CENRO Cabagan ties up with LGU Tumauini for cave mgt

The Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Office in Cabagan, Isabela has linked with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Tumauini for the maintenance of ecological balance and preservation of the aesthetic value of Sinabuluan Cave.

Officer-In-Charge, CENR Officer Bernardo B. Valiente said the Sangguniang Bayan of Tumauini adopted on July 13, this year the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) containing the responsibilities of the DENR and the LGU in the preservation, development and management of the cave located at So. Sinabuluan of Barangay Antagan 1st. He added that the MOA will improve the ecotourism potential of the cave.

“The SB members moved for the allocation of funds for the management of Sinabuluan Cave in their upcoming budget hearing in October, this year,” Protected Areas and Wildlife Specialist Luz S. Soriano said. She added that the legislators also decided to enact a municipal ordinance that will govern the management and development of the cave including the surrounding watershed.

Under the Agreement, the DENR shall, among others, regulate the collection and removal of cave resources prior to suitable clearance from Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (now Biodiversity Management Bureau), LGU, and/or National Museum; in general, provide trainings and other related services to the LGU that will ensure the effective protection, development and management of the subject cave/s; upon request, provide technical assistance to the LGU on the implementation of the Cave Management Plan; monitor the implementation of the Cave Management Plan; and implement the prohibition on the introduction of artificial structures or any similar development inside the cave.

The responsibilities of the LGU include: provide manpower and financial resources for the protection, conservation and management of Sinabuluan Cave; integrate the management plan in the land-use, development, investment and revenue plans of the Municipality; enact the necessary ordinances, rules and regulations consistent with national policies in support of the co-management of the Cave; raise awareness among its constituents on the importance of conservation, protection and sustainable use of caves and cave resources; encourage and promote the participation of the private sector and entrepreneurs in the implementation of the Cave Management Plan and subsequent management/development plans especially those ventures that are related to agriculture and nature-based tourism; and provide such other resources and services that will ensure the effective conservation, protection and management of the cave.

A proposed ecotourism site by the LGU of Tumauini, Sinabuluan Cave was classified as Class II by the DENR per Memorandum Circular 2012-03 which means that it is “open to experienced cavers or guided educational tours/visits”. It is within the Tumauini Watershed Forest Reserve, a protected area under Presidential Proclamation No. 355 dated April 14, 1994. #


Int’l NGO, DENR forge partnership for NGP


An international non-governmental organization (NGO) has collaborated with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to pursue rehabilitation of open and degraded forestlands in the region.

The Junior Chamber International (JCI) Cagayan Valley formalized its partnership with DENR Region 2 through the memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed by the two parties on December 4, this year at the DENR Regional Office in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan for the “InfiniTREE GROWING PROJECT”.

In support of the National Greening Program (NGP), this will be implemented until 2020 in the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela within areas to be identified by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices.

As agreed upon, the JCI shall shoulder the budgetary requirements of the project. It shall allocate funds for the various activities such as site preparation, seedling production, hauling of seedlings to planting sites including the maintenance and protection of the established plantations.

The JCI shall also ensure that the implementation activities strictly adheres to the environmental protection and rehabilitation measures for watersheds as prescribed by the DENR; identify, invite and encourage all its local organizations, local government units and other partners to participate or adopt similar schemes in the rehabilitation of the environment; and engage the local community within the adopted area in all phases of rehabilitation, maintenance, livelihood and protection activities.

For its part, the DENR shall designate suitable and specific areas as planting sites that will support watersheds and river basins; identify suitable tree species to be planted in the adopted areas; provide technical assistance in nursery operation, plantation establishment and plantation maintenance and protection; and conduct regular monitoring and evaluation of the project.

During the presentation of the project, Regional Director Aromin lauded the initiative of the Junior Chamber International to partner with the Department in the implementation of the NGP.

“We recognize your efforts and your noble project for the protection of our watersheds and river basin particularly our Cagayan River,” Atty. Aromin added.

The MOA signing highlighted the celebration of the National Volunteer Month. # CCC




DENR PhilCCAP: Good Practice Awards nominee


The Philippine Climate Change Adaptation Project (PhilCCAP) implemented by the DENR and other partner agencies was nominated to the Good Practice Awards (GPA) by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).


The DENR Central Office submitted PhilCCAP, a project that develops and demonstrates climate change adaptation approaches in the ENR and agricultural sectors, as an entry to the GPA – Category A: Strategies in Achieving Desired Outcomes. The project passed the preliminary screening and was subjected for field validation as the next step for assessment on Nov. 8-9, this year at the project sites in Peñablanca, Cagayan.

Cagayan Valley was selected for evaluation among the 3 implementing regions which include Regions 4 and 13 since all the project components were implemented in this region.

Senior Economic Development Specialist Rhya L. Daluddung and Economic Development Specialist I Ianah O. Olonan conducted group discussions with the project’s focal persons from the implementing agencies, interview with the beneficiaries, and site visits.


“We are here to know how effective, relevant and innovative PhilCCAP is. We will also assess if its strategies can be replicated to some other areas and projects,” said Daluddung while conducting interview with the farmer-beneficiaries of Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in their learning center in Agugaddan, Peñablanca.


Protected Area Superintendent Tito M. Mangantulao presented the DENR’s implementation at the Peñablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape where the project sites are located. PASU Mangantulao said 77 beneficiaries from barangays Manga, Buyun and Nabbabalayan established agro-forestry farms that serve as an adaptation strategy in their community.


Representatives from the Department of Agriculture and its supporting sectors also discussed about their thrusts in partnering with farmers in the implementation of another PhilCCAP component. The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, another lead partner-agency of the project, presented how their scientific information enables end-users make more rapid and accurate decisions for climate risk management.


After the validation, the DENR will present the project to the award’s screening committees for final interview and evaluation.


“We are very honored because once again, Region 2 has been nominated for an award through the PhilCCAP. Even just a nomination makes us already proud,” told Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Felix C. Taguba during the exit conference of the activity.


