The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 2 launches today forest investment program to engage the private sectors, local government units (LGUs), financial institutions and other stakeholders to invest in forest industrial development.
In the Forest: Your Investment (FYI) Forum held at the Go Hotels in Tuguegarao City, the DENR highlighted its initiatives geared towards the creation of investment-friendly climate where potential private investors are provided with options to explore and develop diversified community projects.
With the theme “Exploring Forestry Investment Programs and Opportunities in the Philippines," the region offered the private companies to invest in the 900-hectare open forest area potential for investment located in the province of Cagayan: 500 hectares in Claveria, particularly in Barangays Nagsabaran, Bacsay, Cataraoan Sur, Cadcadir East, Union, and Lablabig; and 400 hectares in Sta. Praxedes located in Barangays SanMiguel, Sicul and Cadongdongan.
Participating investors in the FYI forum were informed of the investor-friendly policies, investment development plans for Sta. Praxedes and Claveria, and how to proceed with the establishment of roundwood plantation, agroforestry plantation and non-timber forest product, and development of ecotourism site as identified activities for the said investment.
Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan of DENR R2 emphasized in her message the need to upscale potential investment opportunity with the development of the Forest Investment Road Map for 2018-2028 which serves as a blueprint to promote and adopt investment-friendly policies and support mechanism.
“We would like to take your commitment in this forum to venture into a public-private partnership to co-manage our country's forestlands and forest resources for sustainable forest management,” Director Bambalan appealed.
In his message, DENR Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Arleigh Adorable higligted the crucial role of forests in sustaining biodiversity alongside economic opportunities for sustainable development.
As pinnacle factor in climate change mitigation, forests serve as the natural support system to all life forms because of dependency to natural resources specifically for food and livelihood.
Forests also provide services such as timber production, water for agriculture and domestic use, ecotourism, energy sources, and protection against disasters such as floods. They also sequester carbon to aid in climate change impact.
Gracing the forum were Mayors Esterlina Aguinaldo of Sta. Praxedes and Lucille Angelus Yapo represented by councilor Romeo Rafol of Claveria.
Also joining the event were other officials from the LGUs, government agencies, academe, and DENR who equally supported the implementation of forest investment projects not only in Cagayan but also in the whole region.
“I would like to express my gratitude to our partners and stakeholders for your full support to the implementation of the department’s reforestation and greening initiatives,” the regional environment chief added as she reported that since 2011, the region was able to grow more than 86 million trees covering over 116,000 hectares of forestlands under the Department's National Greening Program.
"The forest investment project will also bring back verdant forest, increase productivity of the land and forest resources and economic condition of the people. With the private sector, financing institutions, non-government organizations and academic community working together with the government we are assured to hasten our country’s economic, environmental and social progress," the regional environment chief concluded.#
ENHANCING CAPABILITY OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAW ENFORCERS.To further protect the natural resources in Quirino province, a total of 32 officials of the Philippine National Police were trained on the provisions of the different ENR laws, rules and regulations.
In the recent orientation conducted by the provincial environment and natural resources office, the chief of police, deputy chief of police, and other officers assigned in the six municipalities of the province learned the salient features of DENR Administrative Order No. 97-32 or the Rules for the Administrative Adjudication of Illegal Forest Products and the Machinery, Equipment, Tools and Conveyances in connection therewith.
They were also updated on policies on protected area management, wildlife protection and conservation, forestry reforms, and climate change.
Police Colonel Christopher Utit, PNP deputy provincial director, stressed in his message the importance of awareness on said laws for proper guidance.
"We need to be equipped and updated with the different environmental laws for proper guidance," he said.
Quirino PENR Officer Mariam Frances Malana thanked the police provincial office for its support in strengthening the implementation of ENR laws, rules and regulations.
"We appreciate your contribution in protecting and conserving the environment and natural resources as we look forward to a strengthened collaborative partnership with you," PENRO Malana expressed.
The activity was also attended by CENR Officers, legal officers and researchers, and other DENR and PNP personnel.#
GREENING ACTIONS ON EARTH MONTH. Student leaders in the province of Nueva Vizcaya have engaged in greening actions as part of their commitment to preserve the earth.
