Cagayan town hosts 1st National Ecotourism Fest, Launches OTOP

The town of Sta. Teresita, Cagayan hosted the 1st National Ecotourism Festival with the theme “Gameng ti Nakaparsuaan: Takuaten ken Saluadan” (The Gift of Nature: Discover and Protect) showcasing the various unexplored ecotourism destinations in the municipality and promoting environmental awareness and conservation.

Representing Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje, Assistant Director Nelson Devanadera of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau presented a paper on ecotourism and development. He said the DENR and the Department of Tourism had signed a memorandum of agreement supporting the Biodiversity Partnerships Project (BPP) which includes ecotourism as one component. “Barely two months after the signing, Sta. Teresita, the youngest and a 4th class municipality in Cagayan, is now hosting this national festival,” he added. The town is one of the project sites of BPP.

After presenting a video documentary about the DOT’s tagline “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” and a film on Philippine biodiversity, Director Devanadera pointed out that the DENR should protect nature and biodiversity in order to sustain the ecotourism industry in the region. He added that the success of the tourism industry always resides on the strong political will of the local government unit as well as the hospitality of the people.

As a highlight of the ecotourism fest, Sta. Teresita launched ecotourism as its ‘One Town One Product’ (OTOP).

Instead of showcasing the products abundant in the area, the town is making its name in the tourism industry. “The best commodity we can offer is the well preserved ecology,” Mayor Lolita Garcia said. “The presence of undisturbed caves, lakes and the 72 hectares aqua-farm owned by a private individual where shrimps are being cultured make Sta. Teresita a must-see place,” the local chief executive added.

The festival was a joint project of the Department of Tourism, the local government unit and the Sierra Madre Outdoor Club.# (maripi asino)

The secrets of an achiever

“Put God first in everything you do and focus on your work.”

These are few of the secrets to success by Dr. Restituta V. Antolin, chief of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Division.

Adjudged one of the Women Achievers in Cagayan in 2010, Madam Resty, to her staff, shared her secrets to being a successful woman during her radio guesting at DWPE Radyo ng Bayan on March 4, this year, in celebration of the Women’s Month.

Madam Resty is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Forestry at the Isabela State University and finished her doctor’s degree in Development major in Rural Development at the Cagayan State University – Tuguegarao.

“God must be the center of your life,” she always advises. Walking her talk, she is one of the leaders of The Ruling and Reigning Kingdom Global Ministry.

As far as work attitude is concerned, everybody is a witness to this character of the woman achiever. You give her any topic on biodiversity, protected area, ecotourism, climate change and she will discuss it with much gusto! She also loves to work with the members of the Protected Area and Management Board.

“Quality time,” she emphasizes whenever the topic at hand is family. She confesses though that she is guilty of not being able to give this to her children because she was still starting in her career, thus she focused much on it. But certainly this did not stop her children form excelling in their chosen courses. In fact, the eldest is now a lawyer; the second, a human ecology graduate; and the third, a medical doctor. The youngest is a veterinary medicine student. Her plus point is a very supportive husband, Dr. Artemio Antolin, who is into consultancy.

Now that she is a grandmother of four, three girls and a boy, she is spending quality time with them. # (maripi asino)

3 POs receive ecotourism enterprise aid


Ecotourism in two towns covered by the Integrated Coastal Resources Management Project (ICRMP) in Cagayan will boost after three people’s organizations (POs) received grants for ecotourism enterprises on Feb. 27 and 28, this year.

The three POs are Portabaga Women in Development (PWD) in Sta. Praxedes and Timpuyog ti Panagrang-ay Dagiti Mangngalap Fisherfolk Association (TPDMFA) and Taggat Norte Fisherfolk Association (TNFA) in Claveria.

PWD will engage in forest adventure (hiking) and culinary enterprise within the Portabaga Falls while TPDMFA will focus on river expedition (floating restaurant and river paddling and cruise) and culinary.

TNFA will engage in reef discovery (snorkeling activities). The association will tie up with the local eatery or kitchenette within the Taggat Lagoon for accommodation and food services.

Sta. Praxedes Mayor Esterlina Aguinaldo-Ramos signified her support to the ecotourism enterprises of PWD which intends to offer hiking activities with the trained members of the association, catering service showcasing unique local and special delicacies and cooking and weaving demonstrations where guests can taste the cooked delicacy and experience weaving.

Mayor Celia T. Layus of Claveria expressed gratefulness for the alternative livelihood given to her constituents, thus, she advised the self-reliant group to responsibly monitor the overall management of its enterprises as well as the environment.

All the self-reliant groups assured their full support to the livelihood projects financed by the ICRMP. The ecotourism enterprises are under the Project’s Component C (Ecotourism Enterprise Development). # drm

ICRMP trains LGUs on info system

The Integrated Coastal Resources Management Project (ICRMP) conducted a training workshop on Integrated Information Management System (IIMS) on February 21-22, this year, at the Narra Hall, DENR Regional Office, Carig, Tuguegarao City.