Both of the NEDA’s staff expressed their positive feedback and hopefulness that DENR will win the award. They said that with the impacts of climate change, the hardest hit are the farmers but the existence of PhilCCAP makes them adapt, become resilient, and thrive throughout the coming years.


“We are thankful to PhilCCAP because of the efforts it has done to uplift the Filipino people,” concluded Regional Director Atty. Gil A. Aromin as he expressed his strong view of winning the award especially that the project was made possible through the convergence of efforts from different sectors.


The awarding ceremonies will be held in the first quarter of next year.#RCC



Sec. Cimatu to DENR field officials: maintain cleanliness of Cagayan River


Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu in his first visit to Region 2 called on his field officials to continue the protection of the Cagayan River against litters and other pollutants.

“The Cagayan River, the longest and the cleanest, is the source of irrigation water of the valley,” the DENR top brass said upon seeing the vast tracks of land planted with rice and corn along his way from Tuguegarao Airport to the field offices of the DENR.

Located in the northeast of Region 2, the Cagayan River has a total stretch of about 520 kilometers. It is also the largest river basin in the Philippines having a drainage area of 2,775,300 hectares with 1,200,000 ha of major water resources.

During his visit, the top environment official announced the Department’s directions under his watch.

“Kayo ang panlaban kaya kailangang palakasin ang mga CENRO,” he said emphasizing that the Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) are in the frontline in the implementation of environment and natural resources programs.

With the strengthening of the CENROs, environmental laws – Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 will be enforced.

Secretary Cimatu also announced the hiring of lawyers to be deployed in every CENRO who will assist on law enforcement and resolution of land cases. The lawyers will be trained on environmental law enforcement.

On the Enhanced National Greening Program (E-NGP), he emphasized that funds for the program should only be used for its implementation. “Ipatupad natin na walang kalokohan,” he added.

For land titling, he said issuance of documents should be fast tracked in order to avoid suspicion. “Walang manghihingi ng bayad,” he warned.

During the welcome program held on Sept. 9 at the DENR Regional Office, Secretary Cimatu handed the Bayani ng Kalikasan Award (for the Fallen Heroes of the Environment) to the parents of Mark Ian B. Dela Cruz for “his selfless dedication and ultimate sacrifice for the DENR.”

A Commendation of Outstanding Commitment was also awarded to Forester II Wilbert P. Ranchez, Extension Officer Noel Q. Massalang, Extension Officer Joel S. Ortiz and Forest Protection Officer Mark Anthony M. Capuchino. Dela Cruz and his four companions were hit by lightning while conducting geo-tagging at the NGP site in Rizal, Cagayan on May 12, 2016.

On Sept. 10, Secretary Cimatu graced the 46th founding anniversary celebration of Quirino Province.

In his message, he assured the Quirinians of the partnership and support of the DENR particularly in reforestation and in the enforcement of environmental laws, rules and regulations.

“I do not need to remind you to take good care of the environment and natural resources of your province. Our people – especially the indigenous communities – traditionally have a very close relationship with nature, and can be very fierce in their defense,” Secretary Cimatu added as he acknowledged the initiatives of the local leaders in keeping the environment healthy and productive.

The national environment chief led the signing of the pledge of support for forest protection during the Forum on Forest Protection held prior to the anniversary program.

Secretary Cimatu was accompanied by Undersecretaries Atty. Ernesto D. Adobo Jr. and Atty. Juan Miguel T. Cuna, and officials of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) and Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

The top official met the personnel of DENR, EMB and MGB Regional Offices, and PENR and CENR Offices in Isabela, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya. #



Strict procurement process reduces corruption – ARD Reyes



In a bid to improve the procurement process and to shun officials and employees from committing violations, more than 50 Regional and Provincial Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) members underwent a learning event on Republic Act 9184 otherwise known as “Government Procurement Reform Act and its Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations” on June 27-28, this year at the Narra Hall, DENR Regional Office, Carig Sur Tuguegarao City.

RA 9184 prescribes the necessary rules and regulations for the modernization, standardization, and regulation of the procurement activities of the Government of the Philippines (GoP).


In his opening message, Assistant Regional Director for Management Services George R. Reyes emphasized that government employees can help save government money and reduce corruption if RA 9184 is strictly followed.

He cautioned the BAC members for a possibility to commit violation if they are unaware of the procurement policies. He said no excuse will be made for actions that were inconformity with the procurement procedures.

“Most officials were dismissed in the government service due to failure of complying with the said Republic Act. Although our intention is good and we only wanted to fast track the procurement of goods for the Office, we are not still safe unless we thoroughly learn the policies,” ARD Reyes underlined.

He mentioned the importance of procuring activities whether they are goods, infrastructure and consultancy services as relevant factors to achieve a smooth flow of any office operation.

“This 2017, I hope that we do the procurement process sound and safe so that we could again qualify in the granting of Performance-Based Bonus which requires all government agencies to be compliant to RA 9184,” he added.


Meanwhile, Senior Budget Specialist (SBS) Reynaldo R. Villon, procurement practitioner and resource speaker from the Department of Budget and Management Region 2, has added knowledge to the participants on the Overview of RA 9184 and its Amendments, Alternative Modes of Procurement and its Policies and Changes, Amendments of Public Bidding and Procurement Planning and Monitoring.

SBS Villon discussed the bidding procedures for the procurement of goods and Infrastructure projects.

He underscored the use of Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) Registration Certificate and PhilGEPS Registration Certificate Number as one of the provisions in the Revised IRR.

“The PhilGEPS Registration Certificate, categorized as platinum membership only, became a mandatory document submitted during public bidding. Prospective bidder can now use the certificate in lieu of other eligibility requirements: registration from the Department of Trade and Industry, Securities and Exchange Commission and Cooperative Development Authority, mayor’s permit, tax clearance, audited financial statements and pick up licence in case of infrastructure projects. But for alternative mode of procurement like shopping and small value procurement, certificates are no longer needed. Only the PhilGEPS Registration Certificate Number categorized even in the old blue or red membership is required instead,” Villon clarified.

