The national top officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have commended the Cagayan Valley Region for the efforts in the rehabilitation of the Cagayan River.
In the opening program of the Regional Management Conference today, Undersecretary for Field Operations Juan Miguel Cuna, Undersecretary for Enforcement Benito de Leon, and Assistant Secretary for Field Operations-Luzon Gilbert Gonzales expressed their appreciation to DENR Region 2 in addressing the problem of flooding in Cagayan and Isabela provinces through close coordination with the Regional Build Back Better Task Force.
“With the objectives you have set to pioneer the Task Force Build Back Better activities in the Cagayan River Basin, it served as a template in other areas such as the Marikina River Basin and the Bicol River Basin,” USec. de Leon said.
For his part, USec. Cuna reminded the Region 2 key officials on the no-build zone policy and the easement recovery along Cagayan River and other rivers in the region. “We should not allow encroachment and building of structures within the easement area,” he ordered.
He also committed support to the anti-illegal logging program of the region. “The central office can now augment your anti-illegal logging efforts with the assistance of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and National Bureau of Investigation,” USec. Cuna said.
As he announced the renewal of OceanaGold’s Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement, the field operations chief ordered the regional directors of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) to ensure compliance of the mining companies with environmental laws. “We have to prove that responsible mining is possible,” he added.
The three top executives also congratulated the regional and field offices for achieving notable results in the implementation of the priority programs despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
In her message, Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan said the region has experienced challenging situations in carrying out the department’s mandate due to the pandemic. “We need to adapt to the present situation and regularly calibrate and recalibrate our strategies,” she said.
“While we need to ensure the protection and safety of all our personnel, we should not lose sight of physical and financial performance targets for the year and other requirements which we must comply,” the regional environment chief added.
The two-day management conference serves as an avenue for coaching, mentoring and evaluation of regional officials and key staff.
The regional physical and financial accomplishments of the DENR, EMB and MGB; activities under the Build Back Better initiatives; catch-up plans for the first semester and schedule of activities for the third quarter; and status of Forestland Management Project implementation will be presented in the conference.
Recent forestry and land-related policies will also be discussed by the Forest Management Bureau and Land Management Bureau.
The assistant regional directors, bureau regional directors, provincial environment and natural resources officers, community environment and natural resources officers, and division chiefs regionwide will also participate in the values restoration session.#