The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has expressed grief over the untimely demise of a forest officer, who died after being swept away by strong river current while conducting a survey operation in Quezon province last October 28.

Secretary Roy A. Cimatu led the DENR community in extending condolences to the family of Rigor Santos, a forest monitoring officer assigned at the DENR-CALABARZON under the Enhanced National Greening Program (E-NGP).

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of one of our employees from CALABARZON who has put his life on the line to be of service to the people and the environment,” Cimatu said. “We sincerely honor the dedication of Mr. Santos to his work.”

Cimatu said the death of Santos highlights the dangers DENR field personnel face while performing their job of protecting the environment.

“This tragic incident just shows the danger our personnel in the field have to face just to carry out their duties,” Cimatu said.

Santos was swept away by the strong water current while traversing Kanan River located at Barangay Mahabang Lalim in General Nakar town.

He was with select members of the validation team who conducted survey, planning, and mapping activities at the proposed E-NGP site in the said village.

His body was recovered at 11 a.m. of October 30, Saturday.

Cimatu said the DENR will extend all forms of assistance to the forest officer’s bereaved family.

“Mr. Santos is an environmental hero,” Cimatu pointed out. “We mourn with his family and commit to providing all forms of assistance to the bereaved family of a great environmental worker.”

A native of Tanay, Rizal, Santos is a graduate of Bachelor of Agricultural Technology at the University of Rizal System. He has been in the DENR since 2014 where he started work at the DENR Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office in Rizal as forest extension officer. He then transferred to the CALABARZON regional office.

The 30-year-old forest officer is survived by his two young children.

“He is well liked by his peers due to his jolly disposition,” said DENR-CALABARZON Regional Executive Director Nilo Tamoria. ###