The two-day learning event was impressive as expressed by the participants during the closing program. “It would be a great help for the BAC members, Secretariat and Technical Working Groups for the improvement of the operation and regulation of the procurement activities not only in the Regional Office but also in the Field Offices,” said Chief, Administrative Officer Lilia dL. Abel. #CAT#


RD Aromin calls for personal commitment to environment

“Patunayan natin na nagmamalasakit tayo sa kapaligiran.”pia

This was the challenge posed by the regional environment chief during the press conference dubbed “Tipon-Tipan sa PIA” held on June 6, this year to kick-off the Philippine Environment Month.

“Ang pag-asa natin ay ang ating mga sarili. Umpisahan natin sa ating mga bahay sa pamamagitan ng tamang pag-segregate ng mga basura,” said Regional Director Atty. Gil A. Aromin dramatizing this year’s theme “Connecting People to Nature.”

Regional Director Cesar S. Siador Jr. of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) and Regional Director Mario A. Ancheta of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) joined RD Aromin in the presentation of the lined up activities in celebration of the Environment Month and updates on the programs and projects of their respective offices.

The DENR will conduct environmental symposiums in schools in different provinces, tree planting activities, and levelling-off with local government units on environmental protection particularly on forest protection.

In June 29, a stakeholders’ forum on mining policies and operations will be conducted by the MGB in Santiago City, Isabela.

The EMB will hold a multi-sectoral meeting with the governing board of PIESTTA Air shed composed of seven municipalities: Peñablanca, Iguig, Enrile, Solana, Tuguegarao City, Tuao and Amulung.

Accomplishments in forest protection were discussed by RD Aromin. He reported that from January to May this year, a total of 64.04 cubic meters of forest products were confiscated and 28 units of conveyances were apprehended.

According to Atty. Aromin, the DENR Legal Division has been strengthened. “There are four full-fledged lawyers who will be deployed in the provinces to address issues not only on forest protection but also on illegal titling,” he added.

For National Greening Program (NGP), the regional top official said a team from the Forest Management Bureau will be conducting validation of plantations in the different provinces. He also invited the media to visit the best NGP sites of the region.

He warned that any personnel found to be involved in anomalies in NGP will be dealt with accordingly after due process has been observed.

The MGB and EMB chiefs explained the status of the operation of mining companies in Region 2, and compliance of local government units with the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act including the status of water and air quality monitoring in Tuguegarao City, respectively. # CCC

ASEC Cuna visits Quirino, graces FP caravan


As a kick-off activity of the Philippine Environment Month celebration, the Assistant Secretary for Field Operations for Luzon led the DENR team in the caravan on forest protection conducted by the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) of Quirino on June 1, this year.
Atty. Juan Miguel T. Cuna said in his message: “The government and national agencies will not succeed in implementing programs without the help and support of the people. The cooperation of everyone will help combat the detrimental effect of climate change.”
For his part, Gov. Junie E. Cua urged everyone to care about the environment and to help protect the forest.
“Climate change is a product of activities conducted by men which, if not halted, could lead to everyone’s destruction,” the provincial local chief executive said.
Gov. Cua presented different opportunities that could be adopted by the residents as source of income. These include SALT or Sloping Agricultural Land Technology, an agroforestry scheme which increases crop yield by 31.8 percent per hectare compared to corn production. Development of ecotourism and employment as “bantay-gubat” are also some of the livelihood opportunities. 
After the caravan, ASEC Cuna visited the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENR) Office in Quirino. 
“It has been a while that someone from the Central Office visited the Province of Quirino that’s why we make it a point to meet the personnel,” he said.
“We should always be on our toes because environment consciousness is higher now and our actions are put under the microscope. Everyone should work hard and continue to invite stakeholders because we cannot do it alone,” he emphasized in his message.
The DENR national official assured the personnel that he can always talk to the higher management if there are concerns in the province that need to be addressed.  
ASEC Cuna was accompanied by DENR Regional Director Atty. Gil A. Aromin, Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Director Mario A. Ancheta, DENR Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services William C. Savella and PENR Officers Vicente C. Bayucan and Frederico C. Cauilan.# JFSP/CCC


Appointees pledge commitment for better environment  

Having a permanent position in the government service is not only a privilege but also a challenge. As appointee, I am thinking on how could I contribute more for the successful implementation of our programs, how could I overcome obstacles that I may encounter along the way, and how could I surpass the work expectations of my superiors. oathtaking2017

For. Charles G. Tomas, promoted to Forester II position, said this in his response representing the oath-takers from the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENR) Offices - Quirino during the Oath-Taking Ceremony on May 8, this year at the Narek Hall, DENR Regional Office, Carig Sur, Tuguegarao City.of our programs, how could I overcome obstacles that I may encounter along the way, and how could I surpass the work expectations of my superiors. 


Atty. Gil A. Aromin, OIC, Regional Director, administers the
oath of office of appointees from the Regional  Office.

Other testimonies from representatives of the PENR Offices of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Batanes emphasized that appointments and promotions are responsibilities. They said as they promised to find pleasure in the job, they also promised to put excellence in their work.  

According to them, promotions come from God for without Him, there could have been no Oath-Taking conducted.  They told that God gave the executive officials heart and wisdom to choose.  They promised to do their best for the environment to show that they deserved their appointments.

In his message, OIC, Regional Director Gil A. Aromin congratulated the newly appointed and promoted employees and acknowledged the efforts of the Regional Selections and Promotions Board for conducting the different steps of deliberation process in accord with the Merits, Selections and Promotions Plan.    

