DENR leads celebration of October as Tamaraw Month

The country’s largest endemic mammal gets the spotlight this month as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) joins hands with the local governments of Occidental and Oriental Mindoro in celebrating October as Tamaraw Month.

DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said that the celebration of Tamaraw Month is provided under Presidential Proclamation No. 273 of 2002, which designates October of every year as “Special Month for the Conservation and Protection of the Tamaraw in Mindoro.”

“The tamaraw is one of the country’s important flagship species and sadly, it is on the verge of extinction. The proclamation thus enjoins all Filipinos, not only Mindoreños, to protect and conserve the tamaraw as our legacy to future generations,” he said. 

This year’s theme, “Tamaraw ng Mindoro: Pagdami mo’y inaasam ko, gubat na tahanan mo’y pangangalagaan ko!” reflects the commitment to conserve the endangered dwarf water buffalo, which has been classified as critically endangered in the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 

Paje added that the theme also reflects the government’s National Greening Program’s objective on resource conservation and protection. “We can only protect the tamaraw if we also protect its habitat,” he said, stressing that the tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) can only be found in the forests and grasslands of Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park in Mindoro Oriental, and in Mts. Aruyan and Calavite in Mindoro Occidental. 

Month-long activities slated in celebration of tamaraw month focus on a Mindoro island-wide intensive information campaign, including a video showing in government offices, local cable television, and shipping lines plying the Mindoro route. Students and science teachers will also undergo separate day camps at the Tamaraw Gene Pool (TGP) Farm in Rizal, Occidental Mindoro.

The non-government Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Inc. (MBCFI) will also sponsor a teachers’ training on biodiversity, and a seminar on basic ecology and natural resource governance.

The tamaraw is a much smaller version of the carabao, and is distinguished by its V-shaped, backward-pointing stout horns which it shakes to signal aggression. Tamaraw population, estimated at 10,000 in the 1960s,  has dwindled to the current count of 274, with the decline largely attributed to diseases, illegal poaching, and habitat loss. 

The government established the Tamaraw Conservation Program (TCP) to address the causes of decline in tamaraw population. Its component in captive breeding allowed for the establishment of the TGP farm in 1982. Since then, however, all 20 tamaraws originally captured for the gene pool have died. Only Kalibasib (short for Kalikasan Bagong Sibol), which is also the first and only tamaraw born in captivity, remains as the farm’s lone occupant.

But with confirmed reports of breeding in the wild, the TCP has focused on its other components on management of wild population and habitat, and conducting information and education campaigns. 

 

 

 

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje rallied last week his field officials to ensure the success of the National Greening Program, saying the program has full support of the President.

    “There is no reason to fail considering that President Aquino has amply given all the support this program (NGP) needs to succeed,” Paje told the regional executive directors (REDs),  regional technical directors, and the provincial and community environment and natural resources officers (PENROs, CENROs) attending the 2-day National Convention of Field Officers held May 31-June 1, 2011 at the DENR Social Hall in Quezon City.

    Paje also challenged the field officials “to give their best shot” as their performance in implementing the NGP will be “highly taken into consideration’ in the evaluation of officials for promotions.
 
“Those who will be performing will be rewarded. Wala pong biro yan,” Paje said, stressing that the field officers will be evaluated fairly based on a purely-merit system “without regard for personal ties or past associations” he has made through over 20 years at the DENR where he started his career as a casual forester.

Paje said the NGP-driven performance-based incentive scheme will first zero in on the PENRO and CENRO positions, with an instruction to DENR Assistant Secretary for Management and Finance Corazon Davis to reserve the vacant PENRO and CENRO posts as rewards for NGP’s top performers especially those that are on an acting capacity. 

“If you are a CENRO, you will automatically become a PENRO.  Those who are not yet full-pledged CENRO (with temporary appointment), we will make you full-pledged CENROs. Performance lamang, wala nang iba,”  Paje stressed. 

Of the 168 CENRO plantilla positions, 47 have yet to be filled;  while 25 remain vacant in the 73 PENRO  plantilla posts.

The incentive scheme forms part of Paje’s overall program to strengthen DENR’s performance-based promotion system to beef up the national leadership’s efforts in professionalizing the  Philippine bureaucracy.

But Paje was quick to clarify that the quality of their performance will be determined by the survival of the seedling declared in their performance and not merely on the number of seedling planted.

“Remember, the NGP is a national priority program of President Aquino, and this is not for show but for grow. Gone are the days when tree planting activities were just to set world records or just for photo opportunities,” Paje noted.

At the same time, Paje asked “doubting Thomases” to be forthcoming this early with their hesitation to go all out to meet their targets to allow for management to act appropriately in their particular case.

