In Our Region

DENR-Region 6

DENR releases hawksbill turtle back to sea in Negros Occ .


The continuing campaign of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in biodiversity conservation is beginning to bear fruit with the recent release of a captured hawksbill turtle in the sea off Negros Occidental.

DENR-Region 6 Executive Director Adeluisa Siapno said the hawksbill turtle, commonly called pawikan, was in good physical condition and without any trace of injury when it was inspected by field personnel of Pontevedra’s agriculture office, local police and DENR’s CENRO-Bacolod City immediately after its accidental capture last month. Its carapace measures 66 centimeters long and 51 centimeters wide.

“The team found the pawikan to be in good health, no trace of injury, not even a sign of entanglement. They released it back to its natural habitat, knowing fully well that it can survive on its own,” Siapno said.

Siapno expressed appreciation for the concern and cooperation shown by the community. “The discovery, which was accidental according to the community, was immediately relayed to us and other concerned offices, that’s why we were able to respond on time,” she stressed.

She also said that with proper orientation, the community can be a strong partner in biodiversity conservation as she shared the message of DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje in his constant call for public participation and support to environmental protection.

“As DENR Secretary Paje always says, environmental protection, including biodiversity conservation, is not the concern of the department alone or the government, but all Filipinos,” she said. 






DENR-Region 3




An unidentified resident of Tarlac City receives a free patent from DENR Region 3 Executive Director Maximo Dichoso of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).   She is one of 153 landless farmers in the city that benefited from the land distribution and poverty alleviation program of the Aquino administration, covering more than 61 hectares of agricultural lands inside the Paquillao Resettlement Site in Sitio Care.  Also in photo is Region 3 Technical Director for Land Management Tirso Parian, Jr. (to Dichoso’s left).




DENR-Region 3

Joint DENR-PNP-PA team confiscates P1.3M forest contraband in Nueva Ecija 

R3 illegal logging-web

The anti-illegal logging campaign embarked by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army in Nueva Ecija last October has resulted in the confiscation of about 20,000 board feet of forest contraband worth at least P1.3 million.

In its report to DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje, DENR Regional Executive Director for Central Luzon Maximo Dichoso said the confiscations included some 8,024 board feet of premium hardwood dipterocarp valued at half-million pesos recovered from the backyard of a furniture maker and 329 sacks of charcoal.

Dichoso said the campaign daubed “CamPlan N.E. 10.12” was carried out by operatives from the DENR’s Talavera and Cabanatuan offices, local police and the 702nd Brigade and 56th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army to neutralize within the month the illegal logging syndicates operating in Gen. Tinio town, a known “hotbed” of illegal logging in Nueva Ecija.

Seized from the backyard of furniture maker Apid Maducdoc of Sitio Batog of Brgy. Rio Chico were contraband wood of Yakal, Bagtikan, and Apitong, which informants said were reportedly cut from the mountains of Sierra Madre in Dona Remedios Trinidad in Bulacan, and floated down the river of Sumacbao in Gen. Tinio.

According to Dichoso, his office is set to file criminal charges against Maducdoc for violations of Section 68 of Presidential Decree 705 or the Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines, as amended by Executive Order No. 277 of 1987. Maducdoc has since remained at large.

Dichoso also ordered a probe on the involvement of certain local officials who abetted illegal logging operations in Gen. Tinio.

Resolution No. 2011-006 of the Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force (AILTF) states that all forest products coming from natural and residual forests after February 28, 2012 shall be considered as property of the state.

The DENR has identified the towns of Bongabon, General Tinio, and Gabaldon as illegal logging “hotspots” in Nueva Ecija.

Last year’s forest protection campaign in Central Luzon yielded 212,517 board feet of assorted forest products and conveyances estimated to worth at least P7 million. 







DENR-Region 5

DENR monitors charcoal making in Bicol

R5 charchoal making-web

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Executive Director Gilbert Gonzales has directed his field officials to strictly monitor wood charcoal making in the Bicol region.


“The intention of the directive is to control indiscriminate cutting of trees in consonance with log ban policy of President Aquino and also to put a stop to the denudation of Bicol’s forests,” Gonzales said.


