Regional Releases

Five municipalities in southern Palawan have pledged a total of P2.5M to ensure continuous protection and conservation of what is considered as the largest protected area in the province, the Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape (MMPL).

During the 15th en banc meeting of the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of MMPL held in Puerto Princesa City on December 16, the local government units of Brooke’s Point, Quezon, Dr. Jose Rizal, Sofronio Española, and Bataraza each committed to allocate P500,000 from their respective funds to support forest protection activities and stricter enforcement of environmental laws in the main protected area and its buffer zone.

This was after reports from the Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring System (BAMS) held in the area highlighted the urgency to step-up forest protection efforts which include procurement of equipment, supplies and materials, and augmentation of monitoring and patrol personnel.

At present, there are only three park rangers (one permanent, 2 contractual) under the Protected Area Management Office (PAMO) deployed to guard the vast area of MMPL, which measures 120, 457 hectares.

“Ideally, it should be one forest ranger per 500 hectares. For MMPL, we are in need of 240 more rangers to cover the entire area,” Protected Area Superintendent Mildred Suza explained.

The financial support from the LGUs is expected to address the inadequacy in the number of forest guards and the grant of other benefits for them.

DENR MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Henry Adornado who serves as PAMB Chair stated that aside from regular compensation, the allocated funds could also provide the forest guards medical and accident insurance should unfortunate incidents happen while they are on patrol.

“The rangers’ job to protect Mt. Mantalingahan against poachers and other violators exposes them to serious threats and danger. They are constantly risking their lives every time they monitor the mountains. It’s about time we take action to ensure their safety and protection,” the director said.

Adornado added that a strong and adequate workforce leads to strengthened forest guardianship which is attributed to the concerted efforts of various stakeholders of MMPL.

RED Adornado commended Brooke’s Point Mayor Mary Jean Feliciano and Sofronio Española Mayor Marsito Acoy who were both present during the PAMB meeting, as well as Bataraza Mayor Abbraham Ibba, Rizal Mayor Otol Odi, and Quezon Mayor Joselito Ayala who all sent their representatives, for their relentless support and cooperation.

“Your efforts manifest your commitment to uphold what’s best for Mt. Mantalingahan and the people protecting it,” he expressed.

“We at the DENR are glad that our partnership with the LGU is cemented by our shared aspiration and duty to protect and conserve Mt. Mantalingahan, for us and the generations to come,” the director concluded.

The meeting, held at the Legend Hotel, was attended by other PAMBI Board Members including the punong barangays from the MMPL area, representatives from the academe, non-government organizations, National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), Philippine National Police, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), and other indigenous peoples groups.

Mount Mantalingahan Protected Landscape was declared a protected area by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 1815 dated June 23, 2009. It is included in the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its exceptional biodiversity and endemism. (With reports from the MMPL Protected Area Management Office) ###

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatuvisited the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 10 Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Initaoon November 29, 2019, a day after a grenade explosion inthepremises of the state-run Initao College in Initao, Misamis Oriental killed Police Master Sergeant (PMSg)Jason J. Magno.

Cimatu personally visited CENRO Initao to get firsthand information on the incident particularly whether the queries of Ibrahim Ampaso Basher, the client of the office who brought a grenade, were appropriately attended to by the employees of the office according to Standard Operating Procedures. Basherwas shot dead by the policein the aftermath of the explosion.

Basher was disheartened after failing to personally recover the vehicle of his son Jamel A. Basher, the registered owner of a vehicle intercepted in the town of Lumbia in Cagayan de Oro City,pursuant to the Confiscation and Forfeiture Order issued by the DENR on October 25, 2019. This led to the grenade explosion initiated by the older Basher.

The vehicle was loaded with 319 pieces or 2,857 board feet.ofLauan lumber with an estimated value of ₱ 148,850.00.

The transport of the illegally cut forest products from Lanao del Norte bound for Cagayan de Oro Citywas intercepted by the personnel of CENRO Initao and the Philippine National Police of Lumbia, Cagayan de Oro City at the Lumbia Monitoring Station on March 25, 2019.

In his visit, Secretary Cimatureminded the police officers on the proper handling of such situations to avoid a recurrence. He said loss of life must be avoided in the enforcement of environmental laws.

The environment chief proceeded to the wake of PMSgMagnoto condole with his family.###

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 2 has clarified reports and assured the public that illegal logging did not cause the massive flooding in Cagayan and Isabela provinces on Dec. 5.

