Paje appeals to Filipinos: “Be nature-friendly for the summer break”

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje made his annual call on the public to be “nature-friendly” as they enjoy the approaching long weekend and the rest of the summer season.

Paje issued the reminder in view of the approaching five-day weekend from Maundy Thursday of Holy Week on April 5 to Araw ng Kagitingan on April 9. Filipinos usually take advantage of the long weekend to troop to their home provinces and to other vacation spots in the country. The summer season is also when the country experiences peak arrivals from tourists, both foreign and local.

Paje said that regardless of how the break would be celebrated, the public should always remain mindful of the impact of their activities on the environment. He also noted how “Araw ng Kagitingan” would also be an opportune time to remember not only the heroes of World War II “but also the 22 environmental heroes who died while protecting the country’s natural resources.”

The DENR considers as “environmental heroes” its employees who were killed in defense of the country’s natural resources.

“Remember that where you are and what you are enjoying, from the top of the mountain to the depths of the sea, all are part of God’s creation, and there are those who actually lost their lives to protect it. Make sure, therefore, that what you do is neither destructive nor extractive so that our natural resources will still be available for future generations to experience, so that their deaths would not be in vain,” he said.

The environment chief also suggested the following activities for the summer season:

  • Reduce waste and utilize reusable containers instead of single-use disposable plastic bags. Learn handicrafts that creatively recycle waste material into something useful.
  • Conserve water so as not to deplete fresh water resources.
  • Have vehicles fine-tuned for fuel efficiency and reduce air pollution.
  • Ride a bike or take leisure walks not only for the exercise but to better appreciate surroundings.
  • Organize or participate in environmental activities such as seed collection, tree potting or nurturing, as well as cleanup activities especially along waterways and coastlines.

“Respect for nature and what it offers us transcends religious beliefs and cultural traditions. The natural resources we are enjoying now are only borrowed from our grandchildren, and it is, therefore, our duty to protect them,” Paje stated. 


 

 

 

EnvironmentNatural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje rallied last week his field officials to ensure the success of the National Greening Program, saying the program has full support of the President.

    “There is no reason to fail considering that President Aquino has amply given all the support this program (NGP) needs to succeed,” Paje told the regional executive directors (REDs),  regional technical directors, and the provincial and community environment and natural resources officers (PENROs, CENROs) attending the 2-day National Convention of Field Officers held May 31-June 1, 2011 at the DENR Social Hall in Quezon City.

    Paje also challenged the field officials “to give their best shot” as their performance in implementing the NGP will be “highly taken into consideration’ in the evaluation of officials for promotions.
 
“Those who will be performing will be rewarded. Wala pong biro yan,” Paje said, stressing that the field officers will be evaluated fairly based on a purely-merit system “without regard for personal ties or past associations” he has made through over 20 years at the DENR where he started his career as a casual forester.

Paje said the NGP-driven performance-based incentive scheme will first zero in on the PENRO and CENRO positions, with an instruction to DENR Assistant Secretary for Management and Finance Corazon Davis to reserve the vacant PENRO and CENRO posts as rewards for NGP’s top performers especially those that are on an acting capacity. 

“If you are a CENRO, you will automatically become a PENRO.  Those who are not yet full-pledged CENRO (with temporary appointment), we will make you full-pledged CENROs. Performance lamang, wala nang iba,”  Paje stressed. 

Of the 168 CENRO plantilla positions, 47 have yet to be filled;  while 25 remain vacant in the 73 PENRO  plantilla posts.

The incentive scheme forms part of Paje’s overall program to strengthen DENR’s performance-based promotion system to beef up the national leadership’s efforts in professionalizing the  Philippine bureaucracy.

But Paje was quick to clarify that the quality of their performance will be determined by the survival of the seedling declared in their performance and not merely on the number of seedling planted.

“Remember, the NGP is a national priority program of President Aquino, and this is not for show but for grow. Gone are the days when tree planting activities were just to set world records or just for photo opportunities,” Paje noted.

At the same time, Paje asked “doubting Thomases” to be forthcoming this early with their hesitation to go all out to meet their targets to allow for management to act appropriately in their particular case.

“We will make sure that everybody performs. Kung sino sa inyo ang tingin ay hindi kayang ipatupad ang programang ito, sabihin na ninyo ngayon,” Paje said.

The performance-based incentive will be based on the field officials’ scorecard in the  yearly targets given them and will be validated with the use of state-of-the art technology such as satellite mapping and internet-based technology through NGP’s website at the www.ngp.denr.gov.ph

Mt. Banahaw still off limits to pilgrims

After eight consecutive years of being closed to the public, Mt. Banahaw has already shown some signs of improvement, but has not yet fully recovered.  Thus, the continued moratorium on certain areas of the park for another three years has been set by the park’s management board.

This was announced today by Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje, saying that the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) for Mts. Banahaw and San Cristobal Protected Landscape (MBSCPL) has decided to extend the moratorium for another three years or until 2015 to give the mountain sufficient time to full recovery.

It was in 2004 when the board issued a resolution declaring specific areas in the protected area as closed to the public, starting from the different puestos (sacred places) of Brgy. Kinabuhayan to Kristalino Falls up to Dungaw to Tatlong Tangke then back to Kinabuhayan in the Dolores side, and from Brgy. Bugon puesto of  Pagbuga up to Dulong Ilaya in Brgy. Concepcion-Pinagbakuran and Concepcion-Banahaw in the Sariaya side, both in Quezon province.

