Employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Region 5 queue in line as they await the announcement from event organizers if the Province of Albay was able to bag the Guinness World Record for the biggest “no smoking” human logo. Around 17,000 individuals registered for the event, of which 13,892 had been validated to have actually participated in the human logo formation.
2013 OUTSTANDING FORESTER
Regional Technical Director Antonio C. Manila (right) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-National Capital Region (DENR-NCR) is awarded “Outstanding Forester” for 2013 by the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) in celebration of its 40th Founding Anniversary last June 20 at the Fiesta Pavillion, Manila Hotel. Forester Manila was recognized for his contribution in the advancement of the forestry profession through authorship of various researches/studies, articles and publications, as well as for his effective supervision in the implementation of the Master Plan for La Mesa Watershed and the National Greening Program in NCR. Handing the award to Manila is PRC chairperson Dr. Teresita R. Manzala. Also in photo are (from left): Foundation for Outstanding Professionals president Dr. Diampo J. Lim, Philippine Association of Professional Regulatory Board Members president Dr. Eduardo G. Ong, and PRC Commissioner Dr. Jennifer Jardin-Manalili.
LAND TITLING PARTNERSHIP
Regional Executive Director Joselin Marcus E. Fragada (center) of DENR-Region 11 signs a memorandum of partnership agreement with Mayor Vicente D. Orencia (right) of Governor Generoso in Davao Oriental for a joint conduct of public land titling in the municipality. On hand to witness the signing of the agreement is Regional Technical Director for Land Management Atty. Felix S. Alicer (right).
Lt. Col. (Reserve) Manuel T. Escasura is all smiles as he takes his oath as full-fledged Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) before DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje (right). Escasura started his career as a public servant at then Bureau of Forest Development (now Forest Management Bureau) in June 1981 as casual forester, and made his way up to his current post as OIC Regional Technical Director for Ecosystems Research and Development Service in DENR-CALABARZON Region. Aside from being a licensed forester, Escasura holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the Philippine Law School and two master degrees -- Urban and Regional Planning from the University of the Philippines-Diliman and National Security Administration from the National Defense College of the Philippines. #
DENR CLASSIFIES 42 CAVES IN SOUTHERN MINDANAO
A total of 42 out of 500 identified caves in Southern Mindanao have been classified in accordance with their best uses by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
DENR Regional Executive Director for Region 11 Joselin Marcus Fragada said that cave classification is part of the priority thrusts of DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje to assess and determine the most appropriate sustainable use, protection and management of the country’s caves, including the resources found therein.
“Cave classification is a process of assessing and determining the appropriate sustainable use of caves with due consideration on the cave’s biodiversity as well as its archaeological, historical, cultural and potential socio-economic values,” Fragada said.
Republic Act No. 9072, also known as the National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act, mandates the DENR to develop and implement a national program for the management, protection and conservation of caves and cave resources, in coordination with other agencies of the government such as the National Museum, National Historical Institute, Department of Tourism and concerned local government units.
Based on DENR Memorandum Circular No. 2007-04, caves are classified into three categories, namely Class I, Class II, and Class III.
Class 1 caves are those with archeological findings and are for scientific and educational purposes only. These caves can also be utilized for exploration, mapping and photography.
Caves with wildlife that cannot be disturbed are classified as Class II. Visitors, with cave guides, are allowed only to a certain point of the cave.
Class III covers caves where the whole part is allowed for spelunking provided that they are accompanied by cave guides. These are the caves most appropriate for ecotourism purposes, according to Fragada.
Of the 42 classified caves in Southern Mindanao, 12 were classified as Class I which include nine in Davao del Norte, one in Compostela Valley, and another two in Davao Oriental.
Belonging to Class I caves in Davao del Norte are Kapunit Cave and GR Cave in the Kapalong town; Mangitngit Cave in San Isidro; Borja Cave in New Corella; Garcia Cave, Baong Cave, Taclobo Cave 1 and 2 and Santol Cave in Island Garden City of Samal.
Sto. Nino Cave No. 5 is the only cave in Compostela Valley province to have passed the Class I requirements, along with two other caves in Davao Oriental, namely Mera Cave I and Mat-I Cave 3.
Caves classified as Class II, on the other hand, totaled 23, of which 17 are situated in Davao del Norte; four in Compostela Valley and two in Davao Oriental.
