The DENR’s undersecretary for field operations and environment has ordered strict monitoring of business operators on their compliance with environmental regulations.
Undersecretary Juan Miguel T. Cuna in the regional management conference held recently in Tuguegarao City said it is the opportune time for the DENR to check on the business establishments engaged in ecotourism while tourism is suspended. It can be recalled that since the declaration of the public health emergency in March, all ecotourism operations and activities have been put to a halt due to the threat of COVID-19.
“Since they are not fully operational due to the pandemic, we have to take advantage of the situation to make sure of their compliance with environmental laws,” Undersecretary Cuna said.
He also reminded the field officials of the priority thrust of Secretary Roy A. Cimatu on clean water. “We will continue to pursue clearing our waterways and activating the water quality management areas,” the DENR official added.
The management conference was conducted to assess the status of implementation of the Department's priority programs as of the third quarter of Calendar Year 2020 and to come up with way forward actions for the remaining targets. The Regional Directors of the Environmental Management Bureau and Mines and Geosciences Bureau, and the PENR Officers reported their respective accomplishments and financial utilization. The CENR Officers presented the status of their catch-up plans on National Greening Program and their compliance with directives on forest protection.
During the two-day face-to-face and virtual meeting, Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn C. Bambalan announced her directive to enforce payment of fees of all tenure holders in Region 2. “Tutukan natin. We need budget to support the different programs of the government and one way to do this is our contribution of the revenues that are supposedly collected from the different tenure instruments,” she said.
The DENR collects fees from permits, licenses and tenure instruments.
The PENROs and CENROs were instructed to mobilize their enforcement section for the review and submission of the list of tenure holders in their areas including the validity of the tenure and last payment made.
The participants in the conference were also reoriented on environmental laws and administrative policies necessary in the performance of their duties and responsibilities. Representatives of the Biodiversity Management Bureau discussed Republic Act 9072 or the National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act and Republic Act 9147 otherwise known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. The Guidelines on Legal Easement and Salvage Zones was presented by the Land Management Bureau representative.