Secretary's Profile


secretary-profileSecretary Ramon Jesus P. Paje is the 19th secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Prior to his appointment, he was DENR's undersecretary for field operations and executive director of the Minerals Development Council under the Office of the President in concurrent capacity.

A holder of a doctorate degree in public administration and a top-rank Career Executive Service Officer (CESO I), Sec. Paje's ascension to the post marks the second time in the DENR's 23-year history to have the proverbial "bottom-to-top" success by a rank and file employee.

Fresh from college, he started his government service in 1982 as a junior forester conducting field inspection of reforestation projects of then Bureau of Forest Development (now forest Management Bureau), then rose from the ranks serving the environment and natural resources sector in various capacities, including undersecretary for environment and programs development, assistant secretary for management services, director for human resources development, among others.

Sec. Paje is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños, Laguna (UPLB). He finished his M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning and Doctor of Public Administration at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. He has a Certificate on Environmental Economics and Policy Analysis from the Harvard University in Massachusetts, USA.

In 1996, the newly installed DENR chief received the following awards: Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) from the Philippine Jaycees, Outstanding Professional of the Philippines from the Professional Regulation Commission, and the Outstanding Alumnus in Government Service from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños. In 1999, he was the Dr. Jose Rizal "Huwarang Pilipino Awardee" for public service given by the Parangal ng Bayan Awards Foundation.


Parties ink Cagayan River Management Agreement

The rehabilitation, protection and conservation of one of the most important river basins in the Philippines have been ensured following the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) of the Cagayan River Basin Management Council (CRBMC).

The signing of the MOC has formalized and operationalized the management council for Cagayan River Basin which covers the Cordillera Administrative Region and Regions 2 and 3.

Led by DENR Undersecretary for Field Operations Demetrio L. Ignacio Jr., the ceremonial signing was held on June 7, this year at the Crown Pavilion, Tuguegarao City.

Representing Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje, chair of the CRBMC, USEC Ignacio underlined the national impact of the Cagayan Riverbasin as one among the 18 priority major river basins in the country.“Power generation, agricultural and industrial production, tourism and biodiversitynot only impact regionally but also outside the three regions,” he explained.With these important roles, the Cagayan River should be conserved and protected according to the DENR field operations chief.

The top official also stressed the critical role of the local government units in the implementation of the Cagayan River Basin Integrated Management and Development Master Plan (CRBIMDMP) being the managers on the ground and having jurisdiction over the River Basin.

Four years in the making, the CRBIMDMP addresses four thematic areas, namely; water resource management, watershed management, climate change adaptation/disaster risk reduction management; and coastal and freshwater resources management.

The Master Plan has recommended the creation of an organization as the governing body that shall oversee and coordinate all relevant departments, agencies, non-government organizations, state universities and colleges and all other stakeholders for the proper management of the Cagayan River basin and its resources.

According to USEC Ignacio, the ridge to reef approach was adopted in the preparation of the Plan. He emphasized that the programs and projects as indicated in the Master Plan should be integrated in the budget of the national government agencies starting 2017.

The official pinned his hopes that the stakeholders will continue joining hands in the conservation of the environment and natural resources as he thanked themfor working on the Master Plan. # (CCC)


