The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) celebrates today its 31st founding anniversary with a call for a concerted effort to protect the environment in the face of growing environmental challenges.

This year’s theme, “Ikaw, Ako, Tayo ang Kalikasan,” is a powerful reminder that people are a part of the environment and protecting it is everyone’s responsibility, according to DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

“Environmental protection is not the government’s responsibility alone because everyone has a part to play in protecting the environment from damage,” Cimatu pointed out.

President Rodrigo Duterte is the special guest of honor in the event. He will lead the distribution of 75 land titles to qualified residents from five cities/municipality in Metro Manila. In all, the patents cover a total area of 5,394 square meters. The awarding of land titles is part of DENR’s “Handog Titulo” program.

Former DENR secretaries are also expected to join in celebrating major milestones in the agency’s history since its reorganization into a department in 1987 under then President Corazon Aquino.

Cimatu will also give updates on the ongoing rehabilitation efforts in Boracay, as well as the agency’s other accomplishments over the past year.

The DENR chief will also give recognition to six (6) DENR personnel who contributed articles to the recent issues of DENR’s technical bulletin Sylvatrop, and the winners of the department’s sportsfest.

In between the awarding ceremonies and messages, DENR employees and guests will be treated to a “2018 DENR Milenyalng Kalikasan” contest, which will include representatives from the agency’s different offices in Quezon City and nearby regions.

Meanwhile, the DENR is set to launch today the national search for the R.I.V.E.Rs for Life award. The acronym stands for “Recognizing Individuals/Institutions towards Vibrant and Enhanced Rivers.”

The search, which will be conducted from July to December of this year, will distinguish field officials or offices that have responsibly implemented or enforced environmental laws and regulations within their areas of responsibility.

The award also aims to raise awareness on the need to protect and conserve rivers as the lifeblood not only of the country but the entire planet, and tap concerted action to assure they are pollution-free and suitable for their designated use.

The DENR traces its roots to the mid-1800s when Spanish rule created the Inspeccion General de Minas in 1837 to administer minerals and mineral lands, and the Inspeccion General de Montes in 1863 to be responsible for the management of wide range of natural resources, such as forest inventory and protection, land classification, watershed protection, water and biodiversity.

Executive Order 192 issued by Pres. Corazon Aquino on June 10, 1986 prescribed its reorganization into the present DENR. ###