Gonzales’s order mandates all provincial and community officers of DENR-Region 5 to take stock of, and inspect all establishments involved in the buying and selling of wood charcoal, as well as determine the source origin of the wood charcoal being supplied in the local market.


The field officials were likewise under order to refrain from issuing Certificate of Verification or CoV to transport wood charcoal without seeking clearance from higher authorities.


“Transporting wood charcoal without the CoV and other permits is a violation of DENR Administrative Order 32 issued in 1997. Under such circumstances, the DENR can apprehend the tools, implements, conveyances used in the conduct of illegal tree cutting and/or charcoal making, and may also initiate administrative and criminal proceedings, if warranted,” Gonzales said.


The forest regulation sector of DENR was likewise ordered to provide 24-hour manpower support in checkpoints.


Based on reports, a total of 2,451 sacks of wood charcoal have been seized from January to September this year in the six Bicol provinces, namely: Camarines Sur (1,270); Albay (286); Camarines Norte (163); Masbate (72) and Catanduanes (5).






DENR-Region 6



DENR-Region 6 Executive Director Adeluisa G. Siapno discusses with two archeologists from the National Museum, Giovanni Bautista and Antonio Peñalosa (in blue shirts), the various initiatives being implemented by the department to protect and manage the country’s caves and their resources.  The two experts paid a courtesy call on Siapno relative to their plan to conduct archeological assessment of  caves and other historical sites situated in the northwest portion of the Panay peninsula.  Also in photo is DENR-Region 6 Technical Director for Protected Areas Forester Damaso L. Fuentes (back to camera). 





DENR-Region 1

Political boundary disputes in Pangasinan settled through cadastral survey

Pangasinan area-web

With the aim of easing the long time tensions over political boundaries, some local government units in Pangasinan have entered into resolutions to finally rest the issue and locate the exact lines of their areas of jurisdictions.


The cadastral survey of the City of Urdaneta has led to resolutions among and between the neighboring local government units of the city, such as Sta Barbara, Laoac, Malasiqui, Binalonan, Manaoag, and Asingan. The municipal assessors of these municipalities attended the presentation of the survey result.


This came following a directive from DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje to all DENR field offices to fast track the implementation of cadastral survey projects nationwide.


“The approval of cadastral survey plans is significant in the issuance of free patents covering agricultural lands as well as residential areas, including special patents for various government properties like city/municipal halls, public markets, plazas, school sites, hospitals, parks,” DENR-Region I Executive Director Samuel Penafiel said.


Around 12,000 free patents are targeted to be processed and awarded to the bonafide claimants this year in various parts of the Ilocos Region, Penafied added.


Aside from Urdaneta City, cadastral survey projects are also on-going in the municipalities of Binmaley, Mapandan, Laoac, San Nicolas, San Quintin and San Fabian. Also expected to start soon will be for the municipalities of Sison, Urbiztondo, Bautista, Basista, Sta Maria, Burgos, Bani and Mangatarem.


Peñafiel is appealing to all concerned local officials to support the conduct of cadastral survey in their areas, particularly in locating the boundaries or monuments, locally known as mojon. He also urged local residents to actively part in identifying legal claimants to avoid fake titling. 




DENR-Region 3


SCUFA: A triumph of environmental restoration and economic growth


Marciano Saclauso, 69, has just finished preparing his pot bed for this season’s seedling production. Once again, he is filled with hope that demands for forest and fruit seedlings from real estate developers and resort owners in Zambales, and the government’s National Greening Program (NGP) will increase substantially with the onset of the rainy months.


Ka Mari to the Subic-Cawag Upland Farmers Association (SCUFA) in Zambales, he dreams of earning big for his group out of selling 2-foot high forest and tree seedlings. Ka Mari acts as the chairman of SCUFA.


“Ang seedling production ay natutunan namin sa programang CBFM (Community-based Forest Management) ng DENR. Ito ngayon ang pinakamalakas na pinagkakakitaan ng aming samahan,” Ka Mari related as we walked through rows upon rows of young robust seedlings in his group’s nursery. Huge mahogany and mango trees provided an awesome shade for the group’s multi-purpose hall nearby.