In March 2006, five more areas on the Laguna side of Mt. Banahaw were banned from the public.  These were Barangay Bukal in Nagcarlan; Barangays Ilaya Sungi and Novaliches in Liliw; and Bukal and Taytay in Majayjay.

Three years later, in 2009, another resolution was issued by the management board that extended the moratorium for another three years covering all the aforementioned areas, which expired last January 29.  

In an en banc meeting held Feb. 16, 2012 at the Protected Area Superintendent Office in Brgy. Kinabuhayan in Dolores, Quezon, the board issued Resolution No. 002-2012 formalizing another three-year closure.

Paje said the PAMB’s decision is based on the recommendation of the DENR’s Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) which conducted on July 2007 up to Sept. 2009 a comprehensive and diagnostic assessment of the bio-physical and socio-cultural characteristics in Mt. Banahaw . 

Specifically, the research team, headed by Dr. Lope A. Calanog, looked into the carrying capacity and biodiversity of the protected area, focusing on the vicinity of Brgy. Kinabuhayan.

The research team, headed by Dr. Lope A. Calanog, reported that the mountain has already “shown some remarkable improvements” as a result of the moratorium, but stressed “more time is needed for it to recuperate some more, if not completely”.

The research team also found the area to be “highly susceptible to landslide, erosion and flashflood”.  Using the 2007 data of visitors visiting the mountain during the Lenten season at 3,528, the study concluded that “certain areas of the park, particularly the worship area, campsite, parking area, as well as the bathing area, have already exceeded their carrying capacity.”

Meanwhile, MBSCPL park superintendent Sally Pangan said that more than 200 mountaineers from various local groups such as the Ugnayan ng Mamumundok ng Banahaw; San Pablo Mountaineers; Tanaka-Laguna, Buhawi, Tayabas Montaineers; and the Banahaw Dolores Outdoor Club; have volunteered to beef up government personnel in regulating the movements of pilgrims and visitors, and to prevent anyone from “slipping” into restricted areas.  

“We will be patrolling the whole protected area throughout the Holy Week, in cooperation with the local government units, the police force, volunteer groups, radio groups and many more,” Pangan said.

According to her, a command post has already been set up at the Office of the PASU in Brgy. Kinabuhayan, where people visiting other areas of the protected area are required to individually register and briefed on the “Do’s and Don’ts” while inside the park.

Pangan also said that the PNP has already imposed a curfew in the park from 10 o’clock in the evening until 4 o’ clock in the morning and that strategic check points have also been set up and being manned 24 hours to prevent crime and other untoward incidents. 

“No roaming will be allowed after 10 p. m., and that vandals will be dealt with accordingly,” she stressed.

Acts that constitute vandalism, according to her, include picking or mutilating of plants, fruits and flowers; writing and engraving on trees and walls, altering or defacing facilities, boundary markers and park signs.

She also urged campers to keep their area clean and sanitary at all times, with garbage and other refuse properly disposed of.  

 

 

 

EnvironmentNatural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje rallied last week his field officials to ensure the success of the National Greening Program, saying the program has full support of the President.

    “There is no reason to fail considering that President Aquino has amply given all the support this program (NGP) needs to succeed,” Paje told the regional executive directors (REDs),  regional technical directors, and the provincial and community environment and natural resources officers (PENROs, CENROs) attending the 2-day National Convention of Field Officers held May 31-June 1, 2011 at the DENR Social Hall in Quezon City.

    Paje also challenged the field officials “to give their best shot” as their performance in implementing the NGP will be “highly taken into consideration’ in the evaluation of officials for promotions.
 
“Those who will be performing will be rewarded. Wala pong biro yan,” Paje said, stressing that the field officers will be evaluated fairly based on a purely-merit system “without regard for personal ties or past associations” he has made through over 20 years at the DENR where he started his career as a casual forester.

Paje said the NGP-driven performance-based incentive scheme will first zero in on the PENRO and CENRO positions, with an instruction to DENR Assistant Secretary for Management and Finance Corazon Davis to reserve the vacant PENRO and CENRO posts as rewards for NGP’s top performers especially those that are on an acting capacity. 

“If you are a CENRO, you will automatically become a PENRO.  Those who are not yet full-pledged CENRO (with temporary appointment), we will make you full-pledged CENROs. Performance lamang, wala nang iba,”  Paje stressed. 

Of the 168 CENRO plantilla positions, 47 have yet to be filled;  while 25 remain vacant in the 73 PENRO  plantilla posts.

The incentive scheme forms part of Paje’s overall program to strengthen DENR’s performance-based promotion system to beef up the national leadership’s efforts in professionalizing the  Philippine bureaucracy.

But Paje was quick to clarify that the quality of their performance will be determined by the survival of the seedling declared in their performance and not merely on the number of seedling planted.

“Remember, the NGP is a national priority program of President Aquino, and this is not for show but for grow. Gone are the days when tree planting activities were just to set world records or just for photo opportunities,” Paje noted.

At the same time, Paje asked “doubting Thomases” to be forthcoming this early with their hesitation to go all out to meet their targets to allow for management to act appropriately in their particular case.

“We will make sure that everybody performs. Kung sino sa inyo ang tingin ay hindi kayang ipatupad ang programang ito, sabihin na ninyo ngayon,” Paje said.

The performance-based incentive will be based on the field officials’ scorecard in the  yearly targets given them and will be validated with the use of state-of-the art technology such as satellite mapping and internet-based technology through NGP’s website at the www.ngp.denr.gov.ph

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