In Our Region

Region 4-A

Taal Volcano PAMB still to decide on signage, says Tamoria 



DENR-CALABARZON Regional Executive Director Nilo Tamoria said that the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape is yet to decide on the proposed Hollywood type of signage that will be put up on Taal Volcano Island.

This, even as he clarified that the proposal was not the word, Batangas, but the favorite expression of Batanguenos, Ala eh, that would be spelled out in the signage.

Tamoria, who is also the PAMB chairman, issued the statement following the diverse public reaction generated by the proposal which is similar to the iconic Hollywood sign planted atop a mountain in Los Angeles, California.

“The proposal is to use fish cages, and not concrete materials, to form the words “Ala eh!” on the lake waters near the island, and which will be visible from the Tagaytay ridge,” said Tamoria.  He, however, clarified that the proposal has yet to be discussed by the PAMB en banc.

According to Tamoria, the project was proposed by the Taal Lake Aquaculture Alliance during a recent PAMB Executive Committee meeting graced by Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto.  “Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto graced the past EXECOM meeting and was indeed ecstatic about the idea since it will give a Batangueno identity to the place, but she did not insist on putting up the signage immediately,” Tamoria stressed. 

The proposal was endorsed to the Fishery Sub-Committee for further study.  After which, it will be submitted to the Board’s executive committee for further review before it will be deliberated by the PAMB en banc. 



DENR-NCR creates seed committee to ensure quality seedlings 



A regional forest tree seed committee was recently created in the office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-National Capital Region (DENR-NCR) to ensure the production of quality seedlings for the National Greening Program (NGP).

DENR-NCR Executive Director Laureano Lingan, Jr. said the creation of the committee is imperative as the quality of seedlings play a vital role in the success of the NGP.  

“Secretary Paje demands a survival rate not lower than 80 percent.  This in essence requires, among others, quality seedling stocks to be planted, and which can be achieved if the production, procurement and sourcing of seeds and seedlings are carried out in accordance with standards,” Lingan said.

Headed by DENR-NCR Technical Director for Research Perfecta Hinojosa, the seed committee, created under DENR-NCR Special Order No. 394, is primarily tasked to do the following duties and functions:

  1. To assess and verify seed source;
  2. To collect and handle seeds and planting materials;
  3. To facilitate the accreditation of government/local government unit and private seed production areas, seedling seed orchards, seed source and forest nurseries; and
  4. To train extension workers, LGU staff and other personnel of the regional office.

Aside from DENR personnel, Lingan has included in the committee some representatives from the private sector and from the Quezon City local government, specifically from the Parks Development and Administration Office.

Lingan also said that for 2011, his office has targeted to plant some 350 hectares within the metropolis.  “Unlike in other regions, the DENR-NCR will be responsible for the implementation of urban forestry as our contribution to the greening program,” he explained.

According to him, among the areas targeted for planting by the regional office include greenbelts, parks and other open spaces.  

In a related development, the DENR-NCR has mobilized students from Don Bosco High School in Manila, Batasan National High School in Quezon City, and the University of Sto. Tomas-Chemical Engineering Department in planting indigenous forest species at the La Mesa Watershed last Oct. 7.

Eduardo Labugin, DENR-NCR’s assistant coordinator for the NGP, said the move to engage students in tree planting activities is pursuant to Executive Order No. 26 requiring students to plant 10 seedlings a year.  Aside from students, all government employees are likewise mandated to plant the same number of seedlings annually.

Labugin underscored the importance of trees in reducing air pollution in Metro Manila, saying that a mature leafy tree can produce as much as oxygen needed by 10 people in a year.  He also stressed that trees lock away carbon dioxide, describing a forest as a “large carbon storage area.”


Region 1

DENR-Region 1 monitors wetlands, opens cloning facility in Pangasinan


R1_Clonal-webThe regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in La Union is closely monitoring 19 critical wetlands in the region in the wake reports of a “possible major resurgence” of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1).

Likewise, the office inaugurated its first clonal facility in Mangatarem, Pangasina intended to produce and propagate quality seedlings for the National Greening Program.

Regional Executive Director Samuel Peñafiel issued the directive as the wetlands are part of the flyway frequented by migratory birds from nearby countries like Malaysia, Singapore, China and Taiwan.  

