The Cagayan Valley Region is one of the recipients in the 2nd year nationwide search dubbed "Mga Kwentong KLIMA-likasan Recognition Awards."
In a virtual awarding ceremony held today, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Climate Change Service and Gender and Development Office in partnership with Globe recognized the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) of Cagayan for its efforts to restore the Cagayan River and address the perennial problem on flooding in the province.
DENR Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan and Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba represented by Provincial Administrator Charo Mamba-Villaflor received the second place ‘KLIMA-likasan Award’ with a cash prize of 40,000 pesos for winning the video and narrative entries entitled "Restoring Cagayan River: A H.O.P.E. (Hub of Opportunities for the People and Economy) to Build Back Life Better." Joining in receiving the award were Cagayan PENR Officer Eliseo Mabasa and Provincial Information Chief Rogie Sending.
This DENR-PLGU initiative in collaboration among all government and private sectors is a continued climate action to strengthen partnership, cooperation and mechanism for environmental sustainability.
A total of 12 participating individuals, groups and local government units all over the country were recognized for their efforts and contributions toward sustainable and climate-resilient Philippines.
The recognition scheme aims to feature stories of the provinces and regions in addressing the impacts of climate change in their communities focused on pursuing relevant programs in environmental protection and conservation, climate change, and disaster risk reduction.
Other entries of the region which were also recognized for active involvement in mitigating the worsening impact of climate change were Federation of Vista Hills, Kalongkong and Kakilingan Upland Farmers, Inc. in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, Municipal LGU of Ivana, Batanes and Barangay LGU of Naggasican, Santiago City in Isabela.
The virtual awarding ceremony, part of the observance of this year’s National Climate Change Consciousness Week, was also witnessed by stakeholders and government officials and employees nationwide.#
ENSURING PROTECTION AND SAFETY OF ENR LAW ENFORCERS. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 2, in collaboration with the Philippine National Police (PNP) Police Regional Office 2, conducted yesterday a One Stop Shop Firearms Registration and License To Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF) at the DENR Rogelio B. Baggayan and Nature Park and Wildlife Center Gymnasium, Carig Sur, Tuguegarao City.
The LTOPF caravan, through the initiatives of DENR Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan, is in line with the effort of the Department to ensure the protection and safety of employees in the implementation of environmental laws and regulations.
The PNP Regional Civil Security Unit 2 oriented the participants on procedures of acquiring LTOPF and firearm registration and its related uses as identified in RA No. 10591 or the “Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act”.
The LTOPF valid for up to ten years is a license to allow an individual to purchase or obtain a firearm in the Philippines.
The caravan also offered drug testing, neuro-psychiatric testing, and notarial service.#
In an effort to come up with collective action to climate change impacts, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Cagayan Valley has spearheaded a participatory approach convergence meeting on Nov. 11, this year in Ramon, Isabela.
In the meeting, the DENR elicited strong management support among environmental stakeholders focusing on the protection of Magat watershed and rehabilitation of Magat Dam.
Administrator Benny Antiporda of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) underscored the significance of inter-agency collaboration to ensure not only the protection of Magat Dam but also the stability of the environment and safety of people living in the region's low-lying areas.
He proposed the dredging of Magat reservoir to remove the sediments and stabilize water level during heavy rains. He also recommended to develop an ecological park within the said multi-purpose water infrastructure.
In a study presented by Dr. Sameh Ahmed Kantoush of Kyoto University, the Dam is silted with about 40-50 percent of its capacity.
Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan of the DENR who spearheaded the discussion of present state and several issues besetting the Magat watershed thanked the participants for their commitment.
“We only need to integrate our efforts and weave together our interventions in order to have sound management and governance for sustainable watersheds. Because we believe that if we all together save watersheds, we save lives,” Director Bambalan said as she urged local officials and communities to practice ecological solid waste management.
By virtue of Letter of Instruction 1002 issued by former President Ferdinand Marcos in 1980, the NIA was authorized to manage, protect, develop and rehabilitate the 15,000-hectare watershed area where Magat Dam is located, administered by the NIA Magat River Integrated Irrigation System (MARIIS).
