Regional Releases

About a hundred people representing various stakeholder groups in Boracay attended the 3-day action planning workshop on solid waste management organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) at Boracay Tropics Hotel in Boracay Island, Aklan.

“It is important that the people of Boracay Island know the problems being faced by the island in terms of solid waste, as they are also the one to identify and implement the possible solutions to the problem because it is their community. The government is just here to guide and provide them with technical assistance,” said Valentin P. Talabero, DENR- Aklan’s Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer.

Among the activities undertaken during the workshop include the identification of existing problems on solid waste management and brainstormed on the immediate as well as on long term solutions.

The workshop was capped with series of Focus Group Discussions with the three barangay councils of Yapak, Bulabog and Manoc-manoc, including some residents, on how to go about implementing their respective Action Plans. They are set to present their respective action plans before the local government of Malay for financial support.

The workshop was organized by the DENR’s Tayo ang Kalikasan, a task force created to undertake social mobilization campaigns under the Program for Environment and Natural Resources Restoration, Rehabilitation, and Development (PRRD). ###


Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has vowed to strengthen the field offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with additional manpower, even as he instructed all Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) nationwide to strictly enforce environmental laws.

Cimatu made the statement during his visit to CENRO Sanchez Mira, Cagayan province on Sunday, Oct. 28.

“You are the frontline in the implementation of environment and natural resources programs, and in the enforcement of environmental laws,” he told the officials and employees of DENR Region 2, adding that he had “high regard” for CENROs in solving environmental problems in the country.

According to DENR chief, he will continue to work for the strengthening of the CENROs by increasing the number of personnel who will enforce and monitor compliance with the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, the top priority programs of the DENR under his watch.

In 2017, the DENR had hired lawyers who were deployed in every CENRO and implementing PENROs.

This year, the Environmental Management Bureau and Mines and Geosciences Bureau, both are line agencies under the DENR, have assigned environmental management officers, geologists and mining engineers at the DENR field offices.

The DENR Secretary has also reiterated his marching order to ensure that all rivers should be clean. “If the river is dirty, the CENR officer is not doing his job. You should mobilize the community to ensure the cleanliness of our rivers,” Cimatu told the CENR officers.

He praised Region 2 for having clean rivers and for its compliance with environmental laws.

The field officials were also instructed to work closely with local chief executives in putting up sanitary landfills as he ordered that dump sites should never be allowed.

Cimatu stressed that forest protection should be intensified by preventing trees from being cut. He also announced his plan to recruit “environmental cadets” who will become assistant CENR officers. “Qualified personnel should pass the entrance examination and will undergo training at the ENR Academy in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija,” he said.

Still along this line, the DENR has embarked this year on a comprehensive training program to hone the executive leadership and administrative competencies of DENR’s frontline officers, called the “Environment and Natural Resources Learning Program” or ELP.

The ELP offers three modules consisting of ENR Management Course, ENR Leadership Course, and ENR Frontline Course.

So far, a total of 113 DENR frontline officers and personnel have undergone the ELP. Of these, 12 PENROS, 22 CENROS and three directors have completed the Environmental Management Course while 76 frontline personnel, consisting mostly of administrative and field rank-and-file workers completed the ENR Frontline Course.

The ELP draws it origin from the “UP Program for Environmental Governance” (UPPEG), an environmental governance program the DENR launched with the University of the Philippines in 2016.

Some 11 PENROs and 17 CENROs, including two senior foresters, finished UPPEG’s six-module program consisting of policy formulation and analysis, transformational leadership, conflict resolution, effective communication skills, resource mobilization for business development and networking, environmental management planning, and managing environmental risks and resiliency. ###

The regional office of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Iloilo City welcomed its new regional director “wholeheartedly”, assuring him of full support by the DENR family.

“We welcome RD (Roger) De Dios wholeheartedly in our region and will assure him that we will be with him through his journey here in Western Visayas. We are grateful that he will be sharing his expertise to make our region more responsive to mining concerns,” DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Jim O Sampulna said.

For his part, the new MGB chief said expressed his happiness to be assigned in Iloilo, as he feels “at home” because he understands the Ilongo dialect. De Dios hails from the neighboring province of Cebu.

During the turnover ceremony, De Dios immediately laid down his style of managing people. “I will never scold somebody because for me, we are all professionals. Few words are enough to let you realize when you make a mistake or you need to improve.”

He added that being in the government service for more than 35 years, he realized that “sometimes we cannot appease everyone. But we should serve the public properly.”

De Dios graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree of Mining Engineering from Cebu Institute of Technology. Prior to his new post, he was the regional director of MGB in Region 13 since 2012.

On hand to witness the turnover ceremony were DENR Assistant Secretary for Mining Concerns Nonita S. Caguioa, MGB Acting Assistant Director Atty. Danilo U. Uykieng and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) 6 Regional Director Sophie T. Manuel. ###

The provincial office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Antique has donated some 650 board feet of confiscated lumber to repair the dilapidated running boards of Inabasan bridge in San Jose, Antique.

The DENR made the donation to add to the community’s lumber stock, which they have harvested from their own planted trees. Antique DENR–PENR Officer Andres T. Untal said however that the community lumber products were not enough to cover the wood requirements for the bridge’s running boards, prompting the DENR’s field office to provide additional lumber sourced from the confiscations of CENRO Belison.

DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Jim O Sampulna lauded the effort of the field offices in responding to the people’s cry for help.

Inabasan Bridge connects Barangay Inabasan to the town proper of San Jose, and the towns of Sibalom and Hamtic. ### 

Rivers are the lifeblood of the Earth and of the human civilization. They act as drainage channels of surface waters, and carry water and nutrients through great distances. Rivers also serve as habitat and provide food to many organisms.

In the Philippines, there are 18 major river basins and 421 principal rivers. As of 2017, (337) of the total number of classified principal and small rivers are under Class C was put at 337. Class C means that the water is intended for fishery where propagation and growth of fish and other aquatic resources is feasible.

Due to threats from agricultural, domestic, industrial, negligence and mistreatment of the people to our rivers, only a few are considered healthy and sustainable.

Thus, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) launched the “Recognizing Individuals/Institutions towards Vibrant and Enhanced Rivers (R.I.V.E.R.S.) for Life Award” in July this year, which aims to raise awareness of the need to protect and conserve the rivers in the country.

The award was conceived to recognize the efforts of DENR’s field officials in implementing and enforcing environmental laws and other initiatives to protect rivers from pollution and other threats.

In order for a river to be considered in R.I.V.E.R.S for Life award, it should meet the following criteria: Aesthetic and Water Quality Improvement, Solid Waste Management, Partnership and Community Mobilization, Information and Education Campaign (IEC) and other activities interventions and innovations.

The contest is open to all incumbent Supervising and Implementing DENR’s provincial offices, together with their respective Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs). The period of participation is for one year (July-May) and every year thereafter.

“This award is an inspiration to not only the people working towards the betterment of our rivers but also to inspire the public that rivers should be protected and conserved. We should have concerted efforts in order to assure their sustainability and bring back their true purpose,” said DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Jim O Sampulna.

The awarding of winners will be announced on June 10, 2019 during the DENR’s Anniversary Celebration. ###