SCUFA’s 200-strong member has restored barangay Cawag’s landscape into a thick forest – a sharp contrast to what the barangay looked like in the early 80s when cogon and talahib stretched to as far the eyes can see.




Ka Mari recalled that the first time the members learned about seedling production was in 1994. They started small, mostly in their respective backyards. Since then, through the support of CBFM, more than P3 million worth of fruit and forest seedlings have been raised by the group.


In 2005 alone, SCUFA earned some P200,000 from the seedlings it sold to big real estate developers and resort owners in Zambales. Today, SCUFA supplies seedlings to countless tree planting and landscaping projects of the DENR, local governments, Department of Education (DepEd), non-government organizations (NGO), and private companies in Zambales.


“Noong nakaraang taon, P400,000 ang kinita namin. Ngayon ay P300,000,” he narrated. He said his group has committed to supply the seedling requirements of President Aquino’s National Greening Program in the province.


Five percent of group’s income from seedling production goes to the organization. “Mas madaming seedling ang naipagbibili, mas malaki ang kita ng bawat kasapi, at mas malaki ang kita ng samahan,” Ka Mari stressed.


This benefit-sharing scheme is part of the agreement among the members when DENR awarded the group a stewardship deal over a 233-hectare of forestland in 2000.


Livestock and a fishpond have also been added to the group’s major source of income. Fish harvest from the 80 square meter pond would yield P20,000 for the group in a year.




Through the years, Ka Mari’s group used their CBFM area as a laboratory, experimenting on various crops and planting schemes. Soon enough they discovered many ingenious ways of growing trees and increasing their harvests.


For example, the sap of the local vine “kalot”, when mixed with water and sprayed on plants, would kill pests and insects. Noticing that aphids are virtually absent in fruits during the rainy season, the group also now sprays water on papayas at summer time to kill aphids.


Petchay (Chinese cabbage) planted in clusters not only maximizes space but also yields plants with bigger leaves and longer stems. Green mangoes that sink in a basin of water make sweet fruits when ripened.


“Kaya lahat ng mangga ng samahan ay matamis dahil alam namin kung kelan husto na sa gulang at pwede nang pahinugin,” Ka Mari revealed.


Organic farming


SCUFA is also into organic farming. “Napatunayan namin na hindi kailangang gumamit ng mga kemikal na pataba at mga pestisidyo upang gumanda ang ani,” Ruben Dario, 65, vice chairman of SCUFA.


Dario said SCUFA earned P26,000 from honey dew and another P6,000 from petchay. Cucumber earned the group another P2,000 in a single cropping from a 100 square meter- lot.


Animal manure, dried and decayed leaves, branches, twigs and other debris are the common organic materials used by SCUFA members to turn into compost fertilizer.


Using compost has improved their fruit harvests like langka, lemon, coconut, papaya, pineapple and banana. Increased yields were also noticeable in some vegetables like ampalaya, kalabasa and sitaw. 


Fruits of hard work


Hard work and persistence are SCUFA’s strongest traits. Already, the group is planning to equip their newly renovated multi-purpose hall with computer, and some appliances like refrigerator to ease the day-to-day administration of the group’s activities. 


“Dahil sa mga kinikita ko mula sa CBFM, nakapagtapos ng pag-aaral ang tatlo kong anak. Ngayon may anak na akong engineer, teacher at agriculturist,” Ka Mari said, with face beaming with pride.


Aside from bringing back the greens in Cawag, socio-economic development is the most essential contribution of the CBFM program to SCUFA members.


“Marami akong kinikita sa CBFM. Yung dati kong bahay na sawali napalitan ko na ng konkreto,” said Renato Guyaoy, 43, one of the early settlers in Cawag.


Creative partnership


Forging strong alliance with different government agencies and private companies is a skill SCUFA learned from CBFM.


The Department of Agriculture (DA) donated P200,000 for the group’s greenhouse while the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) provided 6,000 coconut seedlings. The Bureau of Fisheries of Aquatic Resources (BFAR) gave the group 20,000 fingerlings of tilapia for their community fishpond. The local government of Subic fixed the two-kilometer farm-to-market road of Cawag. Electricity was also installed in the village.