Meanwhile, the DENR will deploy forest protection officers to monitor illegal forest activities within the watershed.
On the part of the Environmental Management Bureau Region 2, Regional Director Nelson Honrado pledged to regularly conduct water quality monitoring within Magat River where use of its water with approved C classification will be restricted.
Mayor Jesus Laddaran of Ramon thanked the participants for heeding their call of a multi-stakeholders’ meeting to check on and provide solutions to the pressing issues of Magat Dam. He vowed to assist the NIA through passing municipal ordinance to prohibit settlements within the Dam and to regulate proliferation of fish cages mostly abandoned within the watershed.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources was requested to assist the fisherfolk on proper management of fish cages. The fisherfolk cooperative was tasked to ensure the compliance with restrictions on the establishment of fish cages and to enjoin its members to voluntarily remove their houses within the reservoir.
The NIA will revisit the collection of fees regulation for this purpose.
Isabela 4th District Representative Joseph Tan vowed to support legislative actions by allocating funds to preserve the Magat watershed.
The Isabela State University proposed the creation of a Council to serve as the management body to include representation from downstream communities and water agencies while the SN Aboitiz through their Corporate Social Responsibility program will implement development activities within the Magat tributary.
LPGMA Party List Representative Allan Ty recommended the creation of an inter-agency task force that will be responsible in monitoring the commitment of stakeholders. He also committed to provide additional manpower to the DENR and funding support through the Government Internship Program of the Department of Labor and Employment for the conduct of monitoring and inventory of reforestation projects implemented by the NIA within the watershed.
The old Memorandum of Agreement between the Bureau of Forest Development (now DENR) and the NIA crafted in 1980 will be revisited and amended to incorporate the stakeholders’ roles and mandates to ensure holistic partnership for sustainability of the reservoir and protection of the watershed.
Also joining the meeting were Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Director Mario Ancheta, Office of Civil Defense Regional Director Leon Rafael Jr., Department of the Interior and Local Government Regional Director Jonathan Paul Leusen, NIA Department Manager Michael Dimoloy, National Economic and Development Authority Assistant Regional Director Ferdinand Tumaliuan, Dr. Orlando Balderama of Isabela State University, and other officials of government and private sectors.
Cleanup drive and joint DENR-NIA monitoring within Magat Dam reservoir were also held prior to the meeting.#
After almost a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Cagayan Valley has finally reopened to the public the Bangan Hill National Park (BHNP) on Nov. 3, this year.
Through the support of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Nueva Vizcaya and the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB), the park reopening was aimed at promoting ecological tourism in Protected Areas (PAs).
A motorcade around the national highways of Bayombong and Solano towns was one of the highlights followed by a thanksgiving mass officiated by Fr. Enrique Tiongson.
DENR Regional Executive Director and PAMB chairperson Gwendolyn Bambalan underscored the significance of collaboration among partner agencies to realize the plans for the development of the BHNP and other PAs in the region.
“If we develop the area, we can showcase a natural resource conservation sustainably not only for the Novo Vizcayanos but also for the entire region since the province is the gateway to Cagayan Valley and nearby regions,” RED Bambalan said.
She hoped all tourism activities in Nueva Vizcaya will continue to flourish because these will have direct and indirect benefits to the communities.
PENR Officer Giovannie Magat said future improvement within the park will be implemented through the PAMB to offer ecotourism activities to visitors and tourists, but their safety, however, is most priority.
Meanwhile, Mayor Antonio Sergio Bagasao of Bayombong emphasized the need to inculcate in the minds of younger generation the importance of nature. “This grand reopening of Bangan Hill is a symbol, if you dig deeper in the hearts of people, there is a desire to go back to the original design of creation. The vision and mission of Bangan Hill is touching the soul of every individual,” he said as he thanked the initiative and support of the DENR and PAMB members, and the provincial government for making the event possible.
