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The top human resource official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has urged officials of Region 2 to live with the Department’s core values and to lead by example.

In the Human Resource Leaders’ Forum held on Feb. 27 in Tuguegarao City, Assistant Secretary for Administration, Human Resources and Legislative Affairs Joan A. Lagunda laid down her priority agenda which is holistic reform of the government service.

The assistant secretary also pointed out that Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has high regard on human resource as the best asset of the agency.

Asec Lagunda emphasized the DENR core values: Discipline, Excellence, Nobility and Responsibility. “Employee discipline is basic because if we are disciplined, we excel; if we are disciplined, we will live a noble life; if we are disciplined we will be responsible for our actions,” she pointed out. “Kung disiplinado ka, everything will follow,” she added.

The HR leaders were also reminded to internalize the ethics in the government service.

For his part, Regional Executive Director Atty. Antonio A. Abawag expressed his gratitude to Asec Lagunda for initiating the HR Leaders’ Forum and for being true to her commitment in bringing human resource services closer to the field offices. “This is very fitting to enable and empower our human resource in the performance of their respective tasks in these challenging times especially that we can see the seriousness of our top management led by Secretary Cimatu in intensifying the enforcement of environmental laws,” the regional environment chief said.

Asec Lagunda also graced the 10th annual general assembly of the Kalipunan ng mga Kawani sa Kagawaran ng Kalikasan. In her message, she emphasized the important role of the union as the partner of the DENR management in promoting the welfare of the rank and file employees.

She urged the association to be steadfast on its reason for existence by putting the general welfare of its members on top of everything. “No individual need, no individual goal or motive, no personal agenda,” she said.

During the assembly, she made a tall order to all personnel to know the core values by heart and put these into practice. “If you are able to attain your objectives as a union and you have been clothed with the DENR core values, then I can be assured that we are partners in the achievement of the HRDS goal to be the strategic leader in the development of human capital towards a high performing, competent and engaged workforce by 2024,” the DENR executive explained.

She also visited the personnel of the four provincial environment and natural resources offices and 10 community environment and natural resources offices where she cascaded the human resource services of the Central Office. The personnel were also reminded to live with the DENR’s vision, mission, quality policy and core values.

DENR Human Resource Development Service Director Ric G. Enriquez accompanied Asec Lagunda in her visit. He discussed the strategic human resource management and development and HR best practices in DENR Central Office.#

To strengthen the involvement of women sector in marine biodiversity conservation, the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) recently conducted a Women Leadership Forum in Sta. Ana, Cagayan.

The forum was participated in by DENR gender and development (GAD) focal persons of Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, CALABARZON, and the Cordillera Administrative Region. This was conducted to establish a network and foster learning exchange among women leaders from the grassroots level to the national offices; understand the perception of the communities and attitude towards decision-making and gender roles; and promote gender sensitivity and inclusion in the implementation of the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program.

To develop confidence in the implementation of their programs and projects, members of people’s organizations (POs) in Cagayan province and other fisherfolk also attended the forum.

Topics discussed in the two-day learning event were Introduction to the Basics of GAD Concepts by Senior Ecosystems Management Specialist (EMS) Pablo G. delos Reyes Jr., Basic Concepts: Sex and Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Bias, Understanding Gender Equality and Equity, Gender and Biodiversity and Gender Policies of the Philippine Government by GAD focal person Jessica F. Torno and Biodiversity-Friendly Enterprise by Supervising EMS Nilda S. Baling.

DENR Region 2 Coastal Resources and Foreshore Management (CRFM) chief Maria Salome G. Bonnit also imparted her learning experiences in the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security Women Leaders Forum held in Indonesia in October 2018.

During the workshop, the participants were required to determine enterprise development approaches in a given situation and illustrate how they see themselves aiding in the biodiversity conservation efforts of their respective communities.

The participants visited the Matara Reef Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Gonzaga town, one of the locally-managed MPAs in Cagayan, where members of the San Jose Fisherfolk Association shared their best management practices. They also witnessed the famous seaweed processing initiative of the Women in Fisheries Enterprise organization at the Fisherfolk Center in Gonzaga.

Engr. Bonnit said the forum was an opportunity to show the ability and capacity of the POs in conserving and protecting the coastal and marine environment in Region 2.#

In its bid to strengthen the management of protected areas and ensure biodiversity conservation and protection in Cagayan Valley, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is set to establish seven protected area management offices (PAMOs).

This development was announced during the New Year’s Call and 1st Expanded Regional Management Conference held recently in Sta. Ana, Cagayan where DENR Regional Executive Director Atty. Antonio A. Abawag laid down the policy directions for 2020.

Director Abawag delivered the marching orders of Secretary Roy A. Cimatu which include strengthening biodiversity conservation for protected areas alongside environmental law enforcement, forest rehabilitation and protection, and land survey and disposition.

According to the regional environment chief, the DENR will establish seven PAMOs for the legislated protected areas, namely: Batanes Protected Landscapes and Seascapes, Palaui Island Protected Landscape and Seascape and Peñablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape in Cagayan, Tumauini Watershed Natural Park and Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park in Isabela, and Casecnan Protected Landscape, Salinas Natural Monument and Bangan Hill Natural Park in Nueva Vizcaya. These areas cover almost 800,000 hectares.

