Environmental law enforcement teams to stage chorale concert

The government’s law enforcement groups formed to run after illegal loggers and polluters are taking an unlikely tact to beef up their arsenal - a concert chorale.

The Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force (AILTF) and the Environmental Law Enforcement Task Force (ELETF) are holding a free concert  today (November 28) at the central office Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Quezon City, dubbed “Harana sa Kalikasan 2011.”

The concert will feature the Ramon Magsaysay High School Chorale (RMHSC) which was adjudged as the best chorale group by the Aliw Awards Foundation  in 2006 and 2007, and won the championship in the prestigious National Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA) in 2005.  RMHSC likewise bagged two silver medals in the 2008 Hongkong International Youth and Children’s Hospital Choir Festival.

RMHSC's latest accolade was winning  the top prize in the “Musikahan sa Tagum National Chorale Competition” last February and was also declared as a grand prize winner of various chorale competitions organized by the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong, Samsung Phil., Manila Broadcasting Company and the Department of Tourism.

According to AILTF and ELTEF head Major General Renato Miranda (ret.), the holding of the concert “forms part  of his organization’s recognition of the potent force of  the arts and culture” to shore up public appreciation and participation in efforts to promote environmental activism in the country. 

AILTF’s creation was the result of the issuance of Executive Order (EO) No.  23 by President Benigno S. Aquino III last February 1, 2011, tasking the DENR as chair, to give teeth to the government’s enforcement of the EO’s imposition of log ban in natural and residual forests throughout the country. 

ELETF, on the other hand, was created last year under DENR Memorandum Circular 2010-15 issued by Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje. AILTF and ELTEF are presently holding office at the DENR Central Office in Visayas Avenue, Quezon City with Miranda as executive director and head, respectively. 



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

Housewife is PPUR text promo’s first millionaire

The “Pera sa Kweba” text raffle promo contest for the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) has a housewife from Malolos City, Bulacan as its first millionaire, it was announced by Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje, who also sits as the national campaign manager for the PPUR in the Search for the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

At the same time, Paje also announced that the “Pera sa Kweba” text promo for PPUR has been extended up to December 30, 2011. At stake in the grand draw, according to him, is a P25 million top prize.  He urged the public to keep on texting. “Who knows you might be the next lucky winner like Marites Balagtas, our first millionaire in this campaign,” Paje stressed.

Lucky texter, Marites Balagtas, 38, narrated that when she received the text message informing her that she had won, she initially thought that the text message was part of a scam. Watching her favorite primetime show, however, erased all doubts.

“Naloko na po ako dati ng P300 sa isang scam kaya di po ako naniwala sa text (message) na natanggap ko nun. Pero noong nanood po ako ng Will Time, Big Time kinagabihan, narinig kong ina-announce ni Willie (Revillame, host of the show) ang pangalan ko at tinatawagan ako sa cell phone ko. Hindi nga po kami nun masyadong magkaintindihan sa telepono. Hindi po talaga ako agad makapaniwala,” Balagtas narrated.

The windfall could not have come at a better time. Her family had been one of the victims of typhoon Pedring which flooded large parts of Bulacan, including Malolos City, in late September. Her husband, a pedicab driver, had been sick for several days already. And, low on funds, she was forced to cut short her eldest son’s confinement in a hospital where he was then being treated for dengue fever.

Marites narrated that she joined the contest to try her luck. She had sent eight text messages over different dates costing her P20, for a total of 16 entries, since each SMS sent for the promo before November 10, 2011 was worth two raffle entries.  She recalled that it was before November 6, when she received the text message and the televised call. 

Asked how she would spend the money, Maritess, a mother of three, said she would invest it in her children’s education. She also wanted a better, though small and simple, house for her family. She was also thinking of giving some of her siblings a little “balato” as capital for their livelihood activities. 

Marites was accompanied by two of her kids, her brother and his own kids, when she met with members of the Task Force Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Quezon City.

There she received a facsimile of her winning check from Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn and Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Austere Panadero as the other members of the task force watched and congratulated her.

As of November 17, the “Pera sa Kweba” text raffle promo has given away P10,000 each to 45 daily winners; P100,000 to each of three bi-weekly winners; P250,000 each to two monthly winners; and one P1-million prize. Additionally, 20 winners have each won P50,000 as drawn on the show Will Time, Big Time. 

The contest was initiated by the private sector to promote the PPUR as an eco-tourism site, and to educate the public on why it deserved to be a finalist in the New Seven Wonders of Nature (N7WN) contest. 

Paje said the extension of the “Pera sa Kuweba” promo up to December 30, 2011 was to give the people more chances of winning.    

Paje also extended his gratitude to all who voted for the PPUR, either through text or the internet, saying the “collective effort would go a long way  not only in promoting the PPUR as an eco-tourism destination for both the domestic and foreign tourists but also in encouraging the public to go into environmental protection.”  

The PPUR has landed in the provisional list of New 7 Wonders of Nature as announced recently by the organizers of the competition.

To join the “Pera sa Kweba” promo, text the word PPUR and send to 2861 for all local networks. Each SMS costs P2.50, and entitles the texter one raffle entry. Winning mobile numbers are electronically drawn under the supervision of the Department of Trade and Industry. 

The on-going promo is slated to give away more than P30 million worth of cash prizes, with the grand prize of P25 million to be given away to one lucky winner on the final draw scheduled on December 30, 2011. Lucky texters can win cash prizes ranging from P10,000  to as much as P1 million.  

 


 




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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