“Your appointments are coupled with responsibilities that you must undertake.  Do not compromise your integrity in favour of somebody.  Maintain your integrity for the environment so that others may see the beauty of nature and the beauty of the Philippine generation that has yet to come. Uphold that principle because if we do not, who else can do. Do your work with efficiency and competence. Always asked the intercession of the divine providence who is always keeping us perform our duties and responsibilities well,” the regional director said.

According to Assistant Regional Director for Management Services George R. Reyes, Chairperson of the Regional Selections and Promotions Board, the 122 appointments of employees was a result of the six weeks deliberation process of the newly filled up positions ranging from Salary Grades 3-22. This was broken down into: 22 original appointments, two lateral entries, 92 promotion and six change of item.

The RSPB chairperson also encouraged the appointees to start planning their career path as they will be the future leaders of the Department. 

Meanwhile, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services William C. Savella emphasized the employees’ promotion as product of their sacrifices who have been working hard for the protection of the environment.   

The filling up of vacant positions in the Regional Office started in June, 2015 under the new DENR Organizational Structure approved by the Department of Budget and Management.  

The new structure is pursuant to Executive Order No. 366 entitled "Directing a Strategic Review of the Operations and Organizations of the Executive Branch and Providing Options and Incentives for Government Employees Who may be Affected by the Rationalization of the Functions and Agencies of the Executive Branch.” #CAT#


Press Release

Divilacan watershed is priority site for SIAD

A watershed in the forest-rich province of Isabela is one of the 29 priority sites in the implementation of the Sustainable Integrated Area Development (SIAD) in the Philippines.

Located within the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park, the watershed where the “Divilacan Agroforestry and Bamboo Plantation Project” will be implemented consists of several sub-watersheds located at the mid section and upper portion of Divilacan.

The site has an aggregate area of 12,045 hectares covering six barangays and basin length of approximately 12,500 meters.

The SIAD project will be managed by the Asosasyon ng Nagmamalasakit ng Kalikasan (ANAK) and Divilacan Agta Rattan Gatherers Association (DARAGAT) in partnership with the Local Government Unit of Divilacan, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, and the Department of Trade and Industry.

A new approach in project implementation, SIAD aims to apply area-based interventions, concepts on its natural resources development programs including but not limited to national greening program and integrated island development.  It takes into consideration Marginalized civil society organization (CSO) Sectors including, but not limited to Indigenous Peoples (IPs), urban poor, farmers and fisherfolk, Muslim Filipinos, rebel returnees, youth, vocational work force, and  men and women stakeholders.

The adoption of SIAD as a strategy is authorized by Memorandum Circular No. 2017-02 issued by Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez on Feb. 15, 2017.

In an interview aired over Bombo Radyo Tuguegarao, DENR Regional Director Gil A. Aromin said: “The Divilacan Watershed is a home for endemic plants; abundant rattan and nito for handicraft making. These livelihood opportunities were considered in selecting the site.” 

“While they (Dumagats) are there to plant trees, we also capacitate them to provide livelihood for them,” Atty. Aromin added.

The Divilacan Agroforestry and Bamboo Plantation Project according to Director Aromin employs the ridge to reef concept considering that water from the watershed flows down to the sea.

The area where the project is located is known to have three species of Makabuhay used to treat stomach ache and dysmenorrhoea according to the Dumagats or Agtas, the Indigenous People in Divilacan. Tsaang gubat also thrives in the area.

Within the site, a 100-hectare area in Barangay Ditarum will be developed for the Enhanced National Greening Program.

After the identification of the site as priority for integrated development, a meeting with Divilacan Mayor Venturito C. Bulan, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer Arthur V. Umengan and DARAGAT IP Chairperson Floro Flores was conducted.

The DENR will also deputize 27 Forest Protection Officers for the six barangays.

To develop business enterprise, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office of Isabela conducted the Training on Bee Keeping on March 30-31, this year in Barangay Dicaruyan.

Using SIAD as a strategy for the project, the DENR envisions the sustainable multiple-use of the natural resources within the watershed in a manner that is environmentally sound, economically viable and socially acceptable.

  It aims to rehabilitate through enrichment planting and reforestation of the idle and open areas, and safeguard and preserve the natural tropical forests of the watershed while improving the quality of life of people in the area.# CCC 

Media Release
March 28, 2017

RD Aromin orders vigilant forest protection on Lent

The environment chief of Region 2 has ordered vigilance on illegal forest activities this Holy Week.perpetrator

In his fax message to all Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENR) Officers and Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers (CENR) Officers on Mar. 27, this year, Regional Director Gil A. Aromin directed the field officials to establish mobile checkpoints in strategic locations within their respective territorial jurisdictions.

The mobile checkpoints should be manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on rotation basis, as “perpetrators of illegal forest activities would take advantage to engage in timber poaching and transport of forest and wildlife products”.

“Further, mobilize and keep on alert all forest officers, forest rangers, forest protection officers...to be more vigilant not only in monitoring illegal transport of forest and wildlife products but also detection and quick response on any incident of forest fires in your respective areas,” the fax message reads.

To ensure security of the personnel who will man the checkpoints, the regional DENR executive had mandated the PENR and CENR Officers to coordinate with other law enforcement agencies for assistance.

The field officials were also instructed to submit to his Office exact locations of mobile checkpoints to be established for monitoring purposes.

“You are also reminded of the ‘One Strike One Out’ policy of the Secretary,” Atty. Aromin said.

The “One Strike One Out” policy was issued by Sec. Regina L. Lopez on Feb. 15, this year.# CCC


Media Release
March 27, 2017


Preparation for Sierra Madre Summit underway

To strengthen partnership with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in protecting the Sierra Madre, the Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance (SSMNA) and the three regions of DENR will spearhead the Sierra Madre Summit.

Proposed to be conducted on May 24-28, this year in Antipolo City, the Summit will be participated in by at least 150 Indigenous Peoples (IPs), People’s Organizations (POs), representatives from the religious sector, academe, non-governmental organization and other CSOs from Regions 2, 3 and 4.

