DENR beefs up environmental law enforcement


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 2 has set the ground for intensified environmental law enforcement following the Expanded Regional Management Conference held on Feb. 5-6, this year at the Narra Hall, DENR Regional Office, Tuguegarao City.

Setting the policy directions for 2018, DENR Regional Director Atty. Gil A. Aromin enumerated the 10 priority programs of the Department under Secretary Roy A. Cimatu: clean air; clean water; solid waste management; geo-hazard, groundwater assessment and responsible mining; forest and watershed management (National Greening Program); intensified forest protection and anti-illegal logging; enhanced biodiversity conservation; scaling up of coastal and marine ecosystems; improved land administration and management; and Manila Bay Cleanup.

“The Secretary’s directive is an integrated implementation of the Department’s priority programs by the DENR, Environmental Management Bureau and Mines and Geosciences Bureau. We have a lot of work at hand but I’m sure we can overcome these challenges. Kabalikat natin ang EMB at MGB,” Atty. Aromin said.

He relayed the instructions of Secretary Cimatu during the national management conference held earlier in Cebu City that include completion of inventory of water bodies; issuance of notice of violation to firms or industries operating without an environmental compliance certificate; provision of technical assistance to local government units in complying with the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Act; and continued implementation of the National Greening Program.

According to the regional environment chief, EMB and MGB personnel will be deployed to the provincial environment and natural resources (PENR) offices and community environment and natural resources (CENR) offices for the enforcement of environmental laws.

The PENR and CENR offices will work closely with the EMB in the monitoring of firms or industries’ compliance with the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999, ESWM Act of 2000 and Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004.

Specifically, the DENR field offices shall be involved in the assessment and monitoring of air quality monitoring stations including airsheds. They will also provide technical assistance in the preliminary survey, mapping and profiling of waterbodies; designation of water quality management areas; and assessment and monitoring of priority rivers and recreation waters or resorts.

The DENR will also assist the EMB in Information, Education and Communication activities on ESWM and in monitoring the local government units’ compliance with the law.

Director Aromin also echoed the order of the DENR top official that all PENR and CENR officers should know the basic mining policy and its concepts.

During the regional management conference participated in by key officials of the DENR, EMB and MGB, Regional Director Mario A. Ancheta said the MGB is now hiring mining engineers to be assigned at the PENR Offices of Isabela, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya; and geologist to be deployed at the PENR Office of Cagayan.

Meanwhile, EMB regional chief Cesar S. Siador assured to fully support the integration and to strengthen the convergence efforts.# CCC