The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will set up an endowment fund for ‘environmental heroes’ using as seed money the proceeds generated from the In a R.A.C.E. (Responsive, Accessible, Courteous, Effective) to Serve Fun Run held last Sept. 4, 2011 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City in celebration of the 111th Philippine Civil Service Anniversary.

DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje made the announcement during the turnover of a check amounting to PhP314,241.00 from Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairman Francisco T. Duque in Monday’s (Sept. 12) flag raising ceremony at the grounds of DENR in Quezon City.

“We deeply appreciate the concern and generosity accorded by the Civil Service Commission led by Chairman Duque to our co-workers in the DENR, who have to sacrifice their lives in defense of our forests, our seas and other natural resources,” Paje said.

Duque said the amount was raised from the registration fees paid by the runners, totaling 2,831, composed mostly of government employees.

No less than Vice Pres. Jejomar C. Binay led the Fun Run highlighted by two events, 3K and 5K. Among the government agencies that supported the event include the Philippine Sports Commission, Pasay City Government, Metro Manila Development Authority, Pasay City Police District, Small Business Guaranty and Finance Corp., Cultural Center of the Philippines, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Philippine Information Agency, and DENR.

Duque stressed the commemoration of the birth of the civil service system in the Philippines serves not only as an opportunity to reflect on the state of the institution as one of the first modern civil service systems in Asia but also to recognize the contributions and sacrifices of Filipino civil servants.

“Amidst the politics and changing leadership in government, they are the people who ensure the stable and continuous delivery of programs and services to the public,” Duque said.

Duque also enjoined all employees of the DENR to participate in next year’s Fun Run as his agency seeks to target around 10,000 government employees to generate more funds for ‘environmental heroes.’

Paje said he will be forming a group who will be managing the fund. The group, he said, will also be responsible in laying down the mechanisms not only on the fund’s utilization to benefit the dependents of ‘environmental heroes’ but also on how to ensure the sustainability of the endowment fund.