The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has created four field offices in Metro Manila to strengthen enforcement of environmental laws in the country’s most densely populated region that is home to over 12 million Filipinos.

This move, according to DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, is also part of the Duterte administration’s ongoing effort to make government services more accessible to the people, particularly those in the National Capital Region (NCR).

“The creation of the four field offices in the DENR-NCR aims to strengthen the enforcement of environment and natural resources laws and promote focused and area-based operations,” Cimatu said in DENR Administrative Order No. 2019-02, which he signed recently.

“Thus, this brings the programs, projects, and services of the Department closer to the public,” he added.

At the same time, Cimatu said the new field offices would enhance coordination between the DENR and other agencies, including local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila, which were tasked by the Supreme Court to clean up the heavily polluted Manila Bay.

Each field office would have separate jurisdiction over the region's 16 cities and one municipality.

The DENR-North Metro Manila Field Office would cover the CAMANAVA area, or the cities of Caloocan, Valenzuela, Malabon and Navotas. The South Metro Manila Field Office would have jurisdiction over the cities of Taguig, Parañaque, Las Piñas, and Muntinlupa, and the lone municipality of Pateros.

Quezon City, Marikina City and Pasig City would fall under the East Metro Manila Field Office, while the cities of Manila, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Makati and Pasay would be covered by the West Metro Manila Field Office.

Cimatu said that, except for the east office, a sub-station would be set up in each of the field offices to scale up the implementation of activities to rehabilitate Manila Bay.

While all four field offices would be directly supervised by the DENR Regional Executive Director for NCR, each would be headed by a Chief Environmental Officer and his deputy. Every field office will have three sections.

The Monitoring and Enforcement Section would monitor compliance with forestry, wildlife and other environmental laws, as well as conduct surveillance and investigation activities.

The Conservation and Development Section would undertake activities for protected area and biodiversity, urban forestry, coastal resource and foreshore, and community relations development.

Issuances of permits and other requirements for forestry, wildlife, and patents would be handled by the Permitting and Regulation Section.

Metro Manila, the country’s smallest region in terms of land area, has a population of 12,877,253 based on the 2015 national census. ###