The IIMS focal persons of the local government units actively involved in establishing the IIMS database participated in the workshop.

Regional Technical Director for Land Management Sector Gil A. Aromin emphasized that information must be properly encoded in the updated software in order to effectively use the database.

Forester Enrique Q. Pasion, chief of the Coastal and Marine Management Division, said it is timely to introduce the new system to the sites so that they can transfer their data for coastal resources management planning.

During the workshop, the Geographic Information System (GIS) Manifold was also initially introduced by GIS Specialist Villasita Policarpio.

The local government units represented during the two modules of the IIMS were given a licensed GIS Manifold. These are Buguey, Ballesteros, Gonzaga, Claveria, Sta. Teresita, Sanchez Mira, Abulug, Sta. Ana and Sta. Praxedes. # (drm)


 Region 2 reactivates envi law enforcement group

2019 09 

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have agreed to include in their enforcement activities other environmental laws whenever requested by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

This agreement was made after DENR Cagayan Valley Chief Atty. Antonio A. Abawag solicited the assistance of these law enforcement agencies in the apprehension of illegal transport of mineral products during the Regional Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force (RAILTF) meeting held earlier at the DENR Regional Office in Tuguegarao City.

Director Abawag said the DENR will expand the deputation of ENR Officers to the members of the Task Force. They will be required to participate in the law enforcement training before their deputation.

The meeting resulted in the draft memorandum of agreement (MOA) reactivating the operationalization of the RAILTF. The MOA redefines the roles and obligations of the member agencies and the engagement of the Philippine Air Force, Philippine Navy and Philippine Coast Guard.

The MOA will provide quick response to verified reports of environmental violations within the region. It will also improve environmental law enforcement from deterrence, investigation, arrest and searches to prosecution.

The RAILTF was created in accordance with Resolution No. 2011-003 of the National Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force which defined the roles of the local government units and other law enforcement agencies.

The Task Force is mandated to take the lead in the anti-illegal logging campaign. It may call upon the support of any department, bureau and office to assist in the discharge of its functions, such as but not limited to the provision of administrative and technical assistance, logistical support and detail of personnel.

During the meeting, Atty. Abawag ordered the Provincial and Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers to closely coordinate with the battalion and unit commanders of the Philippine Army and the PNP in conducting anti-illegal logging operations. #CCC



Photo Releases

SETTING DIRECTIONS FOR 2019 – Batanes OIC, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Marcelo G. Bumidang appeals to the officials and employees to be passionate in their work during the Strategic Planning Workshop for 2019 held at the PENR Office in Basco town on Jan. 16.  The planning activity intended to formulate the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for the activities of the technical services and monthly distribution of targets of the management services to facilitate implementation of targets and monitoring of accomplishments. The workshop was highlighted by the discussion on the different concepts, frameworks, plans and programs where the 2019 annual work targets of the DENR evolved and the presentation of WBS by the section chiefs.  To set the standard behavior in the organization, Atty. Fevie Gay J. Castaneda, PENRO consultant-lawyer, discussed Republic Act No. 6713 and other related laws. #
TAYO ANG KALIKASAN – DENR Region 2 top officials headed by OIC, Regional Director Atty. Gil A. Aromin (center) leads the employees of the Regional Office in reciting the “Tayo ang Kalikasan” pledge during the convocation today, July 30, 2018. “Tayo ang Kalikasan”, a citizen’s movement for environmental stewardship and sustainable development, was officially launched on April 24, 2018 in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. The movement aims to encourage the citizenry in the protection and conservation of the environment and natural resources, and to contribute in the achievement of the 2017-2022 Philippine Developmen Plan. Also with RD Aromin are Assistant Regional Director (ARD) for Technical Services For. Felix C. Taguba (left) and ARD for Management Services Engr. Marcos G. Dacanay (right).#
“LET’S WORK AS A FAMILY” – Regional environment chief Atty. Antonio A. Abawag (center) poses with his ‘new family’ at the Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Office in San Isidro, Isabela during his visit in Feb. 7. The regional top official announced his contact number allowing the DENR staff to communicate with him especially on contributions in improving the delivery of public service. He also encouraged the personnel of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENR) Office in Isabela whom he visited the following day to keep working well. “I’m here to lead you to the direction that is mandated of us,” Director Abawag said. Also in photo are Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Felix C. Taguba, Isabela PENR Officer Marlon C. Agnar and San Isidro CENR Officer Felix C. Ganapin.#
FMP MIDTERM REVIEW – Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) representative Kessy Reyes (standing) interviews the officers of Magsaysay United Upland Farmers Developers Association (MUUFDA) People’s Organization (PO) on July 18, this year in Magsaysay, Diffun, Quirino. The interview aims to evaluate the extent of Forestland Management Project (FMP) implementation in the community such as seedling production, plantation establishment, enterprise development and establishment of agro-forestry support facilities. The MUUFDA, with 60 beneficiaries, has already completed its 30 hectares reforestation project. It is also maintaining a 110-hectare agro-forestry plantation and currently in the process of procuring bee colony for honey bee production as part of their livelihood enterprises. The association has been one of the active among the 10 POs involved in the FMP within the Ganano Sub-watershed funded by the JICA. “Nagpapasalamat kami sa pagkakaroon ng proyektong ito dahil nadagdagan ang kita naming mga miyembro. Kung may namatay man sa aming itinanim, pinapalitan agad namin ito. Sinasama din namin ang mga anak namin sa pagtatanim at tulong-tulong kami sa pag-akyat ng mga punla sa bundok,” said Mr. Wilbert Natura (3rd from left), chairman of the MUUFDA, during the interview. The Midterm Review was conducted to assess the project performance of the POs within the nine sub-watershed areas in the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino. It also aimed to analyze the factors affecting their performance and formulate recommendations to improve the project implementation which is now on its 6th year.#



