DENR-PHILIPPINE ARMY COLLAB.Key officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 2 and the Philippine Army’s 5th Infantry (Star) Division recently had a preparatory meeting for the forging of partnership agreement for the establishment, maintenance and operation of military barracks in the region.
The virtual dialogue spearheaded by DENR Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan and Major General Laurence Mina is a follow through of the agreement entered into earlier by the DENR and the Department of National Defense.
Director Bambalan said the memorandum of agreement (MOA) which will soon be formalized will primarily facilitate the allocation of available areas for the establishment of military camps and the provision of appropriate tenurial instruments.
“We want this partnership to become regionwide so we can also support your military camps in the region,” the DENR Region 2 chief said citing the recent signing of the MOA with the 501st Infantry Brigade.
She ordered all the provincial environment and natural resources officers who also attended the meeting to provide technical assistance to the Philippine Army and to assist them in the issuance of necessary permits from the DENR and other agencies.
The draft agreement states among others that the Philippine Army shall prepare the site development plan of proposed military camps, secure requirements for tree cutting permit of trees affected, and coordinate with the Department of Public Works and Highways for the construction of the building or camp in accordance with the standards particularly on the establishment of structures within protected areas.
Commander Officer Mina committed their continued support in the government’s anti-illegal logging efforts. He recommended for aerial monitoring and other forest protection strategies in the eastern side of the Sierra Madre ranges.
He added the presence of military camps will prevent environmental crimes as they will help the DENR in the enforcement of forestry laws rules and regulations and other related environmental policies.#
DENR-DPWH DIALOGUE. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) hold a dialogue for infrastructure projects within protected areas, timberland and forestlands.
In a meeting sponsored by the DENR on Aug. 10, DENR Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn C. Bambalan laid down policies prescribing the process and the requirements in introducing development activities such as road construction within a protected area. These were discussed after Engr. Editha Babaran of the Isabela 3rd District Engineering Office presented the proposed construction of the Naguilian Junction San Mariano-Palanan Road. The proposed project is a national primary road in Isabela province that leads to the coastal town of Palanan. It will traverse the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park (NSMNP).
The regional environment chief explained that while the DENR understands the objective of the project which provides access road to communities in the coastal town, she said the agencies should balance development projects and protection of the natural resources. She also elaborated that any development project within the NSMNP such as road construction should pass through the Protected Area Management Board as the governing and policy making body of the protected area.
“We should have options to ensure that there is less damage to the environment. Let us strictly evaluate so that the project will not fall within the strict protection zones where no activity must be undertaken except for scientific study,” Director Bambalan said as she explained that Republic Act (RA) 917 or the Philippine Highway Act of 1953, and Executive Order 113 s. 1955 should be reconciled with RA 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 2018, and RA 7586 (National Integrated Protected Areas System Act).
During the meeting, the DENR announced the conduct of an orientation in September among the District Engineering Offices on governance mechanism for protected areas including approaches, requirements and process when constructing roads and other infrastructure projects within timberland and forestland.
Engr. Babaran thanked the regional environment chief for the dialogue that addressed concerns of both agencies and for initiating the conduct of an orientation. She said it is their first time to have development project in a protected area hence, the orientation is timely and necessary.
The dialogue was also attended by DPWH personnel, DENR Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Marcos G. Dacanay, Isabela PENR Officer Marlon C. Agnar, Palanan CENR Officer Federico P. Cauilan Jr., Naguilian CENR Officer Elmer C. Cuanan, division chiefs in the Regional Office and representative of the Environmental Management Bureau.#
Calapan City Bishop Monsignor Warlito Cajandig blesses the marker for the Naujan Lake National Park in simple rites coinciding with the launch of “Bangklase,” an innovative education shipboard project, in Socorro, Oriental Mindoro. Declared as a Ramsar Site or “wetland of international importance,” Naujan Lake boasts of rich biodiversity and serves as a critical area for breeding and migrating waterfowl and shorebirds. Also in the photo are Regional Director Oscar C. Dominguez (left) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources - MIMAROPA Region and Fr. Anthony Ibarra B. Fabella, president of the Divine Word College of Calapan (DWCC).
Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) Director Mundita Lim (2nd from left) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP) president Gina Mapua (2nd from right) present the five-year BMB-WBCP agreement formalizing their collaboration to pursue activities that would ensure the protection of Philippine birds in the wild as well as the conservation of their habitats, including the operation of a WBCP-run rehabilitation facility for rescued wild birds in support to BMB’s Wildlife Rescue Center. Also in photo are BMB-Priority Programs Executive Director Vincent Hilomen, and WBCP member Christina Cinco (right).