Congress approves DENR budget for 2018

The House of Representatives approved in plenary on Monday the budget of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for 2018.

The agency’s budget proposal for next year, amounting to P27.1 billion, is higher by 1.77% from this year’s allocation of P26.6 billion.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu expressed gratitude to the lawmakers for their continued support to the agency, as well as to Rep. Corazon Nunez-Malanyaon of the first district of Davao Oriental, for sponsoring the department’s budget at the plenary, which, he said, would enable the department to give vital support to the goals of the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan that the government has adopted as per Executive Order No. 21 issued by President Rodrigo R. Duterte last June 1.

“With the budget, the DENR will work towards ensuring ecological integrity and improving the socio-economic conditions of resource-based communities by sustaining biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystem services, improving environmental quality, and increasing the adaptive capacity and resilience of ecosystems,” Cimatu said.

Based on the DENR budget, the Enhanced National Greening Program gets the lion’s share of P7.1 billion, which seeks to plant some 198 million seedlings in 210,852 hectares.

From 2016 up to June this year, the DENR has recorded a total of 303,188 hectares of new plantations under eNGP, generating some one million jobs in the process.

The Duterte government hopes to reforest some 1.2 million hectares, from 2017 to 2022.

Under its 2018 budget, the DENR earmarks Php 1.25 billion for its intensified environmental protection program to pursue clean water, air and solid waste management; PhP 1.08 billion for biodiversity conservation and the scaling-up of its Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program; Php 634 million for forest protection and anti-illegal logging campaign; Php 585.5 million for land administration and management; and Php399.3 million for geohazard mapping, groundwater assessment and responsible mining.

For its attached agencies, the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority or NAMRIA, the National Water Resource Board (NWRB) and the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, will get P1.46 billion, P145 million and P100 million, respectively. ###