A Tribute to the Late ‘Queen’ of Anti-illegal Logging Operations

 

 A Tribute to the Late ‘Queen’ of Anti-illegal Logging Operations

CENRO Milet

            Strong-willed and fearless. These are two words which could best describe the ‘small but terrible’ Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) of Real, Quezon, Miliarete “Milet” Buisan-Panaligan, who sadly passed away on August 27, 2018 due to health complication.

The sole woman CENRO in CALABARZON became well-known for her brave and tireless fight against the ‘illegalists’ in the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, particularly, the Real-Infanta-General Nakar (REINA) area, and the Polillo Group of Islands (POGI), both illegal logging ‘hotspots’.

         The passionate Batangueña has undeniably left a significant mark not only on her co-employees, but also on the communities and institutions she has closely worked with in her 32 years of service at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

 

 

 Panaligan started working as a casual Forester at the DENR Region 4 in 1986. In 2010, she became Officer-In-Charge, CENRO, Real, Quezon and, in 2015, she assumed as the full-fledged head of the DENR field office.

 From then on, CENRO Milet prioritized fierce enforcement against illegal loggers. She had led several operation plans (OPLAN) in Sierra Madre, MAREINAUA (Mauban, Real, Infanta, General Nakar, Umiray, Aurora) and POGI from 2011-2014. She also initiated the Brigada Sierra from 2015-2016 with the tagline “Mamamayan, Kasama Ka”, encouraging ordinary people to report perceived illegal forest activities through text message.

 Due to her perseverance to eradicate environmental crimes, she got a number of death threats. But, she would always say she is not afraid as she has put her fate into the hands of God.

 In 2012, she received a Gawad Muyong Award from then Environment Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje and then Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Glorioso V. Miranda, as champion in anti-illegal logging operation in REINA-POGI. In 2014, she received an Outstanding Public Service Award from the University of the Philippines Los Baños - College of Forestry and Natural Resources Alumni Association. Even in her earlier years in service, she was given several awards in recognition of her excellence and dedication.

 The bold but outgoing lady leader used her expertise in community organizing in carrying out her mandate to protect and conserve the natural resources within her jurisdiction. She had a pure heart for public service, committed to building rapport with the locals especially the Indigenous Peoples, and making genuine forest protection partners out of them.

 “Siya ay huwarang empleyado at sana marami pang katulad niya’ng DENR ang humalili sa kanya, hangga’t maaari, lalo na sa pagmamahal niya sa Sierra Madre. Talagang halos ibinuwis niya ang kaniyang buhay dahil lang sa pagmamahal sa kalikasan… Para sa akin, ang katumbas niya ay bayaning tunay na naglilingkod nang (may) katapatan,” the IP Governor of Quezon, Thelma Aumentado, said in honour of the beloved CENRO who passed on a National Heroes’ Day. ###

CENRO Milet 1

CENRO Milet in action. DENR Real, Quezon chief Miliarete B. Panaligan (wearing purple shirt) leads the confiscation of lumber flitches abandoned along a coastline in General Nakar, Quezon on July 27, 2016.

CENRO Milet 2

 

 

 

 

News

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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