The DENR will also hire technical personnel to ensure the day-to-day operation of the office.

It can be recalled that in June 2018, Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte signed into law Republic Act (RA) 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (ENIPAS) Act of 2018 which amended RA 7586 otherwise known as the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act of 1992.

The Act mandated the creation of a PAMO to be headed by a permanent protected area superintendent “who shall supervise the day to day management, protection and administration of the protected area.” It also orders the provision of a sufficient number of support staff to assist in the management of the area.

During the meeting with DENR key officials regionwide, Director Abawag instructed the field officials having jurisdiction of the said protected areas to facilitate the construction of office buildings for the operationalization of the PAMO.

Other activities to be implemented in the protected areas this year include boundary demarcation, biodiversity assessment and monitoring, habitat protection, survey of registered protected area occupants, ecotourism management, and updating of management plans.#

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has awarded Parangal sa Lingkod Bayani to the family of the late Marcial L. Pattaguan “for his selfless dedication to serve and commitment in the discharge of his duties in the name of public service.”

Pattaguan was killed by unidentified armed men on Oct. 8, 2018 after conducting delineation of boundaries of the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park in Dinapigue, Isabela. He was a forest ranger at the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office in Palanan.

The award was issued by CSC Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala and Commissioners Leopoldo Roberto W. Valderosa Jr. and Aileen Lourdes A. Lizada.

Region 2 CSC Director Nerissa B. Canguilan and DENR officials led by Regional Executive Director Atty. Antonio A. Abawag handed in the award to the daughter and the sister of Pattaguan on Dec. 20, 2019 at the Narek Hall, DENR Regional Office, Tuguegarao City.

The Commission also conferred Pamanang Lingkod Bayani (PLBi) award granting a one-time financial assistance and other benefits to the family of Pattaguan by virtue of CSC Resolution No. 1901386 promulgated on Nov. 12, 2019.

The PLBi program is a tribute to civilian public servants who displayed the character of a bayani in the name of public service.

Under the program, the CSC provides scholarship grant in any Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges-member institutions for the benefit of the immediate family members.

It also grants an amount worth PhP100,000 as one-time financial assistance to the family.

CSC Director Canguilan said the amount came from the Pamanang Lingkod Bayani Fund accumulated in the Fun Run conducted during the Civil Service month every September. She added that the contribution of every runner from the whole country goes to the fund which serves as financial assistance to the families left behind by government employees who died in the line of duty or while in service.

“No amount could be as valuable as the life that we lost. No amount could compensate the family for the loss of Forest Ranger Pattaguan. But this is the most that we could do to the family,” the CSC regional head said.

Shiela Marie, Pattaguan’s youngest daughter, thanked the Commission for the scholarship grant which she will use in taking up Bachelor in Medicine. “Napakalaking tulong po itong scholarship dahil hindi ko lang po pangarap and matutupad. Pangarap po namin ni papa,” she said.

For his part, DENR regional environment chief Atty. Abawag appealed for the support and cooperation of all personnel so that the selfless sacrifice of Pattaguan will not be in vain. He expressed his resentment over forest destructors for their inhumane acts “just to satisfy their greed.”

“I wish everybody feels the necessity to protect our forests. Let us be serious and dedicated to our pledge for the conservation and protection of our country’s environment and natural resources,” Director Abawag said.#

A total of 555 residents in Region 2 have obtained absolute ownership over the land they have been occupying through the Handog Titulo Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The 524 land titles were distributed in separate occasions in the different provinces as a highlight of the Lands Anniversary in September 2019. The other 31 patents were awarded earlier this year.

On August 1, 2019, Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu ordered all DENR Regional Offices and the Land Management Bureau to conduct a nationwide Handog Titulo Program in September.

“The activity shall be conducted in partnership with Local Government Units (LGUs),” the national environment top official mandated.

In Nueva Vizcaya, 346 free patents were distributed. For the provinces of Isabela and Quirino, a total of 80 and 43 titles were awarded, respectively. While the island province of Batanes distributed 55 land titles.

Cagayan Valley DENR Regional Executive Director Atty. Antonio A. Abawag said the Department will continue the partnership with the local government units to facilitate the processing of land titles.

“We commit to strengthen the DENR-LGU partnership in providing secure property rights for every landowner,” lawyer Abawag said in a statement.

The Handog Titulo Program aims to expedite the processing and issuance of public land patents to qualified individuals. It seeks to achieve security of tenure for poverty alleviation and economic development.

Through the land titles, revenue collection in the form of real property taxes increases thereby providing inclusive economic growth.

Under the Residential Free Patent Act or Republic Act (RA) No. 10023, any Filipino citizen who has continuously possessed and occupied land, either by himself or through his predecessor in interest for at least 10 years may qualify as a beneficiary.

The law provides for the judicial disposition of untitled public alienable and disposable lands through the more efficient and less costly free patent process.#