Regional Releases

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR CENRO)Belisondistributed19 free patents for agricultural lotsin line with the Handog Titulo Program of DENRWestern Visayas during the launch of the Central Antique Convergence Area held at the Valderrama Covered Court in Antiqueon November 08, 2019.

Of the 19 free patents, sevenrecipients were from Barangay Tigmamale, five from Buluangan I, four from Bunsod, and one from Buganayan, Cansilayan and Pandanan.

DENR Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr. emphasized that the Handog Titulo Program is a sustained effort of the Department that delivers full ownership of land titles to the rightful beneficiaries.

The distribution of the land patents was led Antique representative and former Senator Loren B. Legarda with Antique Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao, DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.,DENR Region Assistant Regional Director (ARD) for Technical Services Livino B. Duran, ARD for Management Services Jesse L. Vego and Antique Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Andres T. Untal.

A total of 21.3985 hectares or 213,985 sq.m. of agricultural land within the Municipality of Valderrama was distributed.

The programis in line with the ten (10) priority programs of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu onImproved Land Administration and Management. It is an answer to poverty alleviation that aims to give absolute security of tenure to the patenteesandto spur socio-economic upliftment and development.

The Regional Convergence Initiative for Sustainable Rural Development (RCI-SRD) recently led the launching of Central Antique Convergence Area (CACA), a collaboration of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Agriculture (DA), and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) at the municipality of Valderrama Covered Gym.

The five municipalities under the convergence initiative are from Central Antique including Barbaza, Bugasong, Laua-an, Patnongon, and Valderrama.

"May our plans and efforts be blessed by the divine providence in making this convergence a haven of peace and progress," said DENR Region 6 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr. who represented Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

In her message, Antique Representative and former Senator Loren B. Legardasaid:“This convergence activity should make agencies work together towards a complementation of efforts for the progress of one Antique.”

Legarda alsohighlighted the management of watershed through rehabilitation programs like agro-forestry and reforestration, protection of the ecosystem, especially the protected areas in the province, and resource development through sustaining propagation of high value and good quality of indigenous and fruit-bearing trees.

Five major watersheds which provide food and other resources to the provinceare located in central Antique including Dalanas River in Barbaza, Paliwan River covering Laua-an and Bugasong, Cangaranan River in Valderrama and Ypayo and Carit-an Rivers in Patnongon. However, the rivers are vulnerable to extensive flooding, landslide and soil erosion which need to be addressed to ensure resiliency of local government units (LGU)particularly those in the purok level.

Legarda encouraged her constituents and local leaders to never allow illegal logging in the province because this degrades the soil. She added that pursuing environment-friendly livelihood enterprises and building farm to market roads will improve the quality of life of the people in the areas.

On the other hand, Antique Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao proudly announced that with the convergence area development, the province of Antique will be the “rising star of WesternVisayas.”

Valderrama Municipal Mayor Mary Joyce M. Roquero in her message said support for local products will improve livelihood and spur economic growth in the municipality adding that the province of Antique is “where the mountains meet the sky.”It has a total land area of 252, 200 hectares of which 47.04 percent or 118, 634 hectares are classified as forestland and 52.96 percent or 133, 566 hectares are alienable and disposable lands.

The mayor added that Php10 M worth of eNGP projects were issued to the different people's organizations as payment for the establishment ofnew plantations for 2019.


DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla recently granted P10M worth of Enhanced National Greening Program (eNGP) projects for new plantations to various people’s organizations (POs) during the launch of Central Antique Convergence Area held at Valderrama, Antique.

According to Milla, Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has expressed that programs and projects of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources should be brought to the countryside starting in the Province of Antique and to other provinces nationwide.

Cimatu said this will “promote greater peace and security towards sustainable and resilient environment and economic progress that will change the lives of our people.”

Among the POs are Bakiang Upland Farmers Association, Cananghan Upland Farmers Association,CulyatIraynonBukidnon Tribal Association, Iglinab Upland Farmers Association, Ipayo Tree Growers Association Inc. and San Ramon Upland Farmers Association. Also awarded with projects were Marigne Upland Farmers Association, Idao Integrated Social Forestry Farmers Association, Mayabay Integrated Social Forestry Farmers Association, Narirong, Tabong-Tabong, and Tig-alaran Farmers Association.

The e-NGP is one of the 10 Priority Programs of Cimatu which aims to provide opportunities for communities to develop social enterprises, produce sustainable livelihood and optimize benefits, and encourage local government units, and organized upland communities in the development of forest plantations including forest parks.