Caves classified as Class III include four in Davao del Norte, namely: Kambal Cave, Bandera Caves 1 and 2, and Linggasakan Cave; two in Compostela Valley (Sto. Niño Caves 2 and 3) and Mat-I Cave 2 in Davao Oriental. #
Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje (right) swears in Dr. Isidro L. Mercado as the full fledged Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) for Laguna during rites held Monday at the DENR Central Office in Quezon City. Mercado finished his Bachelor of Forestry at the Gregorio Araneta University Foundation-De La Salle University, passing the forestry licensure exams the following year. In 2002, he successfully completed his Doctor in Philosophy major in Management in the same university. Like many of DENR officials, Mercado also rose from the ranks, starting his public service as Assistant District Forester of then Bureau of Forest Development (now Forest Management Bureau). From thereon, Mercado served in various capacities such as OIC PENRO for Laguna and Batangas and as regional technical director for Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Service for CALABARZON area. In 2008, he was assigned to head the DENR provincial office in Laguna until his promotion as full-fledged PENRO. #
DENR fortifies its anti illegal logging campaign in Western Visayas
The government’s anti-illegal logging campaign in Western Visayas is further fortified by the creation of provincial composite teams of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Army.
DENR Regional Executive Director for Western Visayas Adeluisa G. Siapno said during the launch of the partnership on Monday that the newly-created provincial anti-illegal logging task forces is a big boost to the regional task force in addressing illegal logging in Region 6.
“The creation of provincial anti-illegal logging task forces in all provinces comprising Region 6 is not only a big boost to our regional anti-illegal logging efforts, but it is also a strategic move on the part of the Department and our partner agencies to further protect the remaining forest resources of Western Visayas,” Siapno said, as she witnessed the signing of the memorandum of agreement by her provincial environment and natural resources officers (PENROs) with the provincial officials of the DILG, PNP and the 82nd and 61st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.
She also stressed that the creation of regional and provincial task forces would fortify the government’s campaign against anti-illegal logging as the two bodies were capable of assisting the DENR in the enforcement of environmental laws.
Section 3 of Executive Order No. 23 provides for the creation of the anti-illegal logging task force to enforce the moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in the natural and residual forests.
Relatedly, Director Siapno appealed to the people of Region 6 to continue to be vigilant in protecting the region’s forest resources particularly against forest fires.
Siapno made the appeal in the wake of a reported forest fire occurrence in the municipality of Don Salvador Benedicto in Negros Occidental province, which damaged around two hectares of new plantations established under the National Greening Program (NGP).
“While we are already experiencing some rains, the summer season, as the weather bureau has said, is not yet over,” she said.
She urged local farmers to refrain from burning their agricultural wastes when preparing their farms, which could start off a grass fire when not properly attended to, not to mention that open burning or “pagsisiga” is strictly prohibited under the Clean Air Act as it causes air pollution.
According to Siapno, the move of the regional office to seek partnership with local agencies and residents is in keeping with the directive of DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje to continually engage the local populace and authorities in the implementation of environmental programs to ensure greater compliance and sustainability of programs.#
DENR supports “Bayani Challenge” in New Lucena, Iloilo
The local office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Barotac Nuevo in Iloilo province actively participated in this year’s “Bayani Challenge 2013” held simultaneously in 34 provinces nationwide.
With the theme, Isang Bayani, Isang Bayanihan,” the event was organized by Gawad Kalinga, in cooperation with the Presidential Communications Operations Office.
In the province of Iloilo, the Bayani Challenge was held at the municipal eco-park of New Lucena, in Barangay Wari-Wari.
Leading the DENR delegation that participated in the event was Forester Mary Ann Cerebo of CENRO Barotac Nuevo, who expressed appreciation for the organizer’s inclusion of environmental protection in the overall concept of this annual event.
“Care for the environment is one of the driving forces that move the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Barotac Nuevo to actively participate in the “Bayani Challenge 2013”, Cerebo said.
Aside from the DENR, representatives from non-government organizations, other government agencies, local government units and local residents who volunteered for the Gawad Kalinga Group, participated not only in tree planting but also in weeding out grasses around planted seedlings to enhance their growth and reduce competition for soil nutrients, potting of seedlings and clean-up activities around the eco-park area.
