, picnic areas, and resting places. The education component shall be through the putting up of kiosks, supplemented by traditional information and education materials.
The initiative is eyed to be replicated in all other schools in Apayao, and eventually, to be adopted by all other provinces in the Cordilleras.
“With the establishment of forest parks, forest library, and/or arboretum in schools, we believe that we can provide an array of ecological services and opportunities, both for education and recreation,” DENR-CAR Regional Executive Director, Engr. Ralph Pablo said.
“First, this will help us in our efforts to re-green areas in our communities. Second, this will help us provide an alternative mode of environmental education where traditional learning is supplemented by environmental activities such as seedling propagation, tree planting and nurturing activities, and ecological immersion that teach certain skills. Third, learners get to experience the joy of having something to contribute in protecting, conserving, and managing nature”, he added emphasizing that as learners see the trees they planted grow, they will better take pride in protecting the environment.

The MOA was entered into by Pablo and DepEd Regional Director Estela Leon-Cariño, and was witnessed by Apayao Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Rainier Balbuena and Conner Community ENR Officer Crizzane Yturzaeta.

A river watershed management council is finally created for the Bued River watershed.

The Bued River Watershed Management Council shall be the primary multistakeholder governing body which shall carry out the objectives of managing and protecting the Bued River watershed.
The Council shall be chaired by the Regional Executive Director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Region 1 and co-chaired by the Provincial Governor of Pangasinan and the Regional Director of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)-Region 1, them having a larger jurisdiction of the watershed.
The DENR-CAR and the Provincial Governments of Benguet and La Union having shared jurisdiction over the watershed, shall be core members of the council along with other regional line agencies. These include the NEDA-CAR, the Department of Public Works and Highways; Department of Agriculture; Department of Agrarian Reform; National Irrigation Authority; National Commission on Indigenous Peoples; Office of the Civil Defense; Philippine Information Agency; Philippine National Police; Environmental Management Bureau; Mines and Geosciences Bureau; Department of Science and Technology; Department of Tourism; Department of Energy; Department of Education; Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development; and the Watershed and Water Resources Research and Development Extension Center from the Cordillera Administrative Region and Region 1.
Other members to the council are the University of the Cordilleras; Zero Waste Baguio; Pangasinan State University – Urdaneta; Pozorrubio Water District; Rosario Water District; Manaoag Water District.
The Council is tasked to create Watershed Management Planning Team (WMPT) which shall prepare an Integrated Watershed Management Plan which shall lay down protection, restoration and rehabilitation efforts; water quality monitoring guidelines; and the delineation of buffer zones. Such Plan shall be reviewed and approved by the Council, before it shall be presented for adoption by the Regional Development Council of CAR and Region 1.
Primarily, the Council shall participate in the formulation of policies that support inter-agency coordination, collaboration, cooperation, convergence and harmonization of natural resources benefits and cost sharing, as well as resources planning and program implementation.
The members shall also review existing policies related to the watershed, with respect to their areas of concern or jurisdiction, and recommend appropriate revisions or amendments, if necessary.
The members shall join periodic monitoring of activities, or whenever needed. This, to ensure enforcement of environment and natural resources laws, rules and regulations, and other laws.
In case of conflict within the watershed, the Council shall facilitate its resolution, in coordination with concerned stakeholders.
To promote and establish awareness on watershed management and resource use, it shall initiate and participate in information, education, communication campaign and events.
For efficient and effective operations of the Council, it shall formulate internal rules, regulations and guidelines as to its conduct and develop a Manual of Operations.
DENR-CAR Regional Executive Ralph Pablo emphasized the need for collaboration of council members from both regions, and not as separate councils to ensure holistic management and use of natural resources of the Bued river watershed.

“We need to work together for the issues in the watershed is not only a battle of one agency, but rather, concerns each and every one of us… Whenever we plan for programs and projects, we adopt the ridge-to-reef approach. This put emphasis on the fact that whatever we do up here, affects the people down there,” he said.