“We will make sure that everybody performs. Kung sino sa inyo ang tingin ay hindi kayang ipatupad ang programang ito, sabihin na ninyo ngayon,” Paje said.

The performance-based incentive will be based on the field officials’ scorecard in the  yearly targets given them and will be validated with the use of state-of-the art technology such as satellite mapping and internet-based technology through NGP’s website at the www.ngp.denr.gov.ph

PPUR text promo to give away more than P30million in cash prizes

One lucky texter stands to win the biggest prize money in text messaging with the launching of the “Pera sa Kweba” text raffle promo for the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) in Palawan.

The promo, which runs for 90 days from September 30 to December 28 of this year, will give away more than P30million worth of cash prizes, with the grand prize set at P25million and five consolation prizes of one million pesos each to be drawn on December 30, 2011. 

Texters can also win P10,000 in daily draws, P100,000 in bi-weekly draws, and P250,000 in monthly draws throughout the promo period. All winning numbers will be drawn electronically. 

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said that the promo is an initiative of the private sector to promote Puerto Princesa City as an important ecotourism destination, particularly the PPUR which is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. 

He added that the promo would educate the public more on the PPUR and “show everyone why it is a deserving finalist in the New Seven Wonders of Nature global competition.”

The text raffle promo is open to all postpaid and prepaid subscribers of Globe, TM, Sun, Smart or Talk N’ Text at P2.50 per SMS. There is no need for registration.

Raffle entries are automatically earned each time a subscriber votes for the PPUR as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature by texting PPUR, or when downloading trivia by texting PPUR ON also to 2861. Winners will be notified via text, call or registered mail.

Each trivia downloaded or text sent will earn two raffle entries from October 1, 2010 to November 10, 2011, and one raffle entry for the period November 11-December 28, 2011. The “Pera sa Kweba” promo is retroactive for all those who were able to register in the SMS voting for the PPUR since last year.

“Among others, this text promo will generate excitement and pride among Filipinos here and abroad in recognizing the PPUR as a true wonder of nature as proven by La Venta,” said Paje, referring to Italian geographical association La Venta Esplorazioni Gegrafiche, whose members had earlier unearthed mineral and fossil findings in the PPUR cave.

 

 

 

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje rallied last week his field officials to ensure the success of the National Greening Program, saying the program has full support of the President.

    “There is no reason to fail considering that President Aquino has amply given all the support this program (NGP) needs to succeed,” Paje told the regional executive directors (REDs),  regional technical directors, and the provincial and community environment and natural resources officers (PENROs, CENROs) attending the 2-day National Convention of Field Officers held May 31-June 1, 2011 at the DENR Social Hall in Quezon City.

    Paje also challenged the field officials “to give their best shot” as their performance in implementing the NGP will be “highly taken into consideration’ in the evaluation of officials for promotions.
 
“Those who will be performing will be rewarded. Wala pong biro yan,” Paje said, stressing that the field officers will be evaluated fairly based on a purely-merit system “without regard for personal ties or past associations” he has made through over 20 years at the DENR where he started his career as a casual forester.

Paje said the NGP-driven performance-based incentive scheme will first zero in on the PENRO and CENRO positions, with an instruction to DENR Assistant Secretary for Management and Finance Corazon Davis to reserve the vacant PENRO and CENRO posts as rewards for NGP’s top performers especially those that are on an acting capacity. 

“If you are a CENRO, you will automatically become a PENRO.  Those who are not yet full-pledged CENRO (with temporary appointment), we will make you full-pledged CENROs. Performance lamang, wala nang iba,”  Paje stressed. 

Of the 168 CENRO plantilla positions, 47 have yet to be filled;  while 25 remain vacant in the 73 PENRO  plantilla posts.

The incentive scheme forms part of Paje’s overall program to strengthen DENR’s performance-based promotion system to beef up the national leadership’s efforts in professionalizing the  Philippine bureaucracy.

But Paje was quick to clarify that the quality of their performance will be determined by the survival of the seedling declared in their performance and not merely on the number of seedling planted.

“Remember, the NGP is a national priority program of President Aquino, and this is not for show but for grow. Gone are the days when tree planting activities were just to set world records or just for photo opportunities,” Paje noted.

At the same time, Paje asked “doubting Thomases” to be forthcoming this early with their hesitation to go all out to meet their targets to allow for management to act appropriately in their particular case.

“We will make sure that everybody performs. Kung sino sa inyo ang tingin ay hindi kayang ipatupad ang programang ito, sabihin na ninyo ngayon,” Paje said.

The performance-based incentive will be based on the field officials’ scorecard in the  yearly targets given them and will be validated with the use of state-of-the art technology such as satellite mapping and internet-based technology through NGP’s website at the www.ngp.denr.gov.ph

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