Clean the Laguna Lake: Sec. Cimatu's Ultimate Challenge to DENR Field Officers

Clean the Laguna Lake: Sec. Cimatu's Ultimate Challenge to DENR Field Officers


"The success or failure of cleaning Laguna Lake and the rivers surrounding it rely on you," Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu utterly addressed to the Provincial and Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PENRO and CENRO) of Laguna and Rizal as he challenged them to clean the prestigious lake.

Cimatu laid down his ultimate challenge to the PENRO and CENRO during his second visit at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) office on January 26, 2018.



"I intend to clean Laguna Lake. That's my goal. I cannot clean it by myself. I have to rely on the Regional Director and the PENROs and CENROs," the Secretary said.

Located in the provinces of Laguna and Rizal, Laguna Lake or Laguna de Bay is one of the major water bodies in the country which Cimatu prioritizes to rehabilitate. Its waters drain towards the Pasig River, and to the Manila Bay.

Cimatu said one of the reasons for Manila Bay's current filthy state is the negligence on the part of the DENR to ensure the cleanliness of Laguna Lake as mandated by the Clean Water Act, saying "pinabayaan natin na madumi ang Laguna Lake". He neither let pass the opportunity to also mention Cavite as an area needing special attention as regards the rehabilitation of the bay, stressing that bulk of the solid wastes drained to the water body were from the informal settlers in the province.

"I will be relying on your leadership... Your performance, initiative, and dedication at work," the DENR chief told the DENR field officers of Cavite, Laguna and Rizal after making them stand up in the middle of the crowd.

Having a military background, the Secretary treats the PENROs and CENROs as his "forward forces" in the battle for the environment. He said, "it will not matter how good the commander or general is if his forwarded forces are not good, themselves. You need to rely on your frontline". On his part, Cimatu conveyed that his team will be frequently going around the area to monitor and supervise the actions being taken by the field offices.

Practicing the principle of meritocracy, Cimatu said the field officers' performance as to the matter will indicate their fate, either to become the full-pledged holders of the positions they are designated in, or be stripped off of their respective designations.

"It is a challenge," Cimatu declared, remembering how he was challenged to remove the solid wastes in Boracay within two weeks. He said nothing is impossible for them, the DENR, as it is their role to ensure environmental quality and human well-being. "Kailangang gawin natin ang dapat," he stressed.

In the past months, the DENR chief made it clear that one of his top priorities is to effectively implement the country's main environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act and the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.


DENR Calabarzon, on alert for Ompong


          Power outage and water disruption. These are the expected consequences of the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong, estimated to make a landfall on the northern portion of the Philippine islands in less than 24 hours.

          In preparation, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) is calling for volunteers to help.

          DENR Calabarzon Assistant Director for Technical Services, Arturo E. Fadriquela said the plan is to prepare their field personnel for two packaged services. The first package is to provide chainsaws with skilled operators and porters, and the second one is to deliver fully-charged generator sets.

          Fadriquela, the designated captain for the relief and rescue operations, said they will be in close coordination with the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) should their services be needed.

         “Kapag ang hiningi sa atin ay tumulong sa clearing ng area, ang gagawin lang pagpasok sa kalsada, may nakaharang (na puno) itabi, putol, itabi… Wala nang retrieval ‘yon, saka na ‘yon kasi mabilisan ‘yon e. Kailangan kasi ma-clear ‘yung daan para makapasok ang serbisyo, pagkain, tubig,” Fadriquela said.

          He also said they are looking into the possibility of providing go bags to the affected communities, and warm bodies to be of aid in other services. “Kung hindi naman apektado, maging available din ang mga tao natin kung saka-sakaling i-deploy sa mga repacking,” the assistant regional director said.

          “We would like to have an inventory of standby generators and water tanks that people can lend and we can mobilize in areas of greatest need so we are calling on people to let us know if they have one we can borrow” added DENR Calabarzon Director, Atty. Maria Paz G. Luna.

          With regard to the potential garbage accumulation, Luna said “we aim to have as close to a zero waste operation as possible because trash mounds in disaster areas turn into breeding places of pests and germs”.

          The relief and rescue operations are part of the Tayo ang Kalikasan program of the department.

          Willing volunteers may contact the DENR regional office through hotline numbers 09202068610 and 09553912684, email address This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or Facebook page @denr4aofficial.

          The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAG-ASA) has raised public storm warning signal no. 1 for the entire region.

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