Secretary Roy A. Cimatu challenged the various offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to "go down to the grassroots level and involve more people and communities to the agency’s programs and projects," during the celebration of the agency's 34th anniversary on June 10.

"For instance, make as many people as possible aware that we have forest guards and other employees who put their health and lives at stake defending our environment," Cimatu said during the celebration held via face-to-face and web conference, which was attended by more than 1,500 DENR employees across the country.

This year marks a momentous occasion as this is the first time that the DENR celebrated its anniversary with all its employees—from the regions, bureaus, attached agencies, and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENRO) and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENRO)—attending the event online via Zoom telecommunication application.

"Let more people know how far we have gone in our Enhanced National Greening Program and other DENR programs and projects implemented in the field that resulted in communities' lives getting better," he added.

The DENR was created on June 10, 1987, by virtue of Executive Order 192 reorganizing the previous Department of Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources and transferring the energy matters to the Office of the President during that time.

With the theme "Celebrating with A Greener and Safer Environment," the 34th DENR founding anniversary also featured the Environmental Awards for Governance and Leadership Excellence or EAGLE Award 2020, which is conferred to the most outstanding regional executive director, regional director, and implementing and supervising officers of the PENRO and CENRO.

For the second time, Arleigh Adorable of DENR-Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) was hailed as the top-performing Regional Executive Director and was awarded a trophy and a cash prize of P100,000. Adorable was first conferred with the award in 2019.

Mario Ancheta of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) and Ma. Victoria Abrera of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) were recognized as top regional directors for their respective line bureaus. Abrera also won the same award in 2019.

Delia Benitez of PENRO-Eastern Samar was recognized as the top Supervising PENRO, while Merlyn Dumalahay of PENRO-Camiguin bagged the top Implementing PENRO.

Benitez and Dumalahay each received a trophy and a cash prize of P75,000.

Like Adorable and Abrera, Dumalahay also won the top Implementing PENRO for the second time around since she was first awarded in 2019.

A supervising PENRO heads a provincial office with sub-offices headed by the CENROs, while an Implementing PENRO heads a lone DENR field office in the entire province.

The top performing CENRO for 2020 was awarded to Imelda Casiwan from CENRO Pinukpuk in the Cordillera Administrative Region. Casiwan received a trophy and a cash award amounting to P50,000.

The EAGLE Award aims to "strengthen the culture of organizational and leadership excellence in the DENR as it carries out its important role in ensuring the conservation, management, development, and proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources."

It also aims to "assess the efficiency and effectiveness in delivering their official functions, and to recognize and commend the performance of the field officials for their exemplary leadership and major accomplishments and contributions in pursuing the department’s goals and objectives."

Two major areas have been the basis for the assessment of the nominees: physical and financial performance and environmental governance.

Using the major areas, the evaluation covers two phases—first is the determination of efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of services, product outputs, and results (60 percent), while the second phase is the determination of leadership abilities (40 percent). ###