First of all, I would like to recognize the efforts of our Regional Directors, as our frontline personnel in the field, for your hard work in standing up to the challenges that beset our Department. Indeed, while our laws on environment and natural resources are lauded worldwide, there are still some inadequacies in the enforcement and implementation of these in the field, which we need to address. We need to balance our regulatory and developmental roles in order to support the Duterte administration’s programs. These provide the impetus for the DENR’s PROGRAM FOR ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES FOR RESTORATION, REHABILITATION, AND DEVELOPMENT OR P-R-R-D. Our five-year action program is anchored on good and effective governance, inclusive growth and social justice.
          Hence, the thematic platform for DENR operations shall be ‘ENVIRONMENT IS IN THE HEART (ANG KALIKASAN AY NASA PUSO)’.In this context, we will focus on five priority programs under the Duterte Administration. These are: (1) Restoration of Forests and Protected Areas; (2) Good and Effective Governance in Environmental Protection ; (3) Adaptation to climate change and sustainable use of natural resources, including mineral resources; (4) Social Justice in Land Titling and (5) Conservation of coastal and marine resources.
In order to operationalize these in the field, here are our directions:
            First, we will optimize the expanded National Greening Program (NGP) and other tree growing mechanisms to further pursue the reforestation of the remaining seven million hectares that are considered denuded and provide sustainable livelihood to upland communities. We will also formulate policies to improve further the implementation of NGP.



            Second, the Land Management Bureau should implement policies to ensure no conflict and overlap in the issuance of titling/patents. Different jurisdictions in issuing titles i.e. DENR, DAR, NCIP and Courts resulting in overlaps of issued titles, in close coordination with the Congress will also be addressed.

            Third, the Environmental Management Bureau should intensify working with LGUs in implementing the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and with the Ombudsman to prosecute erring LGUs. Stricter monitoring of air and water emissions from industries willbe conducted and to file pollution cases agains erring industries.

          Fourth, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau needsto review existing Mineral Product Sharing Agreements and other mining operations to determine their compliance with mining and environmental laws. Previously suspended mining companies found to be in compliance with the law may be allowed to resume operations, but with DENR strictly monitoring them. They shall also be required to strengthen their Social Development and Management Programs and corporate social responsibility programs in order to uplift the socio-economic conditions of the communities affected by their operations.

           Fifth, we will continue collaboration with the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, Laguna Lake Development Authority and Manila Bay Coordinating Office for the clean-up of these critical water bodies. We will also establish in every region model river body to showcase our department’s effort to ensure clean water for all.

           These are gargantuan tasks, indeed. And you, Regional Directors, are our commanders in the field, at the frontlines of this battle to effect change in environmental governance. We who are in the central office are with you in this battle. We will support you. As Henry Ford said, and I quote, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” Hence, in the spirit of convergence, we will work with each other and with other national government agencies, local governments, the private sector, civil society and other development partners in order to reap success in our commitments under the Duterte administration.

             Mabuhay tayong lahat! Ma-biag tayo amin!


CALABARZON Protected Area Stakeholders Gather for their 6th Summit

          100 stakeholders from 19 protected areas in CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region comprising representatives from various institutions who have direct and indirect stakes to the said protected areas, have come together once again for the 6th annual Regional Protected Area Management Boards (PAMB) Summit from June 28-30, 2017 at Tagaytay Country Hotel, Tagaytay City, Cavite.

          Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON Region Assistant Director, Atty. Arnel Rodriguez said the said Summit aims to inform the protected area stakeholders on the latest status of their respective protected areas; update on the priority programs of the different local government units; through breakout sessions, identify issues and concerns that are halting the development in protected areas; and identify the possible solutions to the said issues and concerns.

        "This summit is not a golf fighting summit. We are doing this so that we could discuss the problems and identify possible solutions to it", said Atty. Rodriguez.


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