In a meeting with the DENR Region 2 officials held on March 27, this year, Fr. Pete Montallana, chairman and president of the SSMNA, said: “We have to instill in the consciousness and mindsets of the IPs that they are the custodians of the Sierra Madre. We have to encourage them to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of the Sierra Madre.”

According to Fr. Montallana, the Summit also aims to come up with clear and synchronized actions of the DENR and its partners in forest protection. This will also serve as an avenue to improve the implementation of the National Greening Program in the area.

Fr. Montallana is the DENR’s CSO focal person in the implementation of the Sustainable Integrated Area Development project in Divilacan, Isabela, the pilot site in Region 2 located within the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park.sierra

During the meeting, Perla A. Vissoro, chairperson of the Regional Multi-sectoral Forest Protection Committee (RMFPC), suggested that model local government units and POs will be selected to share their experiences and best practices on environmental protection and conservation.

The RMFPC chairperson also requested that the participants from the CSOs will be given an opportunity to interact with the DENR through an open forum.

Atty. Gil A. Aromin, Regional Director of DENR Region 2, lauded the initiative of the Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance as he assured Fr. Montallana to relay his proposal with Undersecretary for Field Operations Philip G. Camara during the Regional Directors’ Meeting.

“Thank you for collaborating with us...for working with the DENR to save the Sierra Madre,” RD Aromin said in his closing message.# CCC


PENRO Isabela observes Earth Hour

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENR) Office Isabela employees were obliged to switch off light in their respective houses at 8:30 to 9:30 in the evening of March 25 in observance of the Earth Hour.

Forester Federico Cauilan Jr, newly installed Officer in Charge of the PENR Office, urged the employees to support the global event to raise awareness of the importance of using resources wisely for the environment.

“Let us make plans on how to make Earth Hour more meaningful. Participate in this activity to feel the one-hour of solidarity showing support and concern on the worsening climate change,” Forester Cauilan said.

People from all walks of life, from all nations around the world, are supportive of the Earth Hour for it gives the feelings of what it would be like to live without light.

Global communities, households and businesses are encouraged to turn off lights for one hour annually every last Saturday of March as a symbol of commitment to the planet. #RMC


PLGU Quirino, DENR sign conservation pact for ecotourism

PLGUQuirinoThe major ecotourism destination in the Province of Quirino will now become operational after the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) and the DENR inked the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Feb. 23, this year in Brgy. Pedlisan, Maddela town.

Signed by Gov. Junie E. Cua and Regional Director, Atty. Gil A. Aromin, the MOA was forged purposely to protect, conserve and rehabilitate the Governor’s Rapid.

It also aims to showcase the importance of ecotourism for the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources within the Quirino Protected Landscape (QPL).

Witnessed by Maddela Mayor Renato G. Ylanan, Provincial Natural Resources and Environment Officer Yolando B. Binag, then Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENR) Officer Vicente C. Bayucan, Nagtipunan Community ENR Officer Clarita S. Bermosa and the more or less 400 residents of Pedlisan, the signing highlighted the Information, Education and Communication campaign on Forest Protection Project conducted by the Provincial Chief Executive.

Under the Agreement, the provincial local government shall manage the ecotourism site. It can avail of a certain percentage from the Integrated Protected Area Fund (IPAF). Income of the Protected Area like user’s fee, entrance fee in ecotourism sites, and documentation fee accrue to IPAF.

For its part, the DENR through the Protected Area Management Board for QPL shall approve proposals, work plan and guidelines in accordance with the approved management plan.

The Department shall also extend technical assistance especially in conservation activities.

Governor’s Rapid is a portion of the Cagayan River which has received numerous awards for being the “Cleanest Inland Body of Water” in the region. Its limestone formations serve as a natural shelter to the Dumagats.

It is located within the four barangays of Maddela, namely; San Bernabe, Divisoria Sur, Divisoria Norte and Villa Ylanan.# RGA/CCC


Forest patrol system levels up

forest patrol systemThe web-based mobile application dubbed Lawin Forest Biodiversity Protection System (LFBPS) launched on March 10, 2016 to monitor conservation areas has upgraded into a more extensive monitoring system.

Enforcement Division Chief Joel S. Daquioag lauded this move for efficiency in the transmission, consolidation and analysis of patrol data during the SMART Connect for LFBPS Learning Event on Feb. 27-28, this year at the Crown Pavilion, Tuguegarao City.

“The Lawin System has been streamlined in the forest protection activities targeting a total patrol of 1,800 kilometers for this year. It is very useful and improves our advocacies, as all forms of threat in the forest are detected through our forest patrollers,” said Forester Daquioag.

The system, developed by the DENR and the Biodiversity and Wildlife Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER), is operated through an open-source software called “CyberTracker” for data collection interface and the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) for data analysis, mapping and report generation.

It aims to improve the response mechanisms to address wildlife threats within the forests and protected areas of the Cagayan Valley Region.

Equipped with Global Positioning System, the SMART Connect features the collection and sharing of field data in real time; manages and responses to real time alerts to enable more effective and rapid operational responses; centrally manages SMART deployments at multiple times; and enhances analysis, visualization and impact of SMART data for decision making by integrating with other systems.
In his message, OIC, Regional Director, Atty. Gil A. Aromin, emphasized that there is a need to capacitate the forest rangers, extension officers and forest protection officers (FPOs) on the use of the mobile system to further improve the implementation of forest protection and law enforcement activities.

The 38 patrol teams composed of 204 forest rangers, forest protection officers and extension officers had a total patrol of 1,355.84 kilometers from July 2016 to January 2017. Adopting the forest conservation area plans of the different Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices, the forest condition and indicator species were observed.

The top five observed threats were: presence of hut/house and other infrastructure, 31 percent; cutting of trees, 29 percent; annual and perennial farming, 16 percent; slash-and-burn farming, 14 percent; and charcoal making, 10 percent. These observations were immediately responded to by the concerned Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officers.

