The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Kalipunan ng mga Kawani ng Kagawaran ng Kalikasan (K4) recently signed a new Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) providing for additional benefits to DENR workers for the next three years.

K4, which has a total of 16 regional chapters nationwide, is duly accredited by the Civil Service Commission and has been recognized as the sole and exclusive negotiating representative of all DENR rank-and-file employees for almost one decade already.

The CNA was signed by DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu and K4 national president Jose Isidro Michael Padin during the celebration of the DENR’s 32nd founding anniversary last June 14. It was the second CNA signed between DENR and K4.

Cimatu said he was honored the new DENR-K4 deal was signed under his watch even as vowed for “continued harmonious relationship between the union and the management.”

“This CNA is a recognition of the fact that the DENR’s strength relies on the unity and well-being of its workers,” Cimatu pointed out.

The DENR chief also thanked the K4 officers and members of the Board of Directors who helped make the CNA signing possible.

Under the new CNA, the DENR and K4 agreed to extend mutual cooperation and assistance to each other “with the end in view of improving the welfare and well-being of the workers.”

At least four new employees’ benefits have been added in the agreement, which will take effect until June 2022.

These benefits include provision of hazard pay and accident insurance, establishment of a wellness program, and formulation of a comprehensive health insurance.

Those covered by hazard pay and accident insurance are workers engaged in law enforcement activities against illegal logging, mining, and illegal trade and poaching of wildlife species.

The wellness program includes provision of free maintenance medicine for, but not limited to, cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.

It also includes annual medical, optical and dental examination; stress management program; and immunization and screening for tuberculosis and Hepatitis B.

The CNA also calls for formulation of a comprehensive health insurance for workers in addition to the benefits available under the Employees Compensation Commission, the PhilHealth Insurance Program, and other applicable programs and policies of the government.

The CNA was a product of a month-long negotiation, which ended last June 7. The final agreement was presented to the DENR Executive Committee on June 10 or four days before the actual signing. ###