According to Cerebo, a total of 45 seedlings of Mahogany, Gmelina and Jackfruit were planted around the perimeter of the eco-park, classified some 2,000 potted seedlings in the nursery, potted an additional 1,300 seedlings, and collected three sacks of non-biodegradable waste during the clean-up activity.
The Bayani Challenge is an annual gathering of volunteers who express their love for the country and care for the poor through building of homes, repair of schools, health missions, tree planting and other activities.
This year, 33 provinces joined the Bayani Challenge 2013 held March 23-27, 2013, to encourage the citizenry to contribute in nation building. .#
DDENR sets population count of tartsier in Davao provinces
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is set to undertake a population count of the Philippine Tarsier (Tarsius syrichta) in Mati, Davao Oriental and in Kapalong, Davao del Norte.
In his report to DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje, DENR-Region 11 Executive Director Joselin Marcus E. Fragada said the study will also include an assessment of the natural habitats of the tarsier in the two provinces. “The results of the study will serve as basis in crafting the management plan for the tarsier in the region,” Fragada said. The study will start on the last week of this month.
According to Fragada, the population count and assessment of the tarsier will be spearheaded by the DENR. However, in Kapalong area, the study will be a joint effort between the DENR regional office and the Davao Speleologial and Conservation Society.
Known as the smallest primate, the tarsier is no larger than an adult man’s hand. It is nocturnal, and lives on a diet of insects.
In 1986, the Philippine tarsier was assessed as “endangered” by the IUCN Conservation Monitoring Center and remains as such to this date.
Fragada also stressed that the Philippine tarsier is among the country’s wildlife species placed under a “protection” status, which means that its sale and collection in the wild is strictly prohibited.
In another development, the DENR regional office is hosting this year’s National Caving Congress, which starts today (April 8) up to April 12, 2013 in New Corella, Davao del Norte.
Anchored on the theme, “Harmonizing Management Interventions for the Sustainable Use of our Caves and Cave Resources,” the activity serves as a venue for cave hobbyists and other stakeholders to discuss, review and assess all caving-related programs and issues and come up with appropriate and practical cave conservation actions.
Around 300 foreign and local participants are expected to attend the five-day activity which is being spearheaded by non-government organization Philippine Speleological Society.
Among the caves to be visited by the participants during the practical application and technical training component of the congress include the Tibion Cave, Roman Cave, Gayas Cave, Bongsit Cave, Paradise Cave and Rickton Cave, all in New Corella, Davao del Norte.#
DENR promotes Baliangao Protected Landscape & Seascape as eco-tourism site
The regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Cagayan de Oro City expressed full support to the local government move of promoting the Baliangao Protected Landscape and Seascape (BPLS) as an eco-tourism site.
In a report to DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje, OIC Regional Executive Director Ruth Tawan-tawan said that her office has embarked on a close partnership with the municipal government of Baliangao in Misamis Occidental for the development of the protected area as an eco-tourism site.
Tawan-tawan said that the protected area, which covers around 300 hectares in barangays Tugas, Misom, Sinian and Landing, is home to 21 species of mangroves, with bakauan as the dominant species. It also boasts of a 75-hectare marine sanctuary where 39 colorful fish species could be found, and serves as a research laboratory that offers educational and scientific values for marine researchers or related studies.
Among the eco-tourism activities allowed in the area include boating, snorkeling, scuba diving and islet hopping. Nature walk can be done in the boardwalk of the Baliangao Protected Landscape and Seascape. The boardwalk, which was constructed beneath the mangrove forests, connects the islets from the mainland.
Proclamation No. 418 issued on November 22, 2000 declares the wetland areas of Baliangao as a protected area. Pursuant to the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act of 1992 and its implementing rules and regulations, a Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) was established to strengthen the conservation and protection efforts in the area.
Last year, the DENR, in cooperation with local stakeholders, initiated a three-hectare mangrove rehabilitation project in the protected area in support of the National Greening Program (NGP).
Other activities conducted in BPLS include managing the protected area, implementing the Biodiversity Monitoring System (BMS) and the conduct of nature conservation, education and extension in schools and communities.
Prior to its proclamation as a protected area, BPLS was originally known as the Misom Sea Sanctuary established by the local government of Baliangao, Misamis Occidental pursuant to Resolution No. 01, series of 1991. The 74-hectare marine reserve at Brgy. Misom was established by the PIPULI Foundation, Inc., an environmental non-government organization.