Photo Releases

BACK TO BASIC – Cagayan Valley Environment Chief Benjamin T. Tumaliuan delivers his message before the regional and field officials and personnel during the Strategic Action Plan Preparation cum Family Day on Jan.14, this year. Laying down his 2016 vision for all to go ‘back to basic’, the Regional Director said: “All personnel should perform their basic functions and obligations as government employees.” The activity, which was conducted to set the tone for the year and for personnel to enjoy before they will be exhausted to work, was held at the newly inaugurated DENR Multi-Purpose Covered Court located at the Rogelio B. Baggayan Nature Park and Wildlife Center in Carig, Tuguegarao City.#
DENR RO2 HRM ACHIEVEMENT – Acting Director of Civil Service Commission (CSC) Region 2, Atty. Neil S. Agustin, congratulates DENR regional executives during the awarding of plaque of recognition for the Agency having attained HR Maturity Level 2 (Process-Defined HRM) in the area of Rewards and Recognition under the Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management (PRIME-HRM). In his letter to Regional Director Benjamin T. Tumaliuan, Director Agustin emphasized that the Agency “has the distinction of being a notch higher than the other agencies and has demonstrated readiness to exercise delegated HR functions that are designed and geared to be at par with Asia’s standard.” The token of recognition was awarded on Feb. 15, this year during the flag-raising ceremonies. The DENR is one of the five agencies regionwide that are in HR Maturity Level 2. With Director Agustin are Jovy VT. Miguel, CSC Acting Director for Cagayan and Batanes Field Offices and Atty. Gil A. Aromin and For. Wilfredo C. Malvar, DENR Assistant Regional Directors for Management and Technical Services, respectively.#
UPGRADING PPLS MANAGEMENT – Dr. Roberto A. Araño, project manager of the Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience Program, shares their innovations in ecosystem management focusing on forest patrolling and reporting built on science, technology and partnership through a mobile software application during the capacitation for the Philippine Climate Change Adaptation Project (PhilCCAP) Local Working Group and the Protected Area Management Board for Peñablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape (PPLS). PhilCCAP Focal Person Mina L. Labuguen and Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation Technical Assistant George Michael D. Soriano also apprised the participants about good practices on climate change adaptation and crop/fruit tree insurance for upland farmers, respectively. The capacitation was held on Jan. 28, this year at the Narra Hall, DENR Regional Office. #
LEVELLING UP LEADERSHIP COMPETENCE – Provincial Director Rewina D. Arugay of the Civil Service Commission, Isabela Field Office, confers the forty-two graduates of the 1st Batch Supervisory Development Course (SDC) Track I on Feb. 24, this year at the DENR Regional Office, Tuguegarao City after completing the three-day learning event.  The learners, who are holders of positions with salary grades 18, 19, 22 and 24, had successfully completed the four supervisory sessions:  Enhancing Personal Effectiveness, Managing One’s Career, Becoming a Supervisor, and The Difference between Managing and Doing.  These topics were all geared toward the different supervisory development and management skills and techniques of becoming an effective and efficient supervisor.  The SDC was conducted for first line supervisors to enhance their skills and capabilities on managerial and developmental aspects of supervisory level.  It has to be undertaken up to three tracks to improve their strong leadership and commitment as supervisors.#