Led by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Nueva Vizcaya, the young student leaders composed of Supreme Student Government and Youth for the Environment in Schools Organization (YES-O) from Diadi National High School participated in an orientation of nursery establishment and maintenance.
Students from Dupax del Sur National High School and Dupax del Norte National High School, and Casat National High School in Bayombong town also joined in the same activity in their respective areas facilitated by CENR Office Dupax and PENR Sub-Office (Bayombong).
PENR Officer Giovannie Magat, in his message, underlined the important role of the youth in protecting and conserving the environment. He encouraged the participants to become champions of the environment and lead their school in supporting the advocacy and mission of DENR. “The DENR will always be here to welcome and acknowledge your support and commitment. At your young age, you can already make a difference,” Engr. Magat added.
Meanwhile, clonal nursery staff Lito Patricio facilitated the orientation and demonstration of processes of clonal propagation.
The students were also toured around the parts of the clonal nursery particularly the rooting chamber, hardening shed, hedge garden and germination shed.
As part of their commitment in maintaning a clean and healthy environment, all PENR and CENR Offices personnel held a simultaneous cleanup drive in their respective clonal nurseries.
The field personnel also conducted soil potting activity in preparation for seedling production.#
ENSURING WATER SECURITY FOR CLIMATE RESILIENCY. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 2 through the Licenses, Patents, and Deeds Division (LPDD) has recently conducted a Capacity Development on Water Resource Utilization (WRU) to enhance the employees' capability on water resource utilization program.
Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan of DENR Region 2 earlier directed to capacitate personnel in the field offices specifically on the process of conducting inventory of water users and sources.
LPDD Chief Remedios Pauig stressed the importance of the event as there are employees who are newly assigned and directly involved in water resource utilization.
“As we adhere to the directive of our Regional Executive Director, this capacity building is important to ensure water security and adapt resiliency while carrying out our duties and responsibilities,” Engr. Pauig said as she emphasized the use of information technology as important tool in conducting water monitoring and assesment.
The event was participated in by the heads of regulating and permitting sections or water resource focal persons in the DENR field offices.
Resource persons Splendor Cuarteros, Merlinda Taccad and Errone Somes of the LPPD respectively discussed the review of legal bases on WRU, proper filling out of water inventory form for users and sources and water permit application form, and water information database and mapping.
In 2015, the Water Resources Utilization Section (WRUS) under the LPDD was deputized to assist the National Water Resources Board through NWRB Resolution No. 15-1116.
The WRUS serves as the Board Deputy in the regional office to perform some functions relative to regulation of water use to complement the existing deputized agencies such as the Department of Public Works and Highways, National Irrigation Administration, and some water districts.#
ACCELERATING MINE REHABILITATION. To expedite the replacement of trees affected by mining operations, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 2 and Dinapigue Mining Corporation (DMC) in Dinapigue, Isabela have forged today a memorandum of agreement on the establishment of tree plantations under the Expanded National Greening Program (ENGP).
The MOA signing was led by Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan of DENR Cagayan Valley and DMC Vice President – Chief Operating Officer Arnilo Milaor represented by Nickel Asia Corporation Assistant Vice President for Safety, Health and Environment Remedios Camo.
“One of the priority directions of the Department is to sustainably and responsibly manage our country’s mineral resources,” said Director Bambalan as she emphasized the purpose of partnership to balance environmental protection and conservation with mining operations.
Based on the Agreement, the DMC will be funding over P40 million for three years the 1,293 hectares tree plantations to be identified by the DENR under ENGP.
The funding will cover the cost of the required number of trees replacing all naturally grown trees to be cut or removed within the 15.60-hectare quarry areas granted with Special Tree Cutting Permit.
“Through the MOA, we are not only looking forward to positive environmental effects but also to socio-economic impact supporting the livelihood of our People’s Organizations to be involved in the plantation establishment and maintenance activities,” the lady director added.
Camo extended her gratitude to the DENR for the partnership and pledged to ensure responsible mining as it is also the thrust of Nickel Asia Corporation along with its operating companies such as the DMC.
‘As always mentioned by our President and CEO, Sir Dennis Zamora - If it’s not responsible, it’s not mining,’ she added.
The MOA signing activity was witnessed by Isabela Provincial ENR Officer Orly Cariazo, and other officials and personnel of DENR and DMC.#