In celebration of the National Volunteer Month, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)—through its Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service (SCIS)—has recognized 49 organizations for their unwavering support to the agency and its causes.

DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns and SCIS Supervising Undersecretary Benny D. Antiporda said the DENR is “fortunate to enjoy widespread support for many of its programs, projects, and activities.”

“Indeed, we have seen a spectacular turnout of volunteers in our coastal and river cleanups, tree planting, and other mobilization activities,” Antiporda said during the awarding ceremony held via Zoom last December 15.

According to Antiporda, this is because the institution “has earned the people’s trust, and the undertakings are responsive to the people’s needs and aspirations.”

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Antiporda said the DENR will continue to fulfill its mandate of protecting the country’s environment and natural resources and to recognize its loyal partners for “the credit must be shared with these organizations.”

Antiporda also explained why the DENR is “fiercely defending its projects against fault-finders,” saying these are “not by the DENR alone, but by its diverse stakeholders.”

During the event, nine DENR partner-organizations received special awards. For this year, the agency handed out five sets of special awards. Gawad Mapamaraan was given to the Junior Chamber International Manila, Rotary Club of Makati- Rockwell, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, National Bicycle Organization, and UST - College of Science and Simbahayan.

The Masigasig Award was conferred to Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) Corporate Affairs Specialist Arnold Aldaba for his efforts to connect the DENR to the bank’s environmental programs.

The Gawad Kamanggagawa was awarded to the Employees Compensation Commission, and the Gawad Kawanggawa sa Kalikasan to the HSBC Electronic Data Processing, Philippines. Inc. and its volunteers.

The Kamagong Award was given to the Land Bank of the Philippines for the implementation of its volunteer programs supporting the protection and rehabilitation of watersheds and uplifting the livelihood of its partner community organizations.

Equivalent to the Hall of Fame, this award is named after the kamagong (Diospyros blancoi), a tree species endemic to the Philippines that displays traits which best describe the awardees “as resilient, adaptable, relevant and important.”

The National Volunteer Month is celebrated every December pursuant to Proclamation No. 55 series of 1998, which enjoins all departments, agencies and instrumentalities of the national government units, the private sector and the public at large to actively participate and support the activities for the month-long celebration. ###