Secretary Roy A. Cimatu urged the employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to come together and find ways to extend help to their fellow Filipinos during these trying times.

"This is an opportunity for those of us who were spared from the damage done by the COVID-19 and Typhoon Odette to commiserate with and assist the victims. I hope that you find it in your heart to extend help," Cimatu said in the hybrid 2021 DENR Yearend Employees' General Assembly on December 22, 2021, held at the DENR Multi-purpose building.

Some 1,600 employees attended the event with 300 on-site and 1,300 via Zoom.

"During difficult times, we should come together and let the bayanihan spirit come to force," he added.

Cimatu emphasized that this should be in accordance with the theme of the DENR’s yearend assembly, "Patuloy na Malasakit at Pagtutulungan, Sagot sa Pandemya Ngayong Pasko."

One of the efforts of the agency is a donation drive for DENR employees whose families were severely affected by typhoon Odette. This will be led by the DENR Association of Career Executives (DENR-ACE), Kalipunan ng mga Kawani sa Kagawaran ng Kalikasan (K4), and DENR Employees Union (DENREU).

Cimatu has already ordered the DENR Executive Committee to ensure that support will be brought to the affected employees in Visayas and Mindanao.

During the DENR Yearend Assembly, Cimatu turned over the cash donations to K4 on behalf of the DENR-ACE for the typhoon Odette relief efforts.

The DENR, on the other hand, also donated the cash prizes intended for the event for the same cause.

K4 national president and Land Management Bureau-DENREU president Atty. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Pimentel assured that updates will be provided on how the funds were spent in the affected areas.

"Grabe po ang ginawa ng bagyo. ‘Yung mga DENR offices ay pinasok po ng tubig. Nasira po ‘yung computers at gamit. This typhoon also rendered most of our employees homeless," Pimentel said.

According to Pimentel, the K4—through its different chapters—is already "starting a donation drive in several areas of Visayas and Mindanao." ###