DENR CALABARZON and the Dumagat-Remontado Indigenous Peoples Tribe in Rizal and Quezon grieve for the departed soul of Rigor Santos – the Forest Monitoring Officer of the Regional National Greening Program, who died in the line of duty during a field validation activity in Barangay Mahabang Lalim, General Nakar, Quezon last October 28. He was swept away by the raging water while traversing the vicinity of Kanan River.

Due to his familiarity in remote areas in Rizal Province and General Nakar, Quezon, Rigor Santos was assigned at the Regional National Greening Program Coordinating Office (RNGPCO). According to his colleagues, Rigor Santos is experienced in field practice. “Si kuya Rigor ‘yong tipo ng tao na ang liit liit pero pagdating sa field, halimaw- napakaliksi at napakabilis. Inaaalagaan nya kaming lahat kahit mas malalaki pa kami sa kanya. Kumbaga, small but terrible,” said one of his colleagues.

Meanwhile, DENR CALABARZON Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria recognized his more than 7 years of service to DENR. “We deeply mourn the loss of a dedicated and hardworking colleague. This serves as a reminder of the dangers that an environmental worker faces in the field. We sympathize with the bereaved family and rest assured that assistance will be provided.”  DENR Secretary Roy A.Cimatu said, "Mr. Santos is an environmental hero. This tragic incident just shows the danger our personnel in the field have to face just to carry out their duties.".

On the other hand, the Rizal and Quezon Dumagat-Remontado Indigenous Peoples tribes also extended their condolences to the family of Santos. They have worked with Santos protecting the forest of Rizal and Quezon while he was a Field Extension Officer in PENRO Rizal since 2014, and until he transferred to the Regional Office as a Field Monitoring Officer.

The Regional NGP Coordinating Office has organized a fundraising activity for additional assistance to the family of Santos. The wake of Santos is currently at his residence in Tanay, Rizal. A funeral mass will be conducted in the afternoon of November 3 followed by a burial ceremony which will be done strictly for immediate family and close friends. ###