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

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


SECRETARYCIMATU visitEnvironment 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. #