Press Releases

"We have made a great stride in the implementation of our priority programs including the Build Back Better Task Force Initiatives and Forestland Management Project in the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino," said Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan during the opening of the Regional Management Conference held yesterday in Cauayan City.
In the conference, the regional executives and officials presented the highlights of completed targets on environmental programs and projects implemented in 2022 in the provincial environment and natural resources offices in the provinces of Cagayan, Batanes, Isabela, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya including in the Mines and Geosciences Bureau and Environmental Management Bureau.
RED Bambalan lauded the initiatives of the regional key officials for their continued partnerships and collaborations among the different stakeholders especially the local government units (LGUs).
She said with the partners' involvement in natural resource conservation, the strict enforcement of environmental laws is ensured such as programs in clean air and clean water, solid waste management, mining regulations, forest protection, forest and watershed management, biodiversity conservation, coastal and marine management, and land administration management.
RED Bambalan underscored the direction of the new administration to work across silos and stewardship that is democratic and transparent. "We continued initiating several consultation meetings with partners. As a result, the forestland grazing management agreement holders are now with us in our quest for improved cattle industry," Director Bambalan said.
The regional environment chief also emphasized initiatives conducted such as Magat Dam stakeholders' forum and orientation among municipal assessors; forging of memorandums of agreement among stakeholders on reforestation activities, and other meetings with LGUs and national government agencies.
She also mentioned awards and citations conferred in the region which include the Civil Service Commision's human resource accreditation, alternative dispute resolution utilization for enhanced land claims and conflict management, and the KLIMAlikasan award for addressing climate change through the Cagayan River restoration project.
Part of the conference was capacity development for officials to learn about climate-lense ENR management, improving leadership in new normal situation, and biodiversity conservation; and requirements in acquiring quality, environment and integrated management systems in the workplace.
Professor Emeritus Dr. Rex Cruz of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños, Cagayan State University president Dr. Urdujah Alvarado, planning and management division chief Albina Pineda of DENR National Capital Region, finance section chief Erlinda Catabay of MGB Region 2, and chief operating officer Marites Balbas of Mabuwaya Foundation served as the resource speakers.
Also with active participation in the event were regional directors Mario Ancheta and Nelson Honrado, assistant regional directors Marcos Dacanay and Ismael Manaligod, PENR and CENR officers, division chiefs, and other environment officials.
The conference was concluded with a Christmas community outreach program conducted in San Pablo, Cauayan City wherein residents were given grocery items in celebration of the holiday season.#
Having competent park rangers and managers would create collaborative actions to intensify the implementation of different biodiversity conservation programs that will contribute to addressing climate change.
Regional Executive Director (RED) Gwendolyn Bambalan of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) told the 75 participants during the Protected Areas (PAs) Operations Capacity Building on Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, this year, at the Lower Magat Ecotourism Park in Diadi, Nueva Vizcaya.
The main topic discussed was DENR Administrative Order No. 2019-05 or the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. (RA) 7586 known as the National Integrated PA System (NIPAS) Act of 1992 as amended by RA 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated PA System (E-NIPAS) Act of 2018.
The participants were also able to gain knowledge on Project Management; Conflict Management; Financial Management and Integrated Protected Area Fund; Performance Indicators of PAs, Caves and Wetlands Management, and Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program; Hands-on Geographic Information System application;
Presentation preparation; and Basic Parliamentary Procedures and Minutes of Meeting preparation.
"These topics are relevant for our technical staff as park managers to properly and effectively implement environmental policies and regulations within the PAs," said Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Marcos Dacanay.
Enrique Pasion, conservation and development division chief, stressed the need to capacitate the regional PA frontliners. "As responsible and accountable officers, they should be empowered with this kind of learnings," For. Pasion said.
Resource persons were RED Bambalan, division chiefs Pasion and Nenita Naranja, assistant division chiefs Atty. Johnmark Paracad, Catalina Pinson, and Corazon Corpuz, and section chief Arnold Battung.
Director Bambalan also expounds on the crucial functions of PAs in mitigating climate change and building resilience in risk-based and vulnerable communities. "Managing our protected areas can be one of the economical measures to combat climate crisis," the regional environment chief underscored.
The participants composed of PA superintendents, PA management office staff, PA management and
biodiversity conservation section personnel, and other technical staff committed to protect and enhance biodiversity programs and activities in the 14 PAs of the Cagayan Valley Region.
In the training, they presented project plans for all activities to be executed in CY 2023 where illegal activities such as 'kaingin' or slashing and burning of trees, and quarrying will be strictly monitored.
The participants who are also considered park chief operating officers were also tasked to harmonize their respective PA management plans with the Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.
Issues on managing both the PA and the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title issued to the Indigenous Cultural Communities or Indigenous Peoples were also discussed.
This first event conducted in the region was also graced by PENR Officers Giovannie Magat and Mariam Frances Malana of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino, respectively, and their CENR Officers.
2022 is declared Year of Protected Area (YoPA) Campaign launched in May, this year, which promotes the Philippine national parks.#
Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Cagayan Valley has emphasized the importance of valuing the environment and natural resources as one strategic initiative to counter environmental threats and abuses.