“With the onset of cold season in our neighbor countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, China and Taiwan, we expect migratory birds coming in, and feed in our wetland areas,” Peñafiel said.   Migratory birds are suspected to carry the flu virus, according to him.  

Region 1 Technical Director for Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Service (PAWCZMS) said the critical wetlands in the region which are being closely monitored are situated in Pagudpud and Paoay in Ilocos Norte; Caoayan, Bantay and Suyo in Ilocos Sur; Sto. Tomas in La Union; Binmaley, Natividad, San Manuel, Bolinao and Alaminos City in Pangasinan.

Report on the Asian Waterfowl Census held early this year indicated that a total of 51 waterbird species was observed in the region’s wetland sites.  Among these were egrets (little, intermediate, great and cattle egret), herons (purple, grey, great-billed rufous night and little green heron), bittern, redshrank, greenshrank, wood sand piper, Philippine duck, wandering whistling duck, tufled duck, black-winged stilt, Pacific golden plover, shirebirds, kingfishers, brahminy kite, wagtail and grey-tailed tattler.

Meanwhile, the DENR regional office recently inaugurated its first clonal facility in Mangatarem, Pangasinan.

RED Penafiel said the facility is intended to produce and propagate quality planting stocks for the National Greening Program through cloning.  The facility includes a greenhouse, a seed storage laboratory, a bunkhouse and a hedge garden, according to him.

Cloning is a process by which a seedling is reproduced from a bulb or cutting to ensure it is genetically identical to the mother tree.  

Relative to this, Penafiel said that only the best quality indigenous species in the region shall be used for cloning, to include apitong, yakal and kamagong.

As of press time, DENR-Region 1 has planted some 5,000 hectares of upland areas with forest tree species and fruit-bearing trees under the NGP. 


Region 2

Land patents distributed in Sta. Praxedes, Cagayan 


A total of 50 residential patents were distributed in Sta. Praxedes, Cagayan, highlighting the annual State of the Municipality Address (Ulat sa Bayan) by Mayor Esterlina Aguinaldo last Sept. 2 at the municipal hall.

Region 2 Technical Director for Lands Gil Aromin said the free patents brought new hopes to 50 families in Brgys. Poblacion, Portabaga and District 2 in said municipality.  “Ownership to the land they have been occupying for decades has always been the dream of the 50 families. That dream is now a reality,” Aromin said. 
Aromin attended the Ulat sa Bayan, an annual event of the local government to inform the local populace the accomplishments of the local chief executive.  The event also serves as an avenue for other government agencies in the area like the DENR to present their programs and seek public participation and support.
During the event, Mayor Aguinaldo acknowledged the full support extended by various government agencies to her constituents, particularly the DENR in working for the issuance of land titles to deserving residents.
In turn, Aromin, who assisted the mayor in distributing the free patents, urged the community members to support the National Greening Program, a major program thrust of the Aquino administration to enhance rural development.


Region 12

DENR releases 229 hatchlings of marine turtles in Sarangani 


marine_turtles-webThe continuing efforts of the government to engage local communities in wildlife conservation is paying off in Sarangani province with the release of more than 200 marine turtle hatchlings in its coastal waters.

In a report to DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer for Sarangani Eduardo Saladero said that a total of 133 hatchlings of Hawksbill marine turtle or pawikan were released on August 2, 2011 in Isla Jardin del Mar, Gumasa, a coastal area in Glan town.

The release was participated in by Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) Elvira Lumayag and Forester Felix Robles, also of DENR; Brgy. Gumasa  Chairman Veronico Morales and other municipal officials of Glan, resort owners and local communities.

Prior to this, some 96 hatchlings of Olive Ridley marine turtles were also released on August 1, 2011 at Sitio Bialong, Poblacion, Kiamba, also a coastal town of Sarangani Province.

CENRO Wahid Amella based in Kiamba reported that the hatchlings were from a hundred eggs found in a nest at the coastline, of which three eggs were unfertilized and one hatchling died.
The release was witnessed by local officials of Kiamba, community residents and other officials of DENR-CENRO Kiamba.

In view of their invaluable assistance in providing information regarding the marine turtles, four local residents were given recognition by the DENR, namely, Dave, Arip and Eugene, all surnamed Malangca, of Brgy. Gumasa, Glan; and Joel Cado, Jr. of Poblacion, Kiamba.

