The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has gained more allies for the protection, conservation, and management of the country’s environment and natural resources (ENR) through partnership with new stakeholders.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu welcomed the department's new partners to help in its fight to save the environment and natural resources from further destruction brought about by the culture of indifference.

"Despite the destructive effects of climate change we are already experiencing, now is always the best time to unite; it is never too late to join hands to save our planet," Cimatu said.

DENR has signed partnership agreements with the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP), Dampay Christian Church, and ENR Vloggers to promote government programs aligned with the protection, conservation and management of the country's environment and natural resources.

The DENR, through the Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service (SCIS)-Strategic Alliance and Environmental Partnership Division, held the ENR Partners’ Commitment Signing and Oath Taking led by DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny D. Antiporda via Zoom teleconferencing on May 17.

Antiporda, who is also the Supervising Undersecretary for SCIS and Task Force Tayo ang Kalikasan, said the gathering is "a manifestation of your willingness to be staunch partners of DENR in cleaning up Manila Bay and rehabilitating the environment of our country."

"Through you, we hope to inspire and popularize the society-wide behavioral changes we need to rehabilitate and re-invigorate our environment," he added.

“The DENR alone cannot solve the problems of our environment. We need cooperation in this matter. Bayanihan is needed by all sectors of society. Coordination and cooperation are no longer only optional but indispensable,” Antiporda added.

"Together, let us all deliver in our commitment to continue caring for Mother Earth to make her sustainably and productively healthy," Antiporda said, as he also acknowledged the initiative of DENR’s new partners.

Representing the groups were BSP secretary-general Engr. Rogelio S. Villa Jr., Dampay Christian Church Pastor Bronson Romero, and ENR Vlogger president Junriel Llander.

Also present were BSP scout executives from five pilot councils: Dr. Aldrin Corpin, BSP Las Piñas City Associate Council; Jermie Jose Trasga, BSP Manila Council; Cedric Dantes, BSP Valenzuela City Council; Roberto Anir, BSP Makati City Council; and Chester Hilario, BSP Bulacan Council, and 21 ENR vloggers.

In the Pledge of Commitment, the three groups “committed to be involved in the initiatives of the DENR in the protection, conservation and proper management of the country’s environment and natural resources," and to "fully support environmental management as one of the immediate actions to help sustain Mother Earth."

They also pledged “to implement environmental actions under the ENR Partner's Commitment; to render assistance in advocating and influencing our household and the community in implementing proper waste management, planting trees, participating in clean up drives, promoting use of public transportation, refusing the use of single use plastics and other environment friendly activities.”

On the other hand, Antiporda encouraged them to inform the DENR of any support they may need for ENR activities such as tree planting.

The DENR will also conduct a capacity-building webinar on social media environmental reporting to familiarize the new DENR partners on environmental issues as well as their rights as citizens in protecting the environment.

"Now, it’s all systems go when it comes to protecting our environment. With all of you people around, I don’t think we can do wrong," Antiporda said.

Before the Commitment Signing and Oath Taking, the participants were given an orientation on the 10 Priority Programs of the DENR, which are Clean Air, Clean Water, Solid Waste Management, Enhanced National Greening Program, Intensified Forest Protection, and Anti-Illegal Logging, Geo-Hazard, Ground Water Assessment and Responsible Mining, Enhanced Biodiversity Conservation, Scaling up of Coastal and Marine Ecosystem, Improved Land Administration and Management, and the Rehabilitation of Manila Bay and Boracay Island.

They were also provided an update on the ongoing Manila Bay Rehabilitation. ###