Press Releases

Just a little over a month when DENR-XI and the LGUs of Sulop and Malalag in Davao del Sur sealed a Memorandum of Partnership Agreement (MOPA), another one has been recently unfolded with the LGU of Matanao of the same province for the creation and establishment of Land Management Office in its Municipality to improve land administration and management within its jurisdiction.

The partnership, further, supports the institutionalization and mainstreaming of land administration and management policies, processes and procedure in the said municipality and shall likewise provide after-titling support to beneficiaries.

DENR-XI, on the other hand, shall provide technical assistance to LGU personnel, and provide monitoring and quick-response-assistance to the Municipal in all phases of titling activities.

The MOPA was penned by DENR-XI through Regional Executive Director Bagani Fidel A. Evasco and the Municipality of Matanao, Province of Davao del Sur represented by Bai Maria Pacita Dela Victoria of Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR) Matanao with witnesses from DENR- PENR Officer of Davao del Sur, Pablito M. Ofrecia and CENR Officer for Digos, Ruel D. Colong.

The MOPA signing was held in September 10, 2021 at Crisbelle Crown Center, Digos City, Davao del Sur. The partnership agreement will be implemented within the next five (5) years and can be renewed for the same duration should both parties desire.

9 1 Mahilak Falls 5

Following a series of consultations with concerned agencies and communities including the DENR-XI, Local Govt. Unit and Tourism Office of Digos City, the Brgy. Local Govt. Units as well as the tribal leaders, the Mahilak Falls in So. Manikan, Brgy. Goma, Digos City is now open as a tourist spot starting September 1, 2021.

DENR-XI Regional Executive Director Bagani Fidel A. Evasco personally graced the said ceremony alongside Digos City Vice Mayor Atty. Johari Baña, Brgy. Goma Capt. Leo S. Presillas, Sr., City Tribal Chieftain Datu Celso B. Salaysay, Bai Jerlina Owok, tribal chieftain of the Bagobo Tagabawa Tribe in Binaton, Digos City, DENR-XI Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer in Davao del Sur Pablito M. Ofrecia and Protected Area Superintendent Joel Pardillo.

Mahilak Falls is one of the several falls and water sources in Mt. Apo Natural Park. Given its location, regulations and enforcement of policies shall still be under the DENR’s Protected Area Management Office (PAMO) in collaboration with our LGU partners and tribal leaders.

RED Evasco, on his message, says that the waters surrounding Mt. Apo are connected. Adding that aside from waterfalls, Mt. Apo is a watershed of several river systems and has aquifers that transmit water to well and springs. Thus, notwithstanding being an eco-tourism site, these sources of water calls for joint conservation efforts from the agencies, local government units and the public.

Though open for public, health protocols in accordance to the guidelines set by IATF shall still be imposed including the limited number of guests and tourists allowed per day.

Further, Mt. Apo’s unified trekking policies shall also be applied in Mahilak Falls including restrictions on littering, vandalism and mutilation of rocks and trees and illegal collection of flora and fauna among others.

No permit, no entry shall still be imposed. Guests shall seek permit at the PAMO and must undergo an orientation thereat.

Brgy. Goma where Mahilak Falls is located is under Mt. Apo’s Multiple-Use Zone (MUZ) which allows settlement, traditional and/or sustainable land-use.

For bookings and inquiries, please reach the PAMO through 0948-971-6329 and look for Ms. Dolly.

9 2 Bantay Tambutso in Davao CityThe DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) recently held an operation through its Bantay Tambutso Program together with Davao City Anti-Smoke Belching Unit of City Environment and Natural Resources along Carlos P. Garcia National Highway last 27th of August, 2021.

Of the 100 vehicles tested, 58 had passed and 42 failed.

Drivers of the said vehicles that exceeded the average CO emission limits based on DENR Administrative Order No. 2015-04 or the implementation of Euro4 and In-use Vehicle Emission Standards were given citation tickets.