Marine turtles, locally known as pawikan, are protected by various international treaties and agreements, including local laws such as Republic Act No. 9147, otherwise known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.


Region 6




A hectare of land surrounding the Bulabog Putian National Park (BPNP) in Brgy. Moroboro, Dingle in Iloilo became greener again with the planting of 500 kubi seedlings by some 90 participants from the Community Environment and Natural Office-Barotac Nuevo, Dingle local government and non-government organization Kabalikat Civic Society.  The tree planting activity was conducted pursuant to the National Greening Program launched by President Aquino which seeks to rehabilitate the country’s denuded upland areas while promoting food security through the integration of agroforestry species as reforestation crops 



Region 8

DENR intensifies campaign for Puerto Princesa Underground River in Eastern Visayas 


R8_PPUR_Campaign-webThe regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Tacloban City, along with other concerned government agencies, has intensified its campaign for the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) to be included as one of the world’s seven wonders of nature in Eastern Visayas region.

DENR-Region 8 Executive Director Rogelio T. Trinidad exhorts all internet users and mobile phone subscribers in the region, including those abroad, to vote by texting PPUR15 and send to 2861 for all globe, smart and sun cellular subscribers.  

According to Trinidad, voting by phone can be made every day until November 10 this year.  As for internet users, he asked them to log on to to vote by email.

“As a matter of national pride and patriotism we should all support the campaign to ensure that PPUR is proclaimed as one of the new seven wonders of nature” Trinidad said.

President Benigno S. Aquino III issued Presidential Proclamation No. 182 on June 3, 2011, declaring a national and international promotion campaign for the PPUR as one of the new seven wonders of nature.

As the national campaign manager, DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje has rallied all employees and clientele of the DENR throughout the country to vote for PPUR through text or email.

The 8.2 kilometer-long PPUR formed 30 million years ago, is considered the longest underground river in the world, with unique and outstanding scientific, biological and geological features that merited its being recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 1999 and being declared as a National Geological Monument in December 2003. 

From an initial list of over 400 locations around the world, the PPUR is the lone finalist from the Philippines.  Its inclusion of the PPUR in the final list of 28 official candidates has made the Palawan river world-renowned, and is starting to attract international interests.
So, vote PPUR now and make it one of the world’s new seven wonders. 

Region 6

DENR-6 intensifies campaign for Puerto Princesa Underground River 


R6_PPUR-webThe Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 intensifies it campaign for the Puerto Princessa Underground River (PPUR) in Palawan, the country’s lone nominee to the world’s New Seven Wonders of Nature.

“This is one activity where we encourage all of you to text.  Let us all text PPUR15 and send to 2861,” Regional Executive Director Julian Amador said in a statement.

Dubbed as the longest underground river in the world, the PPUR is the only entry from the Philippines which made it to the 28 official finalists in the first round of international voting. 

The 8.2 kilometer-long underground river formed 30 million years ago has a unique and outstanding scientific, biological, and geological features, thus its declaration as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 1999 and as National Geological Monument in December 2003. 

President Benigno S. Aquino issued Proclamation No. 182 declaring a national and international promotion campaign for PPUR and creating a campaign task force PPUR-N7WN that will spearhead the campaign. 

DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje, who also sits as the national campaign manager for public sector, said that the campaign will also serve as an eye opener to Filipinos on the need to protect and preserve the country’s natural resources. 

Paje said that should the PPUR land as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, this will tremendously boost the country’s social, economic, and tourism status.

To strengthen its campaign, Amador said the regional office has distributed PPUR advocacy materials and video clips to field officials and personnel to help in getting the public to vote, particularly the students and local government units. 

To vote for the PPUR, text PPUR15 and send it to 2861 for Smart, Globe, and Sun cellular subscribers. Voting can be made every day. Deadline for voting will be on November 11, 2011.

Region 8

Wounded Philippine eagle retrieved in Samar 


eagle-treated-webA wounded Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) was recently retrieved by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Calbiga, Samar. 