The reports came out after piles of driftwood were seen floating along floodwaters in the City of Ilagan in Isabela at the onslaught of the flooding due to continuous heavy rains brought about by the northeast monsoon.

“There is no evidence of freshly cut or illegally cut trees,” Regional Executive Director (RED) Atty. Antonio A. Abawag said in a statement.

 Based on the DENR assessment led by Abawag, the driftwood are damaged uprooted shrubs and dead woodwashed down from the mountains and forests by the heavy flooding in the city of Ilagan.

 “These are damaged trees probably due to the strong typhoons that previously hit Region 2,” the Abawag added.

The Region 2 chief said the Regional Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force (RAILTF) has been successful in its intensified campaign against forest destruction in the region which is being used as a transshipment point of illegal forest products.

Earlier, the regional environment chief ordered the Provincial and Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers to closely coordinate with the battalion and unit commanders of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police in the anti-illegal logging operations.

The DENR is now conducting an inventory of the uprooted and drifted logs and has requested the assistance of local officials in the provinces of Isabela and Cagayan to determine the volume of drifted logs that are stockpiled especially within private lands in Barangays Marana 2nd and Alinguigan 2nd, both in the city of Ilagan.###

 

Representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)and the municipality of Puerto Galera sign a Memorandum of Agreement establishing the municipality as a local chapter of TayoangKalikasan to strengthen the enforcement of waste segregation at source and the prohibition of single use/disposable plastic. Present to sign the MOA are DENR Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Oriental Mindoro Mary June Mayparepresenting DENR MIMAROPA RED Adornado, Puerto Galera Mayor Rocky Ilagan, Vice Mayor Marlon Lopez and DENR Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Provincial Environment Management Unit Officer in Oriental Mindoro Ederlita Labre representing EMB MIMAROPA Regional Director Atty. Michael Drake Matias,(Photo by PENRO Oriental Mindoro).

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources MIMAROPA Region and the Municipality of Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on December 7, establishing the municipality as a local chapter of Tayo ang Kalikasan (TAK). TAK aims to engage communities as partners in addressing issues and challengeson environmental protection.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 6 (DENR-6) recently conductedDalawTuro (DT) sessions in four different schools in Boracay Island, Malay Aklan.
A total of 195 studentsfrom Boracay National High School, Balabag Elementary School in Brgy. Balabag; Manoc-manoc National High School, Goshen School of Technology and Humanities Inc. in Brgy. Manoc-manocenjoyed the games, skits and lectures.

DENR-6 Regional Public Affairs Office (RPAO) Chief Artemio Salvador C. Colaciongave a briefing on the DalawTuro to the schools’ academic personnel for the inclusion of environmental information and biodiversity protectionin the students’ lessons.

Western Visayas is home to a number of critically endangered endemic species that are threatened by extinction if these are not protected.
Colacion encouraged the teachers to make the students aware of these local species to encourage them to take action for their protection. “We shouldn’t wait for the time where children will only see pictures of these local species in books due to our lack of discipline and involvement in their protection and conservation,” Colacion said.

The DT sessions started with the introduction of members then a pre-test to gauge the knowledge of the participants on environmental laws, issues and concerns. The students were then taught the DT clap and grouped to represent air, water and land.

This was followed by the mind setting, describing an environment surrounded by trash, a stage play on waste disposal, and a lecture on Ecological Solid Waste Management. A game on waste segregation which aims to have the students identifytrash as biodegradable or non-biodegradable was also part of the DT.

Other activities of the DT included a lecture on biodiversity and its importance and the protection and conservation of species and the environment. The DT team also conducted the Web of Life activity where the participants represented man, air, water, land and species toform a web. They then connected themselves to each other according to their needs until they lost grip of the rope to convey the slow deterioration of the ecosystemand to show that they need to take actionto save the environment. A post-test was given toassess the learningsof the participants.

DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla mandates programs such as DalawTuro to teach the younger generation the need to preserve the environment for sustainable living and for a better future.

“I am hopeful that Boracay will be an island resilient to disasters and will practice zero waste disposal. I encourageeveryone to avoid single use plastics,” Milla said.
Plastics take hundreds of years to decompose thus the DT activity is anchored to Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, among others, one of the priority programs of Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

DalawTuro is a non-traditional and participative form of information dissemination to raise public awareness on environmental protection for sustainable development. It comes from two words Dalaw means to visit and Turo means to teach. It is a two-hour session that includes environmental lecture, skits and games, and aims audience interactionto impart the need to take immediate action on current environmental issues, strengthen environmental laws and protect biodiversity.