Facilitated by representatives of the Forest Management Bureau and Chemonics International, Inc. (B+WISER), the learning event educated the participants on how to install and manipulate the upgraded software that will be used in data analysis after conducting forest patrol and biodiversity assessment. Patrol data can now be recorded per CENRO.

B+WISER Biodiversity and Forestry Specialist Felix Gaschick discussed the features of the application. He said the system has become more embracing because through the interconnection of database, monitoring and access of data are easier and better.

“The system has now started to roll out to the different DENR offices nationwide,” Specialist Gaschick added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Rodolfo B. Santos Jr., Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist of the B+WISER convened the FPOs for the formulation of process for responding to observed threats.

“Technology will not protect the forest, it is the people who are. They are the ones doing the activity that is why we need to enhance them and come up with a generic protocol which will apply to all situations,” Dr. Santos emphasized.

As an output, the FPOs were able to formulate a response framework stressing the procedure to respond to data-driven reports particularly on kaingin farming and establishment of buildings/structures in protected areas.

RD Aromin congratulated the 43 forest patrollers in the closing program of the Learning Event.

“I hope that the knowledge you have gained will be applied by heart for a more productive workforce so that our mandate to protect the environment will always be there. We count on you as our partners in forest protection and conservation,” the Cagayan Valley chief enthused. #CAT




Media Release
March 20, 2017

Sec. Lopez issues “One Strike One Out” policy

To intensify environmental law enforcement, the national environment chief has ordered the implementation of “One Strike One Out” policy in forest protection.

In her Memorandum dated February 15, 2017, Secretary Regina L. Lopez mandated all Regional Directors (RDs), Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENR) Officers and Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Officers to implement the policy and clear their respective areas of responsibilities of illegal logging activities.

The retained RDs, PENR Officers and CENR Officers were given one month to comply with the directive while the newly assigned officials were given three months.

According to Sec. Lopez, the order is pursuant to the directive of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to intensify the anti-illegal logging campaign.

Upon receipt of the order, Atty. Gil A. Aromin, Cagayan Valley Regional Director, immediately instructed all PENR and CENR Officers to come up with strategies or schemes on how to implement the directive in their respective jurisdictions.

The field officials were also enjoined to treat the directive with utmost sense of responsibility.

Among the strategies formulated are: creation of task forces to conduct close monitoring of forest protection activities; deputation of interested parties or individuals and mobilization of all Wildlife Enforcement Officers; and close coordination and partnership with law enforcement units to sustain strong partnership with the Multi-sectoral Forest Protection Committee, local government units and other government agencies.

From January to March 15, this year, Region 2 recorded 10 incidents of apprehension that yielded a total of 49.59 cubic meters of illegally-sourced forest products and seven conveyances.

The DENR will also maintain intensified visibility; conduct regular patrolling through LAWIN Forest and Biodiversity Protection System; and hire on-site Forest Protection Officers and Park Rangers to strengthen the established checkpoints.

The “One Strike One Out” policy is in line with Executive Order No. 23 s. 2011 “Declaring a Moratorium on Cutting and Harvesting of Timber in the Natural and Residual Forests and Creating the Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force”. # CCC


CV targets zero forest fire

Cagayan Valley’s Forest Fire Management Plan (FFMP) is now ready for implementation to attain zero case of forest fire in the region.

The Enforcement Division (ED) of DENR Region 2 created the FFMP as a guide to avoid or prevent fire incidents in forests.

“We have to prepare for the coming dry season, when forests are more prone to fire,” said Forester Joselito D. Razon, ED Assistant chief.

The fire management plan includes programs for fire preparedness, detection and prevention.

According to Forester Razon, they will be strengthening their campaign against the common causes of forest fire which include kaingin, burning of agricultural wastes, unmindful gathering of honey bees and ant eggs, and negligence of residents of communities adjacent to forest areas.

The said plan was also designed to avoid massive fire occurrences like what happened in 2016 where a total of 851 hectares of forest and National Greening Program areas in the region were destroyed. These incidents brought an approximately 30 million-peso loss from the government fund.

As part of fire prevention activities, the Provincial and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices were instructed to formulate their respective fire brigades. Also, 16 look-out towers are to be established in strategic locations within the fire prone forest areas in the region.

For a more efficient fire rescue, sets of firefighting equipment were purchased while the hiring of firefighting crews were also requested to the Central Office.

The Department encourages residents of areas near the forests to immediately report to the nearest DENR office any detection of fire indications such as smoke from the forest.#

DENR, LGU Sta. Teresita ink partnership on Bakong enterprise

mou stateresitaTo promote the growing Bakong enterprise in Sta. Teresita, Cagayan, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), DENR Region 2 and the Local Government Unit of said town on Feb. 24, this year.

The signing of the Memorandum highlighted the celebration of the 5th National Ecotourism and 2nd Namunit Festivals.

The MOU is a venture of the DENR and the local government in promoting the establishment of biodiversity-friendly enterprise. It shall also provide livelihood and sources of income for communities within and surrounding areas of high biodiversity values.

Sta. Teresita’s Bangalao lake, a part of the Northeastern Cagayan Key Biodiversity Area, is a home of the endemic aquatic plant called Bakong which can be used to produce woven accessories and furniture. Turned into a ‘bustling industry’, this enterprise now helps as a source of income for the residents of the municipality.

The engagement of the DENR on Bakong enterprise started in 2013 through the Biodiversity Partnerships Project which initiated the conduct of a preliminary study of the water plant in determining its growth, supply and local distribution. The agency also facilitated the capacity building of People’s Organization.

BMB Director Theresa Mundita S. Lim expressed her desire for the biodiversity-friendly Bakong products to be recognized globally.She aimed at perfecting the technology of the enterprise with the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Tourism and other partner-agencies for the community to be benefitted while making sure that all activities in the industry are environment-friendly.

“We at the DENR want the community to feel and experience the benefits from the environment without them abusing or destroying it,” emphasized Director Lim.