Reports from DENR Regional Eagle Watch Team (REWT) in Tacloban City revealed that a group of hunters identified as Pastor Abanag, Abar Galvez and Noynoy Mabahin found the Philippine Eagle in Brgy. Buluan, Calbiga, Samar, weak from loss of blood due to a gunshot wound near its breast. Details on the eagle’s captors and the circumstances of its shooting, however, remain sketchy.

Initial health assessment by Dr. Steven Toledo, a veterinarian from the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PWB) who rushed to the site, showed that Calbiga, the name given to the rescued Philippine eagle, had a bullet wound on the upper breast (pectoral) area.  The bird was also reportedly stressed with drooping wings, but in general it was clean with few external parasites. It was given a dose of injectable antibiotic and intravenous fluids and multivitamins. 

The lead pellet lodged at the breast of Calbiga was extracted on July 4, 2011, three days after its retrieval. The bird was kept in isolation at the DENR regional office after the extraction.

“Calbiga is recuperating fast. A day after the surgery, the eagle was fed with 250 grams of carabao meat which it consumes with ease,” head of the REWT Arnulito Viojan said.

Weighing 42 kilos, Calbiga has a wing span of almost two meters and stands at 90 centimeters.

DENR Protected Areas Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Service (PAWCZMS) Regional Technical Director Danilo Javier said that the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) has been informed about the retrieval of the Philippine eagle in Samar. “The bird will be released back into the wild as soon as it regains its health,” he said. 

Newly-installed Regional Executive Director of DENR for Region 8 Rogelio T. Trinidad called on the people of Samar to help in protecting the bird, saying that the sighting of the Philippine eagle “compels us to protect our forests – its natural habitat.”

He also said that the fate of the Philippine eagle, an endangered species, the health of the environment, and the quality of Philippine life are inextricably linked. “All people in Region 8 should feel proud of the existence of the Philippine eagle and should help the DENR in promoting its survival, the biodiversity it represents, and the sustainable use of our forest resources for future generations to enjoy,” Trinidad said.

Trinidad also lauded Calbiga Mayor Melchor Nacario, the concerned teachers of Brgy. Buluan and the hunters, who caused the turn-over of the Philippine Eagle to the DENR.    

Sighting of Philippine Eagle in Samar has been reported since 1896. Last year, the REWT also noted sightings of the Philippine Eagle in Mt. Nahulopan, Taft, Eastern Samar. 


Region 13

DENR, PNP dismantle mini-sawmill, seize hot lumber in Agusan del Sur


r13_illegal_sawmil-weblA combined team of the regional mobile group of the Philippine National Police (PNP)  and the anti-illegal logging task force of the DENR regional office in Butuan City  had raided on Thursday an illegal mini-sawmill and confiscated more than 1,132 board feet of fresh-sawn lumber in the remote barangay of Tudela in Trento, Agusan del Sur.

DENR-CARAGA Executive Director Leonardo R. Sibbaluca said four persons, who were allegedly involved in the illegal operations, were invited to the police headquarters for investigation.  However, they were later released due to the non-availability of the two fiscal officers in the province.
“We are definitely disappointed by the situation because our legal team has already prepared all the documents and affidavits to charge the suspects of violation of PD 705 or Forestry Code of the Philippines,” Sibbaluca said.   He also lamented the difficulty encountered by the authorities in establishing the identity of the owner/s of the illegal sawmill due to the non-cooperation of the people in the community.

Despite the setback, Sibbaluca congratulated the DENR-PNP operatives for successfully paralyzing the operation of the illegal sawmill.  According to him, the operatives have completely dismantled the apparatus, took the generator and saw blades and scooped dozens of pieces of round lauan logs and lumber.  The seized forest products and equipment are now in the custody of the PNP Regional Mobile Group in Bunawan , Agusan del Sur for safekeeping.

Several weeks ago, the same DENR task force had dismantled an illegal bond sawmill in Bgy. Sta. Fe in Rosario, Agusan del Sur, where they also confiscated some forest products.  The seized forest products were immediately donated to the Department of Education (DepED) to be made into chairs, blackboards and school buildings, in accordance with a memorandum of agreement entered into between the DENR and DepEd.

Sibbaluca said the strengthened anti-illegal logging campaign in the CARAGA is being carried out in compliance with Executive Order No. 23 issued by President Benigno S. Aquino III, declaring a total logging ban in natural and residual forests throughout the country. 

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