The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) celebrated its 35th founding anniversary on June 10 with its entire 33,000-strong workforce coming together via Zoom and Facebook for a full day of thanksgiving festivities, cultural shows, expressions of gratitude and friendly competitions. 
DENR Acting Secretary Jim Sampulna keynoted the event, themed “Pistang Pamilyang DENR, Para sa Tuloy-Tuloy na Pagkakaisa at Tatumpay,” with a message of  gratitude both for President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the DENR’s workforce.
“The President’s trust in DENR was not put to waste because we delivered,” Sampulna said, attributing the DENR’s successes like the rehabilitation of Boracay Bay and the Manila Bay to “the confidence he has bestowed not only on me but the entire DENR in the past six years.” 
“You have been a part of every single accomplishment we achieved,” Sampulna said, stressing his appreciation for the hard work and dedication of each employee under his term. 
Sampulna cited how the entire DENR workforce has  remained together and solid despite the “difficulties and dangers, especially at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Simultaneous celebrations in DENR’s field offices were likewise held, including a week-long holding of “Palarong Pinoy” (June 13-17) which spotlighted 12 most played traditional games consisting of Bato-bato Pik, Bunong Braso, Hampas Palayok, Kadang-Kadang, Luksong Lubid, Palo Sebo, Patintero, Piko, Sipa, Sungka Tumbang Preso and Pabitin.
Sampulna also brought back the HR@YourService activity to bring the services of other government agencies closer to DENR employees and their families. The Philippine Statistics Authority, Land Transportation Office, National Bureau of Investigation  and PAG-IBIG are among the invited participants.  
 Sampulna is one of four DENR Secretaries to have risen the DENR ranks,  first working  as a tree marker at the then-Bureau of Forest Development in 1977.
Noting that he considers himself as one of the “pioneers” of DENR, Sampulna noted  said that an insider at the DENR helm offers far-reaching advantages on the national leadership’s ability to push its environmental agenda given his or her wealth of institutional knowledge and executive expertise that has been enriched and honed over years and even decades of dedicated work.
Since its creation in 1987 following the issuance of Executive Order (EO) 192, the DENR has been led by a total of 17 secretaries, four of whom are from the ranks to include former secretaries Ramon Paje (July 1, 2010-July 1, 2016), Horacio Ramos (February 12, 2010- June 30, 2010), and Ricardo Umali (July 1 to September 7, 1992).
EO 192, known as the Reorganization Act of the DENR, was signed by former President Corazon C. Aquino on June 10, 1987, and created the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. 
“I am one of the fortunate ones to witness this department transition into what it is today,” Sampulna said.
Since the issuance of EO 192, the DENR has evolved into a more focused agency in carrying out its regulatory, conservation and protection mandates, especially in the formulation and implementation of environmental policies and programs. The EO has also catapulted the DENR as the principal implementor of the country’s key environmental laws.
These laws include Republic Act (RA) 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004, RA 8749 or the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999, RA 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of  1995, and Presidential Decree 705 or the Revised Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines. ###