Paje directs convening of Taal Lake management board to discuss SC order

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje welcomed the writ of kalikasan issued by the Supreme Court, directing him and other DENR officials to refrain from issuing permits for operation of fish cages in Taal Lake.

At the same time, Paje directed DENR-Region 4A Executive Director Reynulfo Juan,  who also sits as the chair of the multisectoral Protected Areas Management Board of the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (TVPL), to convene immediately the board to review and discuss the management plan of Taal Volcano in light of the writ of kalikasan.

“We welcome the move of the Supreme Court, as this fully supports the intention of the government to improve the environmental quality of our rivers, lakes and other waterways, which the DENR has been waging all these years, particularly last year when we launched our Adopt-an-Estero program,” Paje said.

Paje clarified, however, that the DENR does not issue permits for fish cages but the concerned local government units.  “The regulation and control of the fish cage industry within the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (TVPL) is with the local government since they have jurisdiction over the aquaculture zone.   The concerned mayor issues the annual permit and the license to operate fish cages within his/her political jurisdiction. In turn, he/she collects fees from the fish cage operators for their municipality,” he explained.

According to him, this practice of the LGUs assuming the mandate to issue permits has been institutionalized even prior to the creation of the PAMB, and continued to this day as the LGUs are also regular members of the PAMB.

Paje said that among the major issues that need to be looked into in light of the writ of kalikasan include the immediate dismantling of illegal fish cages and other aqua structures.

Paje also said the board will need to examine the contribution of pollutive establishments and other development activities along banks of rivers that drain into the lake.  “Another that will have to be looked into by the board are the land-based activities that contribute to the pollution of the rivers surrounding the protected area, that also impact on the water quality of Taal Lake,” Paje stressed.

In a report, DENR’s Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) and concurrently park superintendent of TVPL Laudemir Salac said that the dismantling of illegal fish cages and other aqua structures in the protected area started way back in 2008 when the executive committee of the PAMB had authorized the Batangas provincial government to spearhead the campaign.  Relative to this, Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto created the Environmental Law Enforcement Task Force for TVPL composed of representatives from local and national government agencies, including law enforcement agencies.  

As of 2011, Salac reported the task force was able to dismantle a total of 6,945 illegal aqua structures, broken down as follows:  1,702 in 2008; 3,593 in 2009; 488 in 2010; and 1,162 in 2011.

 


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

DENR suspends mountaineering activities at Mt. Kanlaon due to cracks, landslides

Calling all mountaineers, both local and foreign, wishing to scale up the mountains of Mt. Kanlaon.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has suspended indefinitely all mountaineering activities at Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park (MKNP) in Negros Occidental due to cracks and landslides caused by the recent 6.9 earthquake that hit the province.

DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said the suspension is imperative to ensure the safety of mountaineers and other park visitors.

“The department’s decision to suspend mountain climbing and trekking activities to Mt. Kanlaon is to ensure the safety of tourists, both local and foreign,” Paje said.

Paje likewise advised field personnel conducting assessment and monitoring activities to be watchful of possible falling rocks and other sediments from the landslide affected areas.

In a report, DENR - MKNP Park Superintendent Cecil L. Cañada said that based on initial assessment, some portions of the Mt. Kanlaon’s crater have been affected by last week’s earthquake.  “There were cracks on the volcano surface and landslides.  Mountain trails and the eco-tourism area of the park were also affected,” she said.

Cañada also said that all advance booking and trekking permits have also been suspended until further notice.

She also said that based on the reconnaissance conducted by MKNP Eco-Tourism Officer Angelo C. Bibar and other trained guides and rescue group based in So. Guintubdan, La Carlota City, frequent aftershocks coupled with occasional heavy rainfall could also pose danger to the lives of mountain trekkers and tourists as well. 

Mount Kanlaon straddles the cities of Bago, La Carlota and San Carlos City; and the municipalities of Murcia and La Castellana, all in Negros Occidental. Its boundaries also extend up to Canlaon City of Negros Oriental. 


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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