CAGAYAN RIVER BASIN MANAGEMENT –For. Wilfredo C. Malvar, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services briefs the participants about the Cagayan River Basin Integrated Management and Development Master Plan and its Institutional Framework for the Creation of the Cagayan River Basin Management Council during the Regional Development Council (RDC) and Regional Peace and Order Council Joint Meeting at the Pamegafanan Conference Hall, National Economic and Development Authority Regional Office, Tuguegarao City on Mar. 16, this year. Meanwhile, outgoing River Basin Coordinator Edmund S. Malupeng described the project as a challenging one. “In this endeavour, we will be addressing all concerns relative to the development and management of the River Basin to respond on the impact of climate change thru a shared responsibility,” he added.The Cagayan River Basin encompasses the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino in Region 2; portions of Mountain Province, Ifugao, Kalinga and Apayao in the Cordillera Administrative Region; and some parts of Aurora in Region 3. #
DENR ON WATER REGULATION – Licenses, Patents and Deeds Division Chief Eliseo D. Mabasa expounds on water regulation, a new function of the Department through his Division, during the “Tipon-Tipan sa PIA” today, Mar. 15, at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Regional Office, Tuguegarao City. Engr. Mabasa said DENR together with the Department of Public Works and Highways and the National Irrigation Administration was deputized to assist in the regulation of water usage since National Water Resources Management Board does not have field offices. He added that the major role of the Department is to accept, verify and endorse water permit applications, conduct inventory of legal and illegal water users and identify water sources. The media committed to help in information dissemination to avoid water depletion and to regulate its usage. Other topics discussed during the press conference were National Greening Program (NGP), Forest Protection, Management of Protected Areas and Land Titling. With Chief Mabasa are (right to left) Enforcement Division Chief Joel S. Daquioag, Conservation and Development Division Chief Sanrose M.  Pulangco, Protected Areas Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section Chief Robert V. Rivera, NGP Regional Focal Person Remedios T. Agnar and Park Operations Superintendent Mina L. Labuguen. #
NEW BIODIVERSITY MONITORING TOOL – Dr. Roberto R. Araño, Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER) Program consultant, briefly discusses the features of the new technology “LAWIN” during the Monday Convocation held today, Feb. 29. Developed by an international group in 2013, LAWIN or Landscape and Wildlife Indicators is used for monitoring, detecting and viewing specific area of illegal activities particularly in the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park (NSMNP) where the B+WISER Program is being implemented. In his message, Regional Director Benjamin T. Tumaliuan said through the gadget, monitoring the biodiversity within NSMNP and detection of illegal activities within the park is now easy especially that Region 2 has been declared as zero illegal logging hotspot.#
WOMEN EMPOWERMENT – Atty. Mari-Grace L. Cumagun of Civil Service Commission Region 2 accepts her Certificate of Appreciation from DENR Assistant Regional Director (ARD) for Management Services, Atty. Gil A. Aromin, for being the guest speaker and lecturer during the kick-off program in celebration of the 2016 National Women’s Month on Mar. 7, this year at the Narek Hall, DENR Regional Office, Tuguegarao City. Atty. Cumagun stressed out that empowerment is a choice and should begin on every woman to be able to empower others as well. She also discussed the Philippine laws on women empowerment particularly Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004. Joining ARD Aromin are ARD for Technical Services Wilfredo C. Malvar, Planning and Management Division Chief Lea A. Daquioag and Administrative Division Chief Lilia dL. Abel. # 
K4 GENERAL ASSEMBLY - Senior Ecosystems Management Specialist Juan T. Evangelista, president of the Kalipunan ng mga Kawani sa Kagawaran ng Kalikasan (K4), gives update on accomplishments, resolutions passed and adopted, and plans and projects during the 6thAnnual General Assembly (GA) on Feb. 24, this year.  He emphasized in his President’s Report the K4’s contribution in the successful implementation of the Rationalization Plan.  The K4 is now exploring to extend health services to all members through ‘medicard’ aside from financial and medical assistance it has been providing to active members.  Venturing into a joint K4 and Gender and Development Focal Point System (GADFPS) income generating project like ‘stall-for-rent for vendors’ is also one of the programs for implementation this year.  The K4 aims to protect the rights and general welfare of each member; promote effective and collective efforts to attain harmonious relationship between the employer and the employees; promote unionism; and seek ways and means to help members lessen their burden by giving financial assistance in times of calamity, hospitalization, and death of member and beneficiary.  With the theme, “Solidarity and Equality in the Pursuit of Common Good,” the GA was held at the Narek Hall, DENR Regional Office, Tuguegarao City.#
GROWING TREES, SAVING FOREST — Using a drone, the newest aerial documentation equipment, this 40-hectare mango plantation maintained by Sta. Victoria Forest Credit Cooperative is vividly seen fruiting after it was established in 2011 in Sta. Victoria, City of Ilagan, Isabela.  Through the use of advance technology, documentation of DENR efforts particularly in forest development has become easier and more accurate .#
BEAUTY AND NATURE -Miss Jovine M. Martin, 21, the official candidate of Tuguegarao City to Miss Philippines Earth 2016, does her part in greening the environment by planting Narra and Mahogany seedlings in Carig Sur, Tuguegarao City on April 7, this year. She was assisted by the members of the Cagayan-I Cycling Association and representatives from the DENR.Miss Martin emphasized that “Saving Mother Earth is not just a one-day activity…but an everyday event, a way of living.” She also encouraged everyone to be responsible ‘eco-warriors’ by taking the initiative to influence people.Martin is competing on the said pageant inJune 12.#
SAVING TREES FROM CARBON RISKS - Environment Management Specialist II Arthur T. Tanguilan of the Environmental Management Bureau Region 2 explains the good practices on Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) on Apr. 18, this year at the DENR Regional Office, Tuguegarao City in celebration of the International Earth Day on April 22.  He highlighted in his presentation proper waste seggregation and establishment of Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) as he emphasized that improper waste management poses threats to both human health and environment.  This year’s theme “Trees for the Earth. Let’s Get Planting,” enjoins everyone not only to to plant trees but also to properly manage  wastes. #