In a unified PAMB Meeting held yesterday at the Lower Magat Eco-tourism Park in Diadi, Nueva Vizcaya, Director Bambalan said in her opening message, "We have to strengthen the operation of each protected area to ensure its protection and conservation."
The PAMB chairperson lauded the support and cooperation of the Board constituting the Bangan Hill National Park, Salinas Natural Monument, Casecnan Protected Landscape and Seascape, and Dupax Watershed Forest Reserve.
These Protected Areas (PAs) in the province contribute the region's enhanced watershed resources and sustainable ecotourism serving as one of the major solutions to climate change.
Part of park protection and conservation measures within the PAs are development and improvement of facilities and natural attractions that tourists would enjoy such as view deck, garden and forest landscapes, creative pathways, information center, comfort rooms, cottages, water falls, springs, diverse flora and fauna, and other scenic spots and facilities.
In the meeting, Protected Areas Superintendents (PASus) presented the status and implementation of their respective ecotourism management plans; proposed projects and programs to be funded from the Integrated Protected Area Fund (IPAF); and intervention on communication, education, and public awareness campaign.
The regional environment chief ordered an orderly and organized operation flow within the PA by passing a resolution endorsing to the PAMB guidelines on collection of fees and charges specifically for entrance and ecological services.
"Our protected areas are popularly attracting tourists not only because of its essence to safeguard biodiversity and deliver vital ecosystem services but also as an avenue to let the public now embrace its value and importance. And one indicator is their willingness to pay for environmental development," Dir. Bambalan underscored.
She also instructed the PASus to include in their plan the establishment or improvement of a Protected Area Management Office per legislated PA as mandated in Republic Act No. 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Area System (ENIPAS) Act of 2018 which amended RA 7586 known as the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992.
The meeting also discussed monitoring and regulation of PA natural resource user's fee and to encourage them to apply for appropriate tenurial instrument.
Collection of fees must be properly implemented to increase the earnings deposited in the IPAF.
Joining the environment officials in PA development discussions were representatives of the local government units, national government agencies, non-government organizations, academe, and civil society organizations.#
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Cagayan Valley has partnered with SN Aboitiz Power - Magat, Incorporated (SNAP-MI) and Ongkay Abetungan Tree Farmers Association Bufferzone Occupants, Incorporated (OATFABOI) for the development of a 10-hectare reforestation project within Dupax Watershed Forest Reserve (DWFR) in Nueva Vizcaya.
DENR Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan, Engr. Ed Bundalian of SNAP-MI and Engr. Omer Guiab, president of OATFABOI recently inked the Memorandum of Agreement at the DENR Ecological Park and Training Center in Aritao town.
The 2 million worth reforestation project called A-PARK Project or ‘Aboitiz Passion for Agroforest and Reforest to Keep’ is funded by SN Aboitiz Power Group under its corporate social responsibility fund.
The DENR will identify the planting sites within the multiple-use zone of the protected area while the members of the people’s organization will develop the areas by producing and planting native and indigenous trees including fruit trees.
“I would like to thank and commend SN Aboitiz Power Group for prioritizing reforestation initiatives for your corporate social responsibility,” Director Bambalan said.
The regional environment chief also said the development of the agroforestry park will further promote the DWFR as one of the ecotourism destinations in the region.
She also instructed DENR officials and personnel in Nueva Vizcaya to monitor and ensure the successful implementation of the project as their commitment to the environment. “This project will greatly contribute as we mitigate the effects of climate change,” she added.
In his message, Engr. Bundalian said the project is part of their commitment to protect and preserve the environment and to restore and rehabilitate watersheds in Luzon area.
The MOA signing was witnessed by PENR Officer Giovannie Magat, Dupax CENR Officer Bernardino Aganon and other key staff of DENR.#
📷 PENRO Nueva Vizcaya
For more stringent protection and conservation of the five marine protected areas (MPA) in Gonzaga, Cagayan, members of the Gonzaga Marine Protected Area Development Federation have committed to strengthen environmental law enforcement within the MPAs.
The commitment was made during the two-day capacity-building activity organized by the local government unit of Gonzaga in partnership with the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Aparri, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and Office of the Provincial Agriculturist.
Five fisherfolk associations of Barangays Amunitan, Tapel, San Jose, Casitan, and Sta. Cruz served as participants in the activity.
Newly-elected Federation President Vivencio Agcaoili planned to acquire patrol boats for monitoring activities that will safeguard each MPA against illegal encroachment.
“We will empower our law enforcement committee by adding more fish wardens who will conduct regular monitoring within our MPAs,” said Agcaoili in Iloco language.
He added the establishment of buoys to mark the coverage of MPAs. These also serve as demarcations for strict protection or ‘no-take’ zones.
During the capacity building, CENRO Aparri represented by Ecosystems Management Specialist II Emerlynn Daliong and municipal Agricultural Technologist Jamelita Flores discussed the importance of MPA and MPA network, including the roles and functions that each federation member has to play.
The participants were engaged in team-building activities that enhanced their leadership and management skills.
They also conducted a cleanup activity along the coastal area of Barangay Amunitan in observance of the Climate Change Consciousness Week.#