Also present during the ceremony were Bayombong Vice Mayor Ramon Cabauatan Jr., PENAR Officer Tito Tanguilig, Division Chiefs from the DENR Regional Office, CENR Officers, PAMB members, Civil Society Organizations, and other DENR and local officials.
The hill, located in the heart of the capital town of Bayombong was recently renovated by the DENR funded by the Biodiversity Management Bureau. This includes concreting of access roads and repair of view deck tower, installation of water system, and park landscaping.#
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has good news for owners of untitled agricultural lands.
In 2021, the DENR issued Administrative Order No. 38 prescribing the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 11573 entitled “An Act Improving the Confirmation Process for Imperfect Land Titles, Amending for the Purpose Commonwealth Act No. 141, as amended, otherwise known as the Public Land Act and Presidential Decree No. 1529, as amended, otherwise known as the Property Registration Decree”.
The creation of the IRR is also in pursuant to related land laws such as RA No. 11231 or the Agricultural Free Patent Reform Act; RA No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act; and DENR Memorandum Circular No. 2021-07 or the Adoption of Online Public Land Application Module under the LAMS Philippines.
In the IRR, qualified applicant should be any natural-born citizen of the Philippines who is not the owner of more than 12 hectares of land; continuously occupying or cultivating the land for at least 20 years prior to the filing of application for agricultural patent; and a good payer of real estate tax.
To simplify and harmonize these laws and to have a common understanding on its implementation, the DENR Cagayan Valley has recently conducted a leveling off meeting among the local government units (LGUs) in five provinces of the region.
Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan of DENR earlier underscored the importance of land titling for LGUs because of acquiring additional revenue that boost economic resources of cities and municipalities and improving the lives of patent beneficiaries.
In Quirino, provincial environment chief Mariam Frances Malana expressed optimism to the partner LGUs that cascading the new law will address concerns on processing of land titles. “We thank the support of LGUs for helping us in this endeavor,” she said.
Licenses, Patents and Deeds Division chief Remedios Pauig discussed the key provisions focusing on eliminating the deadline for agricultural free patent application and reducing the required period of land possession. “We would like to solicit your support in streamlining the process of land titling,” Engr. Pauig said as she stressed expediting the process will help applicants ease their burden to acquire land titles.
The law provides the timeframe in the processing and approval; and transmittal of patents to the Registry of Deeds (ROD) dependent to the limitation area and signing authority.
The DENR shall process patent application within 120 days to be approved by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer for below five hectares; Regional Executive Director for at least five up to 10 hectares; and DENR Secretary for more than 10 up to 12 hectares. Upon approval, the patent shall be transmitted to the ROD for registration within five days.
The processing of agricultural free patent applications shall only commence when complete documentary requirements are submitted to the Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Office where the subject lot is located.
OIC, PENR Officer Eliseo Mabasa discussed with Cagayan province partner-LGUs the salient points of RA 11573 and its IRR highlighting their role in public land titling process especially in securing requirements such as zoning certificate and tax declaration.
Meanwhile, Cagayan provincial assessor Alice Emma Pason and municipal planning and development officer of LGU Iguig Priscilla Brion discussed the requirements in securing tax declaration and zoning certificate.
For his part in a meeting in Nueva Vizcaya, PENR Officer Giovannie Magat said there is an optimal need to reconcile LGU policies with DENR to fast-track the issuance of patents.
Also embodied in said DAO the procedures of patent processing which include preliminary assessment and acceptance of application; posting of notice; investigation and inspection; preparation of judicial form and other forms; endorsement of application to the concerned signatory (PENRO, RED or Secretary); and transmittal to the Registry of Deeds.
PENR Officers Orly Cariazo and Victoria Baliuag of Isabela and Batanes, respectively, also convened the local officials in their provinces to review and discuss similar and related provisions of the laws earlier mentioned.
With various issues discussed and deliberated, the activity was also actively participated in by CENR Officers, environment committee chairpersons of Sangguniang Panlalawigan and Sangguniang Bayan, municipal environment and natural resources officers, municipal planning and development officers, provincial and municipal assessors, and other LGU and DENR officials and employees.#