REVERENCE TO THE NATIONAL EMBLEM - The DENR Regional Office displays Philippine Flags in commemoration of the National Flag Days from May 28 to June 12. During the flag-raising ceremonies (inset) on May 30, this year, the employees were reminded about the history of the Philippine Flag, its proper use and importance to the country. The National Flag Day is observed nationwide pursuant to Republic Act 8491 or the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines. #
SIMPLIFYING LAND MANAGEMENT– Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Wilfredo C. Malvar lectures about Land Governance and Transparency before the 57 participating personnel from Provincial and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices of Cagayan and Isabela during the kick-off of the three-day Learning Session on Public Land Disposition (Cluster II) on May 24, this year. He said the event aims to simplify sketchy, technical jargons in the minds of land inspectors and land management officers. Aside from tackling about technical aspects in land disposition, morality and different tenets of good governance were also the focus of his discussion. The learning session is being conducted at the Narra Hall, DENR Regional Office, Tuguegarao City.#
FIRST AID TRAINING - Representatives from Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Region 2 demonstrate the proper handling of an accident victim during the Lecture and Training on Basic Management of Medical and Trauma emergencies held at the Narra Hall, DENR Regional Office, Tuguegarao City on June 3, this year. Led by Fire Officer Virginia E. Morgado, the fire protection officers simulated proper first aid treatment and basic life support to the 35 DENR employees to ‘prevent further harm, promote recovery and to preserve life’ at any time they encounter accidents that need their immediate medical response. “It is a must that everyone knows about the basic things for survival,” said Assistant Regional Director for Management Services, Atty. Gil A. Aromin, before the participants who were later called ‘medical first responders’ by the resource persons after completing the said training.#
BANKARERA FOR MARINE CONSERVATION – Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Officer Mario S. Bungubung (in white shirt) congratulates the team that won the boat racing contest dubbed “Bankarera 2016” during the culminating activity of the Ocean Month celebration on May 31, this year in Claveria, Cagayan. Representing Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Felix C. Taguba, CENR Officer Bungubung explained the importance of marine and coastal protection and conservation focusing on the theme “Biodiversity for Food Seacureity.” Started in 2007, the annual event is jointly conducted by the Local Government Unit of Claveria and the DENR in support of Presidential Proclamation No. 57, series of 1999. The champion, Beach Seine Erik-Mark, finished the race in 6 minutes and 34 seconds with a cash prize of P6,500.#
HARMONIZING LAND POLICIES – “We should join hands to bring light to the sentiments of our indigenous people (on land tenurial issues),” says Surveys and Mapping Division Chief Alberto S. Obedoza during the Joint Quarterly Meeting of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Land Registration Authority (LRA), National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) and DENR on May 31, this year at the Narra Hall, DENR Regional Office, Carig Sur, Tuguegarao City. In the meeting, the body agreed to form a sub-group with a representative from each agency that will prepare a letter to the National Anti-Poverty Commission containing an official statement answering the concerns of the indigenous people. This will provide a better understanding of the program the agencies have been implementing. Engr. Obedoza added that the Meeting is a proper time in order to harmonize all the national policies, plans and programs of the four agencies. The Joint Quarterly Meeting is in line with Joint DAR-DENR-LRA-NCIP Administrative Order No. Series of 2012 “Clarifying, Restating and Interfacing the Respective Jurisdictions, Policies, Programs and Projects of the DAR, DENR, LRA and NCIP in Order to Address Jurisdictional and Operational Issues Between and Among the Agencies. #
MECHANISMS FOR SERVICE EXCELLENCE – “Strive for excellence and make excellence a habit,” Atty. Gil A. Aromin, Assistant Regional Director for Management Services, called on the Division Chiefs and Assistant Division Chiefs of the Regional Office and Administrative Officers, Human Resource Management Officers and Planning Officers of the Field Offices during the opening program of the two-day Learning Event on SECSIME, PRIME-HRM, PBB Compliance and SPMS Implementation. The regional management chief underscored the goal of the present dispensation to be the best and top performing region in the country as he emphasized that service excellence is mandatory to all DENR offices. Held on June 16-17, this year at the Narra Hall, DENR Regional Office, Tuguegarao City, the participants in the learning event were updated on the “mechanisms to attain excellence”: Service Excellence through Continuous Systems Innovation Monitoring and Evaluation (SECSIME), Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management (PRIME-HRM), Strategic Performance Management System (SPMS) and the Performance-Based Bonus (PBB).#
BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION - Park Operations Superintendent (POSu) Mina L. Labuguen talks about the activities undertaken within the protected areas (PAs) in Cagayan Valley during the press conference on June 14, this year at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Regional Office, Tuguegarao City. Forester Labuguen highlighted ecotourism development as one of the priority projects within PAs in which livelihood programs are given to communities and more facilities are created to enhance tourism. She also enjoined everyone to help the Department in the conservation and protection of biodiversity by reporting illegal gathering of wildlife species. With POSu Labuguen are (left to right) Development Management Officer III Joselito D. Razon, PIA Information Officer I Gene V. Baquiran, POSu Nestor C. Reyes, Conservation and Development Division Chief Sanrose M.  Pulangco and Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section Chief Robert V. Rivera. The press conference dubbed “Tipon-Tipan sa PIA” was held in celebration of the Philippine Environment Month with the theme “Go wild for life. Combat biodiversity loss.” #

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