The bureau chief also assured Mayor Lolita C. Garcia that the participants in the upcoming United Nations Convention and Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in October and November, respectively, will be encouraged to visit her town for possible investments and market linkages.

Meanwhile, Atty. Gil A. Aromin, OIC Regional Director of DENR Region 2 also articulated the agency’s support after mentioning that the enterprise is a fulfillment of the thrusts of Secretary Gina L. Lopez on social justice and environmental integrity and “gross national happiness” among the people of Sta. Teresita.

“This is also an exemplification of the new approach in the implementation of our environmental programs which is the Sustainable Integrated Area Development,” added Atty. Aromin as he commended the efforts of the whole municipality in protecting and preserving the environment and natural resources in their area.# RCC

RGADFPS lines up Women’s Month activities

The Regional Gender and Development Focal Point System (RGADFPS) has lined up activities in celebration of National Women’s Month in March, this year.

Engr. Paulina A. Lingan, RGADFPS chairperson, discussed the rationale of the celebration during the GAD Meeting on Feb. 13, this year at the Office of the Assistant Regional Director for Management Services, DENR Regional Office, Tuguegarao City.

The chairperson emphasized the conduct of Information, Education and Communication on Gender and Development as one of the activities highlighting this year’s celebration with a theme, “We Make Change, Work for Women.” This focuses on National Greening Program (NGP), forest protection, protected area management and other environment and natural resources programs.

She discussed among the focal persons the 2017 Annual GAD Work and Financial Plan having a minimum of five percent and a maximum of 30 percent of the Office’s total budget. “The activities shall be finalized in the Action Planning Workshop to be held in March 1 at the Regional Office,” said Engr. Lingan.

Lined up activities include: March 6, Kick off – Lecture on Anti-Sexual Harassment Law and Oath-Taking of the RGADFPS new set of officers; March 8, Freebie Day – the first 20 clients to request for blueprint can avail any of these at no cost; and March 10 – Simultaneous Strengthening of Ecological Solid Waste Management Program (lecture and demonstration on Vermi-composting).

Administrative Division Chief Lilia dL. Abel, OIC, Office of the ARD for Management Services, enlightened the group on the Search for the Most Gender Sensitive Project Implementer and Most Gender Responsive Project, also enlisted as major activities in March. This shall be launched in the kick off program.

Free Pap smear and prostate gland check-up of employees in a government hospital shall also be scheduled.

All employees shall be wearing any shade of purple in all Mondays of March, as a symbol of peace, courage, survival, honor and dedication to end violence against women.

Aimed at recognizing the contributions of Filipino women in the society, the annual conduct of National Women’s Month is embodied in Proclamation No. 227 s. 1988. #CAT#


Tenure holders to give way for power transmission lines



ARD Malvar (left) confers with RTAD head Mabitazan (standing) on the details of their application for FLAg.

We will ask for clearance from the existing holders of Forest Landuse Agreement (FLAg) or any tenurial instrument that will be affected in the application of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) for a consolidated FLAg.

Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Wilfredo C. Malvar, OIC, Office of the Regional Director, stressed this during the Technical Conference with the NGCP on Jan. 12, this year at the Mabolo Hall, DENR Regional Office, Tuguegarao City.

He added that those holders upon determining that their tenurial instruments overlapped within the NGCP’s buffer zones must waive their rights in favor of the NGCP. “This will also avoid ‘double tenure’ in landuse applications,” he continued.

According to Franklin Mabitazan, NGCP Reliability and Technical Assessment Department head and team leader, a 40-meter right-of-way from the center (left and right) of the transmission line shall be established.

ARD Malvar said the DENR shall assist the NGCP in the compliance with the different requirements as there are government agencies involved like Environmental Management Bureau and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples in the preparatory activities.

“The existing Forest Land Use Plan shall be used as reference, however, it must be updated to harmonize the areas to be covered by the NGCP. Likewise, those affected areas that will be evaluated as part of the transmission lines shall be removed and updated with its corresponding landuse,” ARD Malvar further stated.

In his Memorandum dated Dec. 9, 2016, Forest Management Bureau Director Ricardo L. Calderon ordered all Regional Directors except the National Capital Region to facilitate the conduct of actual ground verification survey and submit the list of existing and expired Special Land Use Permit and FLAg of the NGCP.

The RDs were also instructed to expedite action for tenured areas that will be affected by the FLAg, considering that the corporation has identified 65 backbone transmission lines nationwide which traverse the forestland covering an area of approximately 3,994 hectares.

Other agreements in the Conference include the adoption of a just compensation or co-location policy; payment of the NGCP of corresponding amount

