To intensify environmental law enforcement, the environment department will strengthen partnership with the cross section of the society.
 
DENR Undersecretary Jim O. Sampulna announced this initiative during his recent visit to Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya provinces.
 
The top official said the strengthening of interagency efforts is pursuant to the order of Secretary Roy A. Cimatu to curb illegal logging and violation of other environmental laws.
 
“We have to involve law enforcement agencies dahil mahalaga na may kasangga tayo,” the Undersecretary for Field Operations, Enforcement and Muslim Affairs said as he announced the formation of a provincial environment and natural resources council to lighten the load of the DENR in environmental law enforcement.
 
Usec Sampulna reminded the field officials to build stronger partnership with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice, local government units, media and other sectors. “Somebody has to protect us,” he added.
 
The field operations chief also ordered for the creation of enforcement teams in the DENR regional and field offices that will closely coordinate with the law enforcement bodies.
 
He commended Region 2 for having supportive political leaders and reminded the field officials to maintain the good working relationship with them.
 
In the meeting, regional environment chief Gwendolyn C. Bambalan reported the creation of the Regional Environmental Laws Enforcement Committee, an interagency and multi-sectoral committee for enforcement of environmental laws. She said the memorandum of agreement has been presented for final review of the members.
 
Director Bambalan reported the full support of the PNP to the DENR. She said the regional police chief has committed to conduct training on firearms handling for forest rangers and other forest protection officers. The PNP has also responded to the appeal of Director Bambalan that apprehended forest products and conveyances by the PNP should be properly turned over to the DENR.
 
She relayed her tall order to the provincial and community environment and natural resources officers to improve the storage of apprehended and confiscated forest products and conveyances to preserve their economic value and protect them from further deterioration.
 
The DENR Region 2 is currently fast tracking the preparation and issuance of confiscation orders.#