New DENR 4A Director lays down Sec. Cimatu’s Priorities for the Region: DENR takes the lead in the implementation of ENR laws


New DENR 4A Director lays down Sec. Cimatu’s Priorities for the Region: DENR takes the lead in the implementation of ENR laws

RD Sofio

          The newly-assigned Director, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region IV-A, Sofio B. Quintana, Ph.D., CESO IV, laid down Secretary Roy A. Cimatu’s priorities and challenges for the region during the office’s 1st Management Conference on March 14-15, 2018 in Tayabas, Quezon.

          Quintana shared that during a conference with the Secretary, the latter emphasized the need for the regional offices to coordinate with the Legislators on the plans, programs and activities of the agency. “For instance, during the budget hearing, Representatives are asking for the projects being implemented by the respective offices,” said the director, who attended the regional conference for the first time.

          The ENR 4A chief likewise stressed the vital function of the Department in implementing environmental policies.

          “We are not enemies, we are to work together. But we have to assert our authority – that the DENR takes the lead in the implementation of ENR laws”, he said, relating to the initiatives of the local government and other government agencies in executing restrictive laws in Taal Lake without coordination with the DENR.

          “Let us (DENR) show to the world that ENR laws have to be respected”, said Quintana.

          “Another challenge of the Secretary is for us to be quick. We should minimize receiving memorandum from Dir. Rolando Castro (of the DENR – Human Resource Development Service) on delayed actions on cases… we should not be charged because of slow processing,” the Director conveyed. He was referring to the special instruction of the President to efficiently attend to the concerns of the public.

         “Let us be very quick, but cases should be decided judiciously”, Quintana reminded the senior officials of the DENR regional office, and the Provincial and Community ENR Offices (PENROs and CENROs).

          Quintana relayed also the special directive of the Secretary to have a close watch of all the beaches, seashores, and lakeshores within the region. “We do not want to experience what Boracay is now experiencing”, he said.

        The director, who was assigned in the regional office last January 26, recalled the previous challenge of Sec. Cimatu to the PENROs of Rizal and Laguna to rehabilitate the Laguna Lake. He said the PENRO of Laguna has already presented to him his plans for the renowned water body, to which, he assured that whatever financial assistance needed in the implementation of said plans shall be covered.

         On the priority improvement of Manila Bay, Quintana pointed out the need for the complementation of PENROs and CENROs in the implementation of activities which have been planned by the Manila Bay Site Management Office of the regional department.

           He said the expectations from the DENR 4A is very high, and that there is a long line of activities yet to be accomplished.

          “I encourage everybody to work very hard, but don’t put too much stress on your health because if you are sick, you cannot work in the way you want”, he advised his senior staff.