DENR picks Palawan’s Snake Island as site for coastal and marine research center

A prime research center for the country’s coastal and marine resources will soon rise in idyllic Snake Island in Palawan.

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. issued DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2011-12 establishing Snake Island as site of the D ENR National Coastal and Marine Center for Research (NCMCR).

“The establishment of a research center is a step towards a more effective and efficient conservation of our country’s vast biodiversity. We need to implement clear interventions in protecting and rehabilitating our coastal and marine ecosystems as they provide food and livelihood to millions of Filipinos,” Paje said.

Paje also said the Snake Island makes for an ideal and strategic site for the country’s coastal and marine research program because it represents the megadiversity of the Philippines.  “Being located in Palawan, which as we all know, is the country’s last ecological frontier, Snake Island is definitely a good choice to put up our research center,” Paje added.

Under the DAO, the NCMCR in Snake Island would serve as a field station for applied research for marine and coastal ecosystems, ecotourism and biodiversity. It would also house a laboratory for researchers to study interventions for coral reefs, seagrass and mangroves.

The NCMCR would further serve as a model for sustainable coastal and marine management and showcase the proper implementation of ecotourism principles.

Based on Paje’s directive, no application for foreshore lease agreements inconsistent with the objectives and functions of the NCMCR will be entertained by the DENR.

Commercial and industrial businesses other than those related to agriculture will not also be allowed on the island, according to Paje.

Executive Director Jacob Meimban of the DENR’s Coastal and Marine Management Office said his office would coordinate with other marine experts, institutions and agencies such as the DENR’s Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau, the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, the University of the Philippines’ Marine Science Institute, and Silliman University in designing the NCMCR, particularly its laboratory facilities.

Snake Island is a 7.5-hectare snake-shaped island within Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa City , Palawan . Its only structures are a DENR-manned monitoring station, as well as cottages run by the Honda Bay Boat Owners Association, which provide temporary shelter for tourists. 
 

Environment and Natural 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

DENR padlocks 6 erring mineral processing plants in Camarines Norte

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has padlocked on Friday (Nov. 25) six mineral processing plants operating with expired permits issued by the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB) of Camarines Norte.

Served with cease and desist orders (CDOs) by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the DENR in Region 5 include P&F Mineral Experts Corp., Green Gold, Triple A and Talla, all in Paracale town; and Escober and Romeo Diaz mineral processing plants located in the municipality of Jose Panganiban. 

All six processing plants were subject of public complaint, particularly from fisherfolks allied with “Samahang Mangingisda ng Paracale” for polluting Paracale’s fishing grounds, including two major rivers, Malaguit and Bato-Balani in Jose Panganiban. 

In a report to DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje, MGB-5 Regional Director Luis B. Loyola said that the issuance of CDOs came following the conduct of a joint investigation team by MGB and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) which found the mineral processing plants, except Green Gold, to be in active operation despite expired permits from the local mining regulatory board.  

However for Green Gold, Loyola said the company was closed down due to defective wastewater treatment facility.

Paje said that based on the department’s rules and regulations, any company that generates wastewater should secure a wastewater discharge permit from the EMB. He, however, clarified that once a mining permit of a mining project expires, its wastewater discharge permit also expires with it.

“I would like reiterate our policy in DENR that any company that discharges wastewater with an expired EMB permit or no permit at all will be held liable for violating Republic Act No. 9275, otherwise known as the Clean Water Act,” Paje explained.

Under the People’s Mining Act of 1991, the PMRB is in charge of issuing licenses for the operation of custom mill and other processing plants subject to the pollution control and safety standards. 

The board is chaired by the MGB regional director, vice-chaired by the provincial governor, with representatives from the small-scale and large-scale mining industries and local non-government organizations (NGO) as members.


Environment and Natural 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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