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Gender and Development




About Us

Region 2 or the Cagayan Valley region is strategically located on the northeastern part of mainland Luzon.

It is bounded by three mountain ranges: the Sierra Madre Mountains on the East, the Cordillera Mountains on the West, and the Caraballo Mountains on the South.

The region consists of five provinces: the valley provinces of Cagayan and Isabela, the mountain provinces of Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya, and the island province of Batanes; with 89 municipalities, four cities and 2,311 barangays. It has 10 congressional districts.

Cagayan Valley has a total land area of over 2.6 million hectares which consists of more than 900 thousand hectares of alienable and disposable land and over 1.7 hectares of forest land with a forest cover of more than 1 million hectares, the largest forest cover in the Philippines.

Rich in coastal resources, Region 2 has a total of 5,640 hectares of mangrove, 15,437 hectares corals and 4,089 hectares of seagrasses.

It is the fourth largest region of the country accounting for about nine percent of the national land area.

It has 14 nationally proclaimed protected areas covering 997,466 hectares: Batanes Protected Landscape and Seascape; Peñablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape, Magapit Protected Landscape, Palaui Island Protected Landscape and Seascape, Baua Watershed Forest Reserve and Wangag Watershed Forest Reserve in Cagayan; Tumauini Watershed Natural Park, Fuyot Spring National Park and Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park in Isabela; Salinas Natural Monument, Dupax Watershed Forest Reserve, Casecnan Protected Landscape and Bangan Hill National Park in Nueva Vizcaya; and Quirino Protected Landscape.

The Valley is dissected by the Cagayan River, the longest river and largest basin in the country. It has a total stretch of about 520 kilometers from its source in Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya down to its mouth in Aparri, Cagayan. It has a drainage area of almost 2.8 million hectares that extends to the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Based on the 2015 census, Region 2 has a population of 3.4 million or about 3.4 percent of the total population of the country.


To view the detailed Region 2 ENR Statistical Profile for CY 2022, please visit this link

Director Gwendolyn Cabataña Bambalan was born in Masbate, Masbate.

In 1981, Director Bambalan graduated cum laude with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Administration major in Agricultural Economics at the Gregorio Araneta University Foundation in Malabon, Metro Manila. She finished her Master of Science in Social Development at the Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City in 1992 and Doctor of Public Administration at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. Director Bambalan was a consistent scholar having been a recipient of scholarship grants from college to doctorate degrees.

On June 16, 2020, Director Bambalan assumed as OIC, Regional Executive Director of DENR Region 2 by virtue of Special Order No. 2020-191 issued by then Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

A Director IV by position, she was appointed to Career Service Executive Officer IV (CESO IV) rank in December 2020 and consequently promoted to CESO III rank in March 2022.

Prior to her assignment in Region 2, she was the Assistant Regional Director for Management Services in DENR National Capital Region. From 2015-2018, she also assumed the post as Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services in Region 1 where she was a regional winner of the Civil Service Commission’s Pagasa Award. She was also a finalist to the 2018 Gawad CES Presidential Award.

She served as Regional Technical Director for Protected Area, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management in DENR MIMAROPA from 2012 to 2015. She held the designation as Officer-In-Charge, Finance and Administrative Division at the Forest Management Bureau (FMB) for seven years.

Regional Executive Director Bambalan first joined the DENR in 1981 as Agronomist in the then Bureau of Forest Development (BFD). In 1985, she became the Project Development Coordinator under the Integrated Social Forestry Division of the BFD.

She is a board member of the DENR Association of Career Executives, member of the National Union of Career Executives, and faculty in-charge at the University of the Philippines Open University.

The lady director is also the President of the SaveCoconut Foundation Inc, since 2018. The Foundation is a network of former COCOFED scholars in the 1970s that supports children of coconut farmers in acquiring college education.

She is a champion of gender responsiveness and equality in the organization and program implementation with decades of active involvement in community forestry all over the country.#

Atty. Antonio A. Abawag, CESO IV

MANDATE (E.O. 192, s. 1987)

The Department is the primary agency responsible for the conservation, management, development, and proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources, specifically forest and grazing lands, mineral resources, including those in reservation and watershed areas, and lands of the public domain, as well as the licensing and regulation of all natural resources as may be provided for by law in order to ensure equitable sharing of the benefits derived therefrom for the welfare of the present and future generations of Filipinos.

To accomplish this mandate, the Department shall be guided by the following objectives:

1. Assure the availability and sustainability of the country's natural resources through judicious use and systematic restoration or replacement, whenever possible;  

2.  Increase the productivity of natural resources in order to meet the demands for forest, mineral, and land resources if a growing population;  

3.  Enhance the contribution of natural resources for achieving national economic and social development;  

4.  Promote equitable access to natural resources by the different sectors of the population; and  

5.  Conserve specific terrestrial and marine areas representative of the Philippine natural and cultural heritage for present and future generations.


A nation enjoying and sustaining its natural resources and a clean and healthy environment.


To mobilize our citizenry in protecting, conserving, and managing the environment and natural resources for the present and future generations.


Human well-being, and environmental quality and sustainability ensured. 

    • Promote human well-being and ensure environmental quality
    • Sustainably-managed environment and natural resources
    • Adaptive capacities of human communities and natural sytems ensured 
    • Good Governance
      • Accountability, transparency, integrity, participatory and predictability
      • Ease of doing business
    • Social justice
      • Equity and gross national happiness
    • Social Enterpreneurship
    • Partnership with Civil Society
    • Ecosystem integrity
    • Sustainable consumption and production
    • Polluters pay
      • Payment for ecosystem services
    • Rule of law
    • Honoring global commitments

1. Adoption of the watershed/river basin framework in planning

    • Prioritizing areas within the watershed
    • Forest Land Use Planning
    • Adopting soil and water conservation measures
    • Agroforestry systems

2. Closing open access areas of forestlands by granting appropriate tenure/ management arrangement

3. Convergence approach among NGAs, LGUs and CSOs

4. Area management approach - an integrated area development where all basic societal and economic services are delivered in an area for more impact

5. Capacity building of DENR frontliners, LGus, CSO partners, POs and docial entrepreneurs

6. IEC, advocacy and social mobilization

7. Certification Systems