GUIDE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE – Cagayan Valley DENR Regional Executive Director Atty. Antonio A. Abawag expresses his support to the members of the Mine Rehabilitation Fund Committee (MRFC) – OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. as he vows guidance for the mining company to easily comply with environmental regulations. In his first meeting with the MRFC held on Feb. 7, this year at Zen Hotel, Santiago City, Director Abawag recommended solutions to some of the company’s concerns that were discussed in the meeting which include the reforestation project conducted in alienable and disposable lands, rehabilitation and protection of water systems or tributaries covered by the mining operations, and training of local government units that are part of the Multipartite Monitoring Team, a public independent entity that assists the DENR in monitoring environmental impacts and compliance. The meeting was presided over by Committee Chair and Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Director Mario A. Ancheta (3rd from left). Environmental Management Bureau Regional Director Diosdado C. Doctor (extreme right) and Quirino Governor Junie E. Cua (2nd from left) were also present in the meeting.#
SPEEDING UP LAND SURVEY – With the purpose of settling issues on the submission of Inspection, Verification and Approval of Surveys (IVAS) and in order to harmonize conflicting policies between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in processing survey returns, a joint consultation meeting was conducted on September 6, 2018, at the Narra Hall, DENR Regional Office. The consultation meeting was participated in by the different municipal and provincial agrarian reform officers in the region, and heads of the various sections of the Surveys and Mapping Division of the DENR. In his message, DENR Regional Director Atty. Gil A. Aromin expressed his appreciation to the agrarian reform office in initiating the conduct of the consultation meeting. He said: “The DENR is here to help the DAR. This meeting is important for us to see what we can do to tackle issues that can be resolved on our level and arrive at a consensus for a better public service.”#



DISASTER PREPAREDNESS, THE IVATAN WAY – Personnel of the PENR Office tie the roof of the Land Records Office and water tank of PENRO Batanes, and   install window shutters in   preparation for Typhoon Ompong as part of preemptive actions. These along with the creation of Skeletal Force that operated 24/7 saved the PENR Office building from even a small damage brought about by the typhoon that visited the province on September 14-15, 2018. #



COUNTING THE BIRDS – Technical staff of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office in Batanes conduct the 2019 Asian Waterfowl Census at Sitio Diblolon in Barangay Savidug of Sabtang town, one of the seven monitoring sites in the province. The census held on Jan. 5-20, this year revealed that Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos is the dominant species with 36 heads recorded followed by Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres (19) and Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva (17).#



MONITORING FOREST AND BIODIVERSITY – For. Samuel P. Telan (in blue shirt), Enforcement chief of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office in Batanes, leads his staff in monitoring forest and other flora and fauna resources on July 11, this year within Batan Island. The team patrolled a total of about 38 kilometers on June 26-28 and July 9-11. The patrolling resulted in the sighting of five heads of black-chinned Fruit Dove and hearing of a Ryukyu Scops Owl. The highest forest regeneration recorded during the patrolling is the open uncultivated with 161 records. There was no recorded threat in the forest area within Batan Island. The activity is part of the Lawin Forest and Biodiversity Protection System of the DENR.#
ESTERO CLEANUP – Personnel of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENR) Office in Batanes join about 300 representatives of other government agencies, local government officials and residents in cleaning up Padangan Creek and San Antonio Creek both in Basco, the province’s capital town. The cleanup, held on July 16, yielded about 75 kilograms of solid waste that should have drained to the West Philippine Sea. It launched the project “Developing Sustainability Mechanisms through Adopt-An-Estero Project in Basco, Batanes” implemented by the PENR Office. #
GEOHAZARD ASSESSMENT – Batanes Officer-In-Charge, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Marcelo G. Bumidang (right) personally inspects the coastal erosion and collapsing of cliff along Valugan Boulder Beach in Barangay San Joaquin of Basco town on Feb. 26, this year. The inspection was prompted by the report submitted by Engr. Felix T. Matanguihan Jr. (left), the embedded personnel of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB). Based on the report, the cliff is about one kilometer stretch approximately 25 meters away from the shoreline. The incident has been reported to the MGB Regional Office for appropriate intervention. #

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