In support of the Enhanced National Greening Program (e-NGP) and to promote Panay Island as the country’s bamboo capital, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 6conducted a three-day Capability Training on Bamboo Propagation, Plantation Development, Rehabilitation, Enterprise and Value Chain at Damires Hills Tierra Verde Janiuay, Iloilo on October 28-31, 2019.
Forest Extension Officers (FEO) of various Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs) and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) in Western Visayas attended the training to learn the importance and use of bamboo, its propagation and economic benefits.
The DENR Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) Urban and Biodiversity Research, Development and Extension Center (UBRDEC) Center Head Gregorio E, Santos, Jr. shared his expertise on bamboo and discussed its uses to mitigate the effects of climate change, production and potential to boost economic growth.
Bamboo can absorb 12 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per hectare each year helping lower temperature. It also acts as rain interceptor due to its extensive root system that maintains soil stability thus preventing soil erosion and occurrences of flash flood.
“Bamboos don’t easily break, they just bend,” said Santos adding that they are a good substitute for wood to reduce the pressure on natural forests to supply domestic wood requirements.
As part of the training, the FEO’s and E-NGP coordinators demonstrated bamboo propagation at the Maasin Watershed Forest Reserve at Brgy. Daja, Maasin, Iloilo.
Santos added that proper selection of stocks such as (culm, branch cuttings, rhizomes and seeds) and materials such as (bolos and pruning shear) and using the appropriate potting media composed of (garden soil, compost and rice hulls) are important to have good quality planting stocks that will produce healthy bamboo.
Santos said a bamboo nursery should be located near the planting area to avoid stress on the cuttings. The cuttings should also have sufficient water supply. Bamboo can be propagated through culm cuttings, branch cuttings, rhizomes and seeds.
In Western Visayas, culm and branch propagation are the best way to plant bamboo.
To propagate bamboos, choose 1-2 years old culm and branch with healthy budeye to cut and plant in the potting media with mycorrhiza. Water twice a day, in the morning and afternoon. It should be placed in a nursery with sunlight from the east to west direction, and should be cared for properly.
According to DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla Jr., “Bamboo has great potentials to boost our economic gains through its multiple uses as construction materials, furniture, handicrafts, textiles, bamboo charcoal, medicine, beauty products, pulp and paper, gadget cases, transportation and ecotourism destinations.”
Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatuaims to have a 98% survival rate of planted bamboos here in Western Visayas. He has ordered the use of bamboo in households to avoid using plastic materials.
Through Executive Order No. 193 or the e-NGP, the Bamboo Program improves the quality of the environment and addresses solid waste problems. It also rehabilitates the unproductive, denuded and degraded forestlands which is among the 10 priority programs of Cimatu.

Political leaders in the different local government units play a crucial role to win the fight against insurgency. This was underscored by Environment Secretary and Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) Roy A. CimatuRegional during the meeting of the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC).

“I am very confident in your capability and ability. The one who can solve the problem will be the leaders themselves. You know the problem, you know the solution,” Cimatutold local leaders in Negros Occidental during a meeting with them at Acacia Hotel in Negros Occidental.

Cimatu and the regional directors of other national government agencies looked into the project proposals of the leaders and encouragedresidents of Negros Occidental to pursue economic opportunities to prevent them from being recruited by Communist Terrorist Groups (CTG).

The province of Negros Occidental formed the Provincial Task Force – ELCAC in August this year pursuant to President Rodrigo RoaDuterte’s Executive Order (EO) 70 or the Whole-of-Nation Approach to attain inclusive and sustainable peace. The EO also created the National Task Force-ELCAC to put an end to local communist armed conflict and directed the adoption of a national peace framework.

Candoni Mayor Cicero “Celot” D. Borromeotold Cimatu that the government can never end insurgency unless the people are fed or has something to feed themselves. Borromeo said that the rebels easily recruit those living in inaccessible areas in the hinterlands because they are hungry and “clutch the knife”, to feed their families.

The government is harnessing government resources to reach out to far-flung communities and to provide basic services. Roads are being built to provide access to people, farm products and government services.
On the pipeline is the provision of livelihood opportunities and healthcare.

The Whole-of-Nation approach aims to address the root causes of insurgencies. It is a big shift from the traditional military-centric scheme to a civilian-led approach in untangling the influence of the CTGsespecially among hinterlands communities. The military solution, however, is still one of the many components in addressing insurgencies.

Negros Occidental has seventy seven (77) CTG-influenced barangays out of the ninety seven (97) in Western Visayas.The Communist Party of the Philippines–New People’s Army (CPP–NPA) cadres in Negros Occidental have decreased in numbers in recent years and their presence is mainly located in the first, fifth, and sixth districts, as per military report.

“The DENR 6 has provided livelihood opportunities for people in upland communities, and we hired former rebels as forest guards. With this thrust on ELCAC, the DENR 6 will be working more intensively for our upland communities to avail DENR’s basic services and engage them in more purposeful livelihood activities,” said Francisco E. Milla, Jr., Regional Executive Director of DENR 6.