Photo Releases

NEW GREEN LAWYERS – Atty. Gil A. Aromin, Regional Director of DENR Region 2, expresses his appreciation to the newly-hired lawyers for their love for the environment in a meeting he presided on October 2, this year. The new lawyer consultants will be deployed to the Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Offices and implementing Provincial ENR Office to work on administrative, land and forestry cases. They were hired pursuant to the thrust of Secretary Roy A. Cimatu to strengthen the field offices being the frontline service providers of the DENR. #
TOWARD ISO CERTIFICATION – Administrative Division Chief of DENR Cagayan Valley, Lilia dL. Abel, presents to the regional office personnel the guidelines on the implementation of 5S in an orientation held on October 3, this year at the Narra Hall, DENR Regional Office, Tuguegarao City. The 5S, a productivity improvement tool which stands for Sort, Systematize, Sweep, Standardize and Self Discipline, is a workplace organization process geared toward ISO 9001 Certification (Quality Management Service). “In order to achieve high levels of quality, safety and productivity, workers must have a conducive working environment,” the chief administrative officer said.
FOREST IS LIFE – In an interview with DZGR Bombo Radyo Tuguegarao today, Oct. 23, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Felix C. Taguba shares his experience in joining thousands of foresters during the National Convention of the Society of Filipino Foresters Incorporated (SFFI) held on Oct. 18-21, this year in Davao City. According to Forester Taguba, president of SFFI in Region 2, the convention highlighted the importance of forests to life as these produce fresh air, water and forest products. “We have to conserve and protect our forests so there will also be continuous support to agriculture,” he added. A roadmap for the sustainable management of the forests was drafted during the convention. This plan involves strengthening of the National Greening Program implementation and massive reforestation of degraded areas to be identified by the foresters.#
OUTSTANDING NIPAS-MPA – (From left to right) DENR Cagayan Valley Assistant Regional Director (ARD) for Technical Services Felix C. Taguba, ARD for Management Services William C. Savella, Regional Director Atty. Gil A. Aromin, PENR Officer of Cagayan Marlon C. Agnar, Protected Area Superintendent of Palaui Island Protected Landscape and Seascape (PIPLS) Rodante A. Galamay and CENR Officer of Aparri Edgar T. Martin  present the plaque and cheque received in the Para el MAR 2017 Marine Protected Area Awards and Recognition during the Monday Convocation on Oct. 23, this year at DENR Regional Office, Tuguegarao City. PIPLS was awarded Third Outstanding National Integrated Protected Areas System – Marine Protected Areas (NIPAS-MPA) by the MPA Support Network in October 19-20 at Iloilo Convention Center, Iloilo City. Batanes Protected Landscapes and Seascapes was also included in the top 8 finalists selected from 200 entries nationwide. Para El MAR is a biennial activity that highlights the best practices of coastal managers in MPA management. #
RESILIENCE GAME - Officials and employees from DENR regional and field offices play the Resilience: Survive and Thrive Game on Oct. 23, at the Narra Hall, DENR Regional Office, Tuguegarao City as part of the training on Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) for Reef Cryptobiodiversity, and Ocean Acidification. The players who are implementers of the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program, acted as community leaders competing to have the most developed community without sacrificing the environment. The deployment of ARMS will mimic the complexity of coral reefs to attract and collect colonizing invertebrates and provide a systematic, consistent, and comparable method to monitor cryptic reef diversity. After the orientation, the implementers together with experts from University of the Philippines-Marine Science Institute, De La Salle University and National Museum will proceed to Palaui Island in Sta. Ana, Cagayan. #
SIGHTED AT LAST – This Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor was spotted at Chadpidan, Basco, Batanes on Nov. 1, this year, by Forester Samuel P. Telan, Enforcement chief of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office. The species is also sighted in Barangay Savidug of Sabtang town today (Nov. 3), the same site where it was observed on Dec. 5, last year after it was last seen in Mahatao from March to May 2011. The other reported sightings were in Olango Wildlife Sanctuary in Lapu-Lapu City in 2013; and Candaba Swamp in Pampanga and Puerto Princesa, Palawan, both in 2015. The species categorized as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is being monitored daily to ensure its protection. # (photo by R.Y. Abad and text by V.D. Baliuag) 
FOREST PROTECTION POLICY – “There will be trainings for forest protection officers on handling firearms,” told Regional Director Atty. Gil A. Aromin in an interview with Latigo Online TV as he discussed the policy of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu for a ‘more successful implementation of forest protection’. The Secretary initiated the arming of FPOs after learning that some officers in some regions were shot while apprehending illegal loggers. The hiring of lawyers is also a part of the Secretary’s policy where 16 were already employed for the 16 CENR Offices in Region 2. “It is a big boost to our efforts against illegal forest activities,” said Atty. Aromin.#
ENSURING MENTAL FITNESS – Atty. Gil A. Aromin, Regional Director of DENR Region 2, leads the compulsory drug test of regional and field officials on Nov. 27, 2017 at the City Health Office in Tuguegarao City. This is in adherence to Civil Service Commission Memorandum Circular No. 13 s. 2017 providing guidelines in the mandatory random drug test for public officials and employees. The mandatory drug test ensures “effective and efficient service, free from the hazards of drug use in the workplace.” It is also part of the wellness program of the Office. #
HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT UPDATES – DENR Region 2 Administrative Division Chief Lilia dL. Abel discusses recent guidelines on the issuance of appointments and other human resource actions during the Workshop on Competency-based System for DENR Technical and Support Positions held on November 23, this year at the Narra Hall, DENR Regional Office, Tuguegarao City. The new rules are provided under Civil Service Commission Resolution No. 1701009 promulgated on June 16, 2017. The Chief, Administrative Officer also presented the revised DENR Merit Selection and Promotion Plan emphasizing on the composition and responsibilities of the Human Resource Merit Promotion and Selection Board (then Selection and Promotion Board).#


BACK TO THE WILDERNESS – Newly designated Batanes OIC, PENR Officer Ilarde C. Viernes releases on Nov. 21, 2017 a Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula at Chadpidan Lake in Basco town after it was turned over by Police Officers Jensen Cobaria, Denvy Lurlaine Zureta and Darna Paco of the Mahatao Police Station. The migratory bird species, having the conservation status of “Least Concern” by the International Union of Conservation for Nature (IUCN) was surrendered to the Police Officers by school children in Mahatao. Witnessing the release are Basco Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer Carlito Cari, and key officials and personnel of the PENR Office. #
1ST CAGAYAN RIVER BASIN SUMMIT – DENR Cagayan Valley Regional Director Atty. Gil A. Aromin delivers his message during the opening program of the 1st Cagayan River Basin Summit on November 28, 2017 in Santiago City, Isabela. "We are here to see the best practices of other river basin managements. This will also stir up consciousness among ourselves on how to protect our rivers," the regional environment chief said. The activity aimed to address Cagayan River concerns such as the deterioration of its water quality and the lowering of its water supply, by gaining techniques from other successfully managed river basins in the country. In the two-day event, resource speakers from the local government of Iloilo and Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission shared their best practices in river basin management before the members of the Cagayan River Basin Management Council and other stakeholders from Regions 2 and 3 and the Cordillera Administrative Region.#


Other Links

  • office-of-the-president