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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 2 has raised over P1 million in cash donations from its employees in the region to support frontline health workers and hospitals responding to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis in the region.

DENR-Region 2 Executive Director Antonio Abawag said that a total of P1,040,635 were collected from 1,075 employees of the regional office, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs), Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs), Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Region 2, and the BFD Multipurpose Cooperative in response to the call of the DENR top management.

“Most of the personnel donated an amount equivalent to their one-day salary,” Abawag revealed.

Of the total amount donated, Abawag said that P300,000 from the regional office, EMB Region 2 and BFD Multipurpose Cooperative, was turned over to the Cagayan Valley Medical Center in Tuguegarao City on April 29. The hospital is among the designated COVID-19 treatment facilities in the region.

He said the remaining P740,635 will be used to purchase personal protective equipment and relief goods for frontliners in other hospitals in Cagayan Valley.

Aside from this, the regional and field offices in Cagayan Valley have been distributing meal packs to non-medical frontliners, such as law enforcement and barangay officers manning checkpoints, as well as to poor communities to augment relief operations of the national and provincial government entities.

According to DENR-Region 2 Assistant Director for Technical Services Felix Taguba, DENR vehicles have also been deployed since April 23 to ferry frontliners to and from their residences to COVID-19 referral hospitals, which include the Isabela Doctors General Hospital and Governor Faustino N. Dy Memorial Hospital, both in Isabela province.

Some DENR personnel also assist in manning checkpoints and in disinfecting public places, he said.

DENR Regional Public Affairs Office Chief Corazon Corpuz added the DENR’s Mechanized and Modernized Forest Nursery in Solana, Cagayan is also being tapped for vegetable seedling production to boost the region’s food aid to vulnerable communities affected by the pandemic crisis.#