A ship-builder in Subic donated P150,000 cash to assist the group in the purchase of a hauling truck for their seedlings. Another private company donated plastic containers to be used as fire hydrant to help the group’s fire control initiatives.


SCUFA has definitely come a long way. With less than 20 members at the start of the association, the group’s membership has risen to 200. This phenomenal rise in membership reflects a collective will of the barangay folks to lick poverty and chart a better future for the children of Cawag.


And, judging from the group’s motto, “Sama-sama, tulong-tulong, pangalagaan ang kalikasan,” there is no reason SCUFA would not realize their dream. 



DENR-Region 6




Employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) prepare to release one of two rescued marine turtles to the sea at Sitio Lusay, Brgy. Lawin in Jordan, Guimaras province.  Locally known as pawikan, the turtles (a hawksbill and a green turtle) were rescued on a tip by a concerned citizen through ABS-CBN’s “Bayan Mo, Ipatrol”.  Prior to their release, the DENR took their measurements in compliance with Republic Act 9147, otherwise known as the Wildlife Conservation and Management Protection Act. 



DENR-Region 7


DENR partners with BFAR to study whale shark-feeding in Oslob, Cebu .


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in partnership with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), is conducting a three-month study of the behavior of whale shark (Rhincodon typus), more popularly known as “butanding,” frequenting the coastlines of Oslob and other coastal towns of Cebu, which has spawned a whale-shark feeding enterprise in these areas.


The joint study, which started on Sept. 17, is in response to requests from concerned individuals and groups, urging the two agencies to look into the whale shark feeding activity as it might disrupt or alter the shark whales’ natural feeding behavior, as well as cause possible changes in their migratory behavior.


“I suppose the concerns aired by some concerned groups on the possible impact of the local eco-tourism activity are valid and worth looking into. This is not only for the sake of the whale sharks but also for the people in the community as well as the tourists, as whatever the results of the study would serve to guide everybody in formulating strategies to ensure the protection of the wildlife so that they will continue to provide us entertainment and livelihood but ensure their perpetuity,” DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said.

Paje also said the team is given three months to conclude its work and submit its findings and recommendations to the regional office of the DENR in Cebu.


The study will cover the shores of Brgy. Tan-awan in Oslob, located some 117 kilometers south of Cebu City, where the team is expected to uncover the reasons why the sharks prefer to swim more frequently here that in any other parts of Cebu’s southern coastlines.


Included in the study is the assessment of the health of coral reefs and the benthic life forms present in the area, conduct of plankton surveys, determination of fish abundance and reef species, and to monitor issues and concerns that may affect the health of the whale sharks.


DENR-Region 7 Executive Director Isabelo Montejo indicated in his report to the DENR chief that local fishermen disperse krill or young shrimps to drive the whale sharks away from their fishing grounds as they were not only destroying the fishermen’s nets but were also driving away other fishes.


Locally called “tuki,” whale sharks were first observed in Oslob shores in the 1980s. 


DENR-Region 12

DENR assists South Cotabato LGUs in forest land use planning.


In a move to improve the management of South Cotabato’s forests, a total of 21 technical staff from the province’s local government units attended the workshop called by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on the development of forest land use plans (FLUP). 

“The Forest Land Use Plan will serve as your plan to improve your forest resources to become more productive, which will in turn provide economic benefits to your constituents. However, there is a need to harmonize your actions and plans with the DENR so that our plan would be more comprehensive,” Forest Resources Development Division (FRDD) chief  Mamutur D. Cariga told the participants from the city government of Koronadal and the municipalities of Tupi and Tantangan. 

FLUP, according to Cariga, is an important tool in the holistic and efficient management of forest resources, adding that it is an integral activity of comprehensive land use planning to determine the optimum and balanced use of natural resources to support local, regional and national growth and development. 

Forester Benjamin Alangca,  one of the resource speakers, said that among the technical assistance the DENR will be providing LGUs include the strengthening of on-site forest management by identifying appropriate forest land use and tenure, clarifying tenure responsibilities, helping resolve conflicts as well as encouraging public-private sector partnership to create livelihood for communities while ensuring forest preservation and protection.

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