DENR CALABARZON Regional Executive Director Gilbert C. Gonzales acknowledged the accomplishments of the regional and field offices for Calendar Year 2019. He said there was no controversial issue in accomplishing the targets. He mentioned that there was a lack of coordination, nevertheless, the same was not an issue, noting that the personnel are responsible and dependable and are already well-versed of the job.

 RED Gonzales said the conduct of New Year’s Call began during the administration of Former Environment Secretary Angelo Reyes, and that such activity is a first in the DENR CALABARZON. He emphasized the significance of the activity, which is to deliver the directions for the year in a formal and honourable manner. He said the activity also serves as a venue for the DENR CALABARZON Officials to renew their commitment with their respective posts and express dedication to pursue the goals and objectives of the Department.

 He proceeded with the delivery of the marching orders of Secretary Roy A. Cimatu for CY 2020 including his top priorities, as follows:

 Clean Air. 20 major firms will be identified and prioritized. The said companies will be required to comply with the emission standards. 

 Clean Water. 20 major rivers draining to Manila Bay will be identified and prioritized. The Department will clean the said rivers and ensure that its water quality is within the criteria.

 Manila Bay Rehabilitation. The Department shall achieve fecal coliform levels not exceeding 20 percent above the average standard for SB waters.

 Boracay Rehabilitation and Replication of its Success in Other Regions. The gains of the Boracay clean-up must be sustained. Other regions shall replicate the success in Boracay by endorsing upon existing beach resorts the compliance with the regulations on sewage treatment and disposal; observing public easements of structures along the shorelines; properly managing the garbage and adopting waste segregation and reduction systems; and not allowing developments unless proper permits and clearances are secured.

 Remedial Measure to the Alleviate Nationwide Garbage Disposal Problem. The establishment and maintenance of Sanitary Landfill (SLF) is too expensive. Most regions have limited available disposal areas or SLF to cover generation rates of all local government units (LGUs) in the region.

 The Environmental Management Bureau shall review and revise the DENR Administrative Order, making SLF more cost-effective. The Bureau can simplify the design criteria for SLF considering that the potential risks posed by segregated wastes are relatively lower than mixed wastes.

Sewage Systems for Urban Centers of the Cities, Municipalities and Provinces. Domestic sewage has been the major cause of water pollution of the public waters. The Department shall impose upon the water concessionaires, water districts and LGUs to provide Sanitary Treatment Plans in every city and municipality.

Protection of Forest Guards. The Department must be smart enough to deal with the criminals and violators. All incidents or situations that can result in threats and risks of the field personnel must be reported to their immediate supervisors. It shall be the duty and responsibility of the field office heads to address these threats. If, in some instances, the field officers cannot protect our personnel, they must report the matter to the RED.

 Improvement of the National Greening Program (NGP). NGP is one of the most ambitious but noble programs of the Department which was implemented without the benefit of a feasibility study. The use of Bamboo as NGP commodity is considered an option to accelerate the greening of the open areas. Forest cover will increase should the bamboo be made as alternative to wood, i.e. engineered bamboo. Bamboo is a potential raw material for building construction and can be a future industry in the country.

Reduction of Illegal Logging Incidence. All Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers (CENROs) will be required to come up with a strategic plan to regulate illegal cutting or poaching within the remaining forestlands, and initiate a joint undertaking with the LGUs for the protection of the NGP plantations within their areas of responsibilities (AOR).

Acceleration of Patent Issuance. Rapid Land Tenure Appraisal (RLTA) and Memorandum of Partnership Agreement (MOPA) shall be applied as tools to achieve this goal. All CENROs shall personally lead these undertakings to ensure that all teams conduct patent drives with utmost efficacy and efficiency.

Management and Protection of Legislated Protected Areas (PAs). The Protected Area Management Boards must be invigorated. The establishment and operation of Protected Area Management Offices will be formalized, and the Protected Area Superintendents with outstanding character and dedication to the work for biodiversity conservation shall be designated.

The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PENROs) shall be the overall managers of the PAs. They will ensure that all PAs within their AOR are protected according to the intent of the law that created them and that, Protected Area Management Plans are implemented as planned. They will regulate the use and optimize the benefits and revenues where the same can be sourced.

Research on Pine Tree and the Carrying Capacity of Baguio City. PENROs and CENROs are encouraged to look into potential subject of research in the region.

Promotion of Responsible Mining. The Department will never allow illegal extraction of mineral resources in the region without due compliance with the existing mining regulations, and will not hesitate to file charges against violators. The enforcement task force shall provide operational support in enforcing environment and mining laws and regulations. 

There must be an alternative technology on open pit mining.

Climate Change. Resilience efforts must be sustained. Calamities and disasters can no longer just be ignored nowadays. Earthquakes, typhoons, floods, landslides, volcanic eruptions, etc. are happening everywhere.

Human Resource and Administration. Personnel improvement must be continued, and earring personnel must be punished.

RED Gonzales informed the DENR CALABARZON Key Officials that the DENR MIMAROPA Region will be transferring to Mindoro soon. He also advised them that he and the Assistant Regional Directors will visit all the PENR and CENR Offices in the region.###