Press Releases

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.



The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is gearing up for the full implementation of the land administration and management system (LAMS) starting next year in an effort to address land-related problems in the country.

At the same time, the DENR is also set to fast track the cadastral survey of the remaining areas in the country.

DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said that LAMS is an information system designed to help the Land Management Bureau and the regional land management services of DENR in the management of land data and information, and other land records.

“With the installation of LAMS in all regional offices of the Department, the people can expect not only a more efficient delivery of land services, but also enhanced integrity of our land titles,” Paje said.

A product under the second phase of the Land Administration and Management Project (LAMP2), LAMS involved not only the build-up of database but also the installation of required hardware infrastructures.

Specifically, the project requires the computerization of land records but also scanning and encoding of maps, survey plans and public land applications.

Citing the on-going land row involving Wilfredo Torres, homeowners of various subdivisions in Quezon City, and the Land Registration Authority (LRA), Paje expressed optimism that land conflicts arising from erroneous data, duplication of records, multiple sources of land information and like will be minimized.

“I can assure you that with LAMS, every land transaction will be very transparent. President Aquino expects us to ensure that all government transactions will be transparent,” Paje stressed.

According to him, not only information on land titles will be made available to the public but also cadastral maps and information to guide local government units and survey maps to land surveyors, including land applications,” he said. “With LAMS,” he said, “we hope to address such perennial problems related to land administration like fake and fraudulent land titles, overlapping of boundaries and graft and corruption.”

Alongside LAMS, Paje said that the DENR is also set to fast track the cadastral survey of the remaining unsurveyed and partially surveyed areas in the country next year.

The move, according to Paje, is in support of other government projects such as land disposition, land use planning, taxation and internal revenue allotment (IRA) program for local government units nationwide.

President Aquino has given the DENR a marching order to complete the nationwide cadastral survey before the end of his term in 2016.

DENR records indicate that as of April 2011, of the targeted 1,516 municipalities and cities (excluding areas belonging to the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao) a total of 878 cities and municipalities have been completely surveyed cadastrally, 370 have on-going cadastral survey activities, 228 are partially surveyed and 40 other municipalities remain unsurveyed.

Paje explained that the exclusion of ARMM areas is due to inability of DENR personnel to conduct cadastral survey due to peace and order problem.

Cadastral survey refers to the survey made to determine the metes and bounds of all parcels within an entire municipality or city for land registration and other purposes.

The conduct of cadastral survey comprises of the following phases of work: survey control establishment to determine the horizontal and vertical positions of points; political boundary survey to determine the metes and bounds of the entire municipality or city and the extent of barangays for comprehensive land use planning and computation of the IRA; and lot survey to determine the metes and boundsof every parcel of land in the city or municipality for titling purposes.




Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje today directed the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) to work closely with the local government of Bunawan in Agusan del Sur for the proper management of the captured crocodile.

At the same time, he lauded the safe capture of ‘Lolong’ by a team of hunters led by Bunawan Mayor Edwin Elorde and technical experts from the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center. “I would like to congratulate the team of Mayor Elorde and our technical people from Palawan Wildlife Rescue Center. The capture of ‘Lolong’ alive is certainly commendable as we were able to preserve the life of the largest crocodile ever captured in the country, and perhaps even the world,” Paje said.

In addition, Paje said the PAWB team is also expected to discuss with Mayor Elorde the need to assess the remaining crocodile population in the marshland. “Our conservation effort should not end with the capture of ‘Lolong’. While its capture comes as a big relief to the residents, some of whom may have experienced crocodile attacks in the past, we also have to take a look at the situation on how we could harmonize or promote the co-existence of the people and the crocodiles and other wildlife in the Agusan Marsh.”

Citing the Agusan situation as an “example of growing human-animal conflict,” Paje underscored the need for the immediate passage of the land-use bill by Congress. “The land-use plan is an important policy instrument that would address increasing land-use conflicts, including wildlife-human settlements,” he said.

‘Lolong’, a saltwater crocodile, was the object of a hunt in the Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary for the past two years, said Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau Director Mundita Lim. In fact, according to her, an enclosure has been put up for the crocodile by the local government in response to the reported killing of a 12-year old girl in March 2009.

Last May, Lim said, the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary gave its go-signal for the Bunawan municipal government to spearhead the capture of ‘Lolong’. They have also entered into a memorandum of agreement that stipulated the procedural details and the manner of coordination among the parties for the capture of the huge reptile, listed as a critically endangered species under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES).

The Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary, which serves as Lolong’s natural habitat until its capture, was established as a protected area by virtue of Proclamation No. 913 issued on Oct. 31, 1996.

According to the PAWB director, the Agusan Marsh was considered to be the most ecologically significant wetland protected area in the country, hence its inclusion in the list of Wetlands of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention.

“The Agusan Marsh serves as a wintering ground of migratory birds from Northern Asia, as well as a catch basin of the Agusan-Davao plain. It provides ecological balance, livelihood support and other benefits to the local communities,” she said.



Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje today appealed to the public to refrain from catching, handling, keeping and trading wild birds to avoid the risk of bird flu.

At the same time, he reminded traders that the import ban on wild birds, their by-products and derivatives from bird flu infected countries remains in effect.

Paje made the appeal in the wake of a recent report of the United Nations-Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO) on the “possible major resurgence” of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1) with signs of a mutant strain of the H5N1 virus.

The report also indicated that the H5N1 virus is already making inroads to Asia and other parts of the world with unpredictable risks to human health and the poultry industry.

“We don’t want to be alarmist, but it is better to err on the side of caution and keep the country and our people safe from the virus,” Paje said, noting that the new mutant strain of the virus has been found in our neighbor countries China and Viet Nam.

Quoting medical reports, Paje said that the deadly bird flu can be easily transmitted through inhalation or direct contact with discharges or feces of infected birds. Thus, he advised the public to contend themselves with watching the birds from afar. “Enjoy the sight of birds flying freely up in the sky or frolicking in seashores; do not touch them.”

Likewise, Paje also warned communities in farms and coastal areas to keep away from any dead bird and to immediately report cases of unusual die offs of wild birds to the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) at tel. nos. (02)-9258953, or to the nearest field offices of DENR, Department of Agriculture and Department of Health.

Paje also said that the ban on the importation of wild birds from bird flu-infected countries based on the list of the World Organization for Animal Health is still in effect. The import ban, which the DENR has imposed since January 2004, also covers wild bird by-products and derivatives.

Since its first detection in 2003, the bird flu virus has already infected a total of 63 countries worldwide. Recently, the affected countries include Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Mongolia, Romania and Viet Nam.



Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said the DENR has already linked up with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Office of the Ombudsman to put to task local government units (LGUs) in addressing the burgeoning garbage problem in their respective localities.

At the same time, Paje also asked all provincial governors, through the League of Provinces of the Philippines, in providing the necessary assistance to the LGUs under their jurisdiction to enable them to comply with the provisions of Republic Act 9003, otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

“We are already working closely with DILG and the Ombudsman to resolve this issue of low, if not non-compliance of local chief executives, to the requirements of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act,” Paje explained to members of Ecowaste Coalition, a group of non-government organizations advocating the 3R’s in solid waste management, namely reduce, re-use and recycle.

The group staged a protest at the DENR Monday (Sept. 5) calling for the immediate closure and rehabilitation of all dumpsites in the country in light of the recent trash slide that occurred in the Irisan dump in Baguio City.

Paje, who also chairs the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), said that the DENR has already issued 435 final notices to LGUs nationwide that continue to operate open and controlled dumpsites, in violation of RA 9003 which has set the deadline for the closure of all open and controlled dumpsites in 2004.

Relative to this, Paje said the Office of the Ombudsman has also issued Subpoena Duces Tecum to LGUs that were sent with final notices by the DENR.

Paje said such twin moves is “a step closer to filing administrative charges against non-compliant LGU officials under RA 7160 or the Local Government Code, and send out a signal to those who continue to ignore the risks to their own constituents’ health and property.”

“Sec. Robredo has, in fact, issued already a memorandum to all local chief executives and Sangguniang president officers and members to observe the enforcement and implementation of RA 9003, warning them that failure to comply shall subject the officials to administrative sanctions,” Paje stressed.

The DENR has also written Mindoro Governor Alfonso Umali Jr., who heads the League of Provinces of the Philippines, and all the country’s governors requesting that they provide the necessary assistance to LGUs to enable them to comply, particularly on the safe closure and rehabilitation of its open and controlled disposal facilities, as well as their final disposal facilities/technologies.

“We sought the assistance of the League of Provinces because, under the law, it is a member of the National Solid Waste Management Commission,” Paje said.

In his letter to the governors, Paje reminded them of their responsibility in putting up a Provincial Solid Waste Management Board whose functions include developing and implementing a provincial solid waste management plan; providing logistical and operational support to LGUs within their jurisdiction; recommending measures and safeguards against pollution as well as fund generation; and coming up with solutions to identified solid waste management problems.