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LOOK: In support of the Cagayan River Rehabilitation Project under the government’s Build Back Better initiatives, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) based in Lal-lo, Cagayan spearheaded today a bamboo planting activity along the riverbank of the Cagayan River.
 
The bamboos were produced by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 2 through its modernized and mechanized forest nursery.
 
The BJMP personnel were joined by the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Fire Protection.#
 
📸 BJMP Lal-lo
 
STAY SAFE, PROPERLY SEGREGATE WASTE. Environmental Management Specialist Ricky Sibbaluca of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Region 2 encouraged the public to properly separate healthcare waste from other solid wastes to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
 
“This COVID-19 pandemic, we have identified healthcare waste as additional type of waste collected by the local government units (LGUs),” said Sibbaluca in his interview over DWPE Radyo Pilipinas in celebration of the Zero Waste Month this January.
 
He said medical waste such as face masks, face shields, gloves and other personal protective equipment are already considered infectious and should be properly segregated. “These type of wastes should be placed in any yellow bin for proper identification of collectors,” he added.
 
In celebration of the 21st year of Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, the EMB will distribute yellow trash bins to LGUs to advocate for proper segregation of healthcare-related waste.
 
“These hazardous wastes need to undergo proper handling, storage, treatment and disposal, unlike other residual wastes that go directly to sanitary landfills,” Sibbaluca further explained.
 
Meanwhile, he also emphasized the agency’s advocacy for waste diversion in the forms of recycling and upcycling to help decrease waste generation.
 
He commended the efforts of LGUs and Sangguniang Kabataan members who conduct solid waste management drives by exchanging recyclable wastes with rice, grocery items, or school supplies.#
 
IMPROVING MANAGEMENT - EMPLOYEES RELATIONSHIP. If we want to introduce reforms in the organization, we have to improve the foundation, the rank-and-file.
 
Thus, said Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan in a meeting earlier today with the officers of the employees’ union of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 2.
 
Director Bambalan said she called for the meeting to thank the members for the support given in the previous year and to request for inputs from the Kalipunan ng mga Kawani sa Kagawaran ng Kalikasan (K4) on how to improve the operations of the agency and to address human resources concerns.
 
The K4 is a registered public sector labor union of the DENR’s rank-and-file employees, duly accredited by the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
 
During the virtual meeting, the union officers presented the sentiments of the rank-and-file on selection process, mobility of the field office personnel, internet connectivity, medical benefits and vaccination issues.
 
In response, the DENR regional top official assured the union that the management will always comply with existing regulations. “As the RED, I am conscious of the policy because that is our unifying thread considering our differing views and ideologies. Through the policy, we have common direction,” she emphasized.
 
On mobilization, she discussed the need to submit the re-fleeting program and to identify which vehicles are due for disposal.
 
She reported that for 2022, the region has received funding support for improvement of some office buildings and internet connection of the provinces. She also cited the ongoing construction of the elevator at the four-storey regional office through the financial assistance from the Department of Public Works and Highways.
 
“Last year, we ensure the provision of free drinking water for all personnel, grant of hazard and other benefits due to the personnel such as the gratuity pay for contractuals although they are not members of the K4,” Director Bambalan said as she encouraged the officers to report to the management if there were provisions in the Collective Negotiations Agreement which were not complied with.
 
For her part, K4 President Fe Lingan expressed gratitude to the management for the support in ensuring the welfare and wellness of the K4 members.
 
She also reported that the DENR Region 2 donated a total of P400,000 as financial support to the victims of Typhoon Odette.
 
In closing, Director Bambalan appealed for support of the union officers in the provinces to encourage all rank-and-file to get vaccinated, strictly follow health and safety protocols, and adhere to CSC regulations.#
 
LOOK: Members of the executive committee of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Cagayan Valley convene today in a meeting being presided over by Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan to set the directions for Calendar Year 2022.
 
In her opening message, Director Bambalan pinned her hopes that 2022 will be a better year for everyone and for DENR Region 2 to have common vision, mission, goals and objectives.
 
She emphasized that with one direction, it is high possible that Region 2 will be again placed as one of the top performing regions of the DENR.
 
“We surpassed 2021. It has been a very good year to all of us although we are also sad because of the loss of our colleagues. With those experiences that we have had and challenges that we went through, I’m very optimistic that we can again brace the challenges and take the opportunities this 2022,” she said.
 
Considering that 2022 is an election year in the country, the regional environment chief reminded her key officials to exercise their rights to suffrage, but not to participate in partisan politics or in any campaign activity.
 
She also ordered the provincial and community environment and natural resources officers to enjoin the candidates to refrain from nailing campaign materials on trees and encourage them to use environment-friendly campaign paraphernalia.
 
Republic Act No. 3571 prohibits the cutting, destroying, or injuring of trees along public roads, plazas, parks, schools, or in any other public areas.
 
“In cases where parties and candidates still persist in displaying, posting, or exhibiting their campaign or election propaganda on trees and plants, they shall be prosecuted for violation of these Rules, without prejudice to the institution of a criminal complaint for the violation of Republic Act No. 3571,” COMELEC Resolution No. 10730 Sec. 21 reads.
 
During the meeting, the physical and financial performance of the DENR, Environmental Management Bureau and Mines and Geosciences Bureau for the previous year will be presented.
 
The budget for 2022 will also be discussed. Per Republic Act 11639 or the General Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2022, DENR Cagayan Valley has a total budget of P981.8 million.#

BEEFING UP PROTECTED AREA MANAGEMENT The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Cagayan Valley with the assistance of the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) has strengthened its ecological tourism site development programs to conserve biodiversity within the Quirino Protected Landscape (QPL).

DENR Regional Executive Director and PAMB chairperson Gwendolyn C. Bambalan approved Committee Resolution No. 17 s. 2021 endorsing to the board the Trail Resources Assessment and Monitoring (TRAM) Report for the management of ecotourism sites within the Diffun Eco-Park covering barangays Baguio Village and Don Mariano Perez.

The resolution provides importance to the TRAM report as it aims to establish a resource-based inventory and assessment and determine the present community resources that needs to be conserved, protected, developed and enhanced for ecotourism project.

It is an essential element in the enhancement, management, conservation and protection of the biodiversity and the natural beauty of the ecotourism sites within the eco-park.

The report also serves as baseline data relevant to the management of the said park which is found rich in diverse flora and fauna.

In the PAMB Executive Committee Meeting held recently, PENR Officer Mariam Frances Malana who presided over the meeting, said the result of the TRAM is one of the requirements in the proposed development and management of the Bagnes Nature Park and Campsite in Baguio Village.

“This proposed development within the Diffun Eco-Park should coincide with the guidelines under DENR Administrative Order No. 2009-09 or the Standard Design and Specification of Signs, Buildings, Facilities and other infrastructure that may be installed and/or constructed within Protected Areas,” she emphasized.

She also added the need to ratify the Community Resources Management Framework (CRMF) of Baguio Village Integrated Cultural Association to conform to the policies on how the community will manage and be benefitted from the forest resources on a sustainable basis.

Conservation and Development Division Chief Enrique Pasion cited the potential of the park to become one of the famous tourist attractions in Diffun town.  He committed to extend assistance in the updating and enhancement of the ecotourism management plan of the park.  

The PAMB Meeting also highlighted the discussion on the implementation status of National Greening Program, milestones of Forest Management Project, road construction project by the Department of Public Works and Highways, health and safety/protocols on ecotourism sites, and cave management plan of Dia-Dian Cave.

PAMB members composed of concerned DENR officials and representatives from national government agencies, non-government organizations and people’s organizations in the province attended the meeting.#