Bantay Tambutso Program is EMB's monthly activity pursuant to Section 21 of RA 8749 or the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999. It aims to monitor and curb air pollution in the city likewise to reduce its environmental and health effects.

9 1 690K worth of illegal cut lauanNinety four (94) pieces of abandoned and stockpiled illegal logs, flitches and lumber equivalent to approximately 46.50 cum and has an estimated value of P690, 042.15K has been retrieved and hauled by the DENR-XI within the contested areas of Region XI and XIII in Brgy. Datu Davao, Laak, Davao De Oro and Brgy. Kapda, Loreto, Agusan Del Sur, particularly along Kms. 13, 15, 17, and 21.

The forest products were mostly those of Deptirocarp species particularly Lauan and Bagtikan which are currently listed as Critically Endangered due to its market demand. Poachers are after its hardness which is usually used as furniture and construction materials.

According to DENR XI’s Enforcement Division report, the abandoned forest products were discovered stocked and scattered within the inner areas strategically concealing its view from the highway.

After a verified report in August 18, 2021, retrieval and hauling operation was immediately conducted in August 19-21 by a team composed of PENRO Davao de Oro and CENRO Maco with the assistance of the Regional Office’s Enforcement Division under the direction of RED Bagani Fidel Evasco and in coordination with National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA-XI), Philippine National Police (PNP-XI), Philippine Army (PA-XI) and Provincial Local Government of Davao de Oro.

It has been observed, however, that in Km 17, culprits clearly attempted to hide some forest products prior to operation by moving and dumping them in the adjacent gullies while smaller pile of flitches were left for hauling. Further, the mini-sawmill was already closed and lumbers were covered with “trapal.”

The operation still yielded to the retrieval of 40 pieces of Round Logs, 54 pieces of Flitches and Lumber which were then deposited at the PLGU of Davao de Oro depot under the custody of its maintenance head.

RED Evasco condemns the said unlawful event and says that the discovery of said illegal forest products is “Perceived as part of large syndicated logging operations in the region, thus, a case build-up is being undertaken to determine the culprits and shall be brought into court.”

Illegal cutting, transportation and possession of woods or timber from natural forests are all punishable against PD 705 or Revised Forest Code of the Philippines. A person proven guilty of said activity may land in jail for several years.

Further, and in as far as the Joint Inter-Regional Task Force is concerned, DENR-XI is continuously coordinating closely with its counterpart in Region XIII with both Regions intensifying its law enforcement, surveillance and monitoring efforts in the said areas.

8 16 2021 Davao Oriental baganga

Along with his recent visits to the LGU officials of Davao Oriental, DENR XI RED Bagani Fidel Evasco also headed to Kailukan Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Brgy. Lucatan, Municipality of Tarragona. The director dove the waters himself to check on the current status of the live coral cover thereat as well the fish species habituating in it.

It can be recalled that the marine assessment in 2019 revealed that Brgy. Lucatan harbours the most observed fish among the Cantral and Jovellar MPAs and was considered in moderate condition.

However, based on 2019 Lucatan MPA management plan, population density is lower in the area, and the scarcity of large fish species is attributed to the fishing pressure of the reef.

RED Evasco was able to discuss these observations with Tarragona Mayor Nestor Uy. To improve the condition of these MPAs, the LGU is currently implementing the MPA Networking to build alliance among barangays where these MPAs are located. This strategy will help them control the fishing activities in the area, and at the same time, gradually increase the population density.

Though these MPAs are locally managed, the DENR provides technical assistance to the LGU in the drafting of their management plan and in strengthening the protection and conservation efforts.

Maximizing the time, RED Evasco also met with Baganga Mayor Arturo C. Monday. In as far as environmental protection and conservation is concern and as a forester, he always encourages his constituents to plant trees and to actively participate and support DENR’s programs and projects.

RED Evasco on the other hand assured Mayor Monday that DENR projects and programs will continue in Baganga, especially that most part of the Municipality are within two protected areas namely the Baganga Bay Protected Landscape and Seascape and the Baganga Protected Landscape.