Press Releases

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-XI) and DENR- Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) - Forest and Wetland Research, Development and Extension Center (FWRDEC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on June 13, 2022 at the DENR-XI Regional Office, Davao City, forging a partnership for the implementation of the Strategic Communication and Extension Plan (StratCom) to improve productivity and profitability of Falcata tree farms in timber-producing regions like Region XI.

ERDB-FWRDEC selected Davao de Oro for the stratcom implementation considering that majority of Falcata trees plantation are established in the province and tree farming is the major livelihood of the people in the area. The abundance of Falcata trees in the said site is due to species' compatibility to its biophysical characteristics.

In his message during the MOU signing, FWRDEC-Center Head Conrado Marquez, said that โ€œbased on our framework, more focused would be on plantation of forest, because our goal is to be able to fill in the 20% gap on the supply of timber. Before, we are exporting logs/timber, and now [we are the] importer.

Marquez emphasized that the said gap is based on the recent statistics of DENR's Forest Management Bureau. "We are not dealing with numbers only, but we must be able to produce quality timber.โ€ he added.

In response, DENR-XI Regional Executive Director Bagani Fidel A. Evasco, said that this MOU signing is a timely event as the office always welcomes development and partnership especially within the organization. The director added that the office will fully support the endeavor through the leadership of DENR-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) of Davao de Oro Rita Fe C. Gunn.

This program aims to implement different communication strategies and activities of stratcom to promote awareness on the different science-based technologies- from production and establishment towards the maintenance of Falcata tree plantations. It further aims to improve productivity and profitability, and transfer capabilities on the different technology application that can be adopted by target users.

Together with RED Evasco during the signing of MOU were Assistant Regional Executive Director for Technical Services For. Victor T. Billones; Davao de Oro PENRO Rita Fe C. Gunn; Conservation and Development Division Chief For. Myrna Erlinda D. Arbiol. FWRDEC-Center were represented by Head Conrado Marquez and FWRDEC TTPE Unit Chief For. Joan S. Gilbero.

6 10 35 YEARS ANNIVERSARYToday, June 10, 2022 is DENRโ€™s 35th Founding Anniversary by virtue of Executive Order No. 192 s. of 1987. It declared the reorganization and renaming of the then Department of Environment, Energy and Natural Resources to the now Department of Environment and Natural Resources or DENR.

โ€œ๐‘ƒ๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘ƒ๐‘Ž๐‘š๐‘–๐‘™๐‘ฆ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘” ๐ท๐ธ๐‘๐‘… ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž ๐‘ ๐‘Ž ๐‘‡๐‘ข๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘ฆ-๐‘ก๐‘ข๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘ฆ ๐‘›๐‘Ž ๐‘ƒ๐‘Ž๐‘”๐‘˜๐‘Ž๐‘˜๐‘Ž๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘Ž ๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘‡๐‘Ž๐‘”๐‘ข๐‘š๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘ฆ.โ€ is this yearโ€™s theme which conveys the message of maintaining strong, healthy and harmonious relationship between the agencyโ€™s officials and employees. A crucial aspect the organization should have to attain a quality and efficient public service.

After two years of virtual engagement, the DENR XI through its regional office opened its gate and welcomed the employees from field offices to gather and celebrate the milestone together. Everyone assembled for the first time in a long time for the commencement of the said celebration alongside the Sports Festival which also kicked off on the same day.

It is also RED Bagani Evascoโ€™s first conduct of sportsfest since he assumed office in 2020.

โ€œI am happy to see all of you with all that smiling eyes, smiling faces, the energetic vibe and very active physique. I am happy that finally, we are able to sit and cheer next to each other.โ€, RED Evasco said in merriment.

More than just a festivity, the said sportsfest is one of the officeโ€™s interventions to promote health and wellness as well as social support through camaraderie among employees.

The program is a proven approach that provides several benefits to having healthy workforce. It is also more needed than ever considering the effects of pandemic that took a toll on peopleโ€™s wellbeing.

The said activity, along with the conduct of Nationwide Simultaneous Tree Planting, are just some of the many that is lined up for the entire month of June which is also the Environment Month celebration.

6 10 Earthquake DrillIt has not been long since the city has experienced a series of large-magnitude earthquakes that caused injuries, destruction, fatalities and even psychological aftershocks.

To ease the said effect and to instill preparedness and awareness, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has been regularly conducting a Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill.

The DENR XI has been actively participating on the said intervention. In fact, In June 9, 2022, while having an internal event within the office, the drill was conducted.

With approximately 150 employees, safety procedures such as ๐ƒ๐”๐‚๐Š, ๐‚๐Ž๐•๐„๐‘ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐‡๐Ž๐‹๐ƒ were practiced.

This office acknowledges the importance of this kind of preparedness activities. While natural calamities such as earthquakes come unannounced, knowing what to do is always the best way to keep ourselves safe.

6 8 Snaps Critters 36 8 Snaps Critters 2The ocean covers more than 70% of the earthโ€™s surface. This enormous ecosystem is home to millions of marine species, a tiny fraction of it has been unearthed and a lot more is unidentified and are understudied. Ocean is often deemed as another world within our world, endowed with unique, stunning and queer sea creatures. There are thousands down there, most of which are not known to many.

With the oceanโ€™s rich biodiversity, the World Ocean Day is being celebrated on June 8 every year to highlight the importance of its protection and conservation considering that there are innumerable different species, both flora and fauna, that habituates in it.

As a finale of this online photo exhibition trilogy, this feature story puts the limelight on ๐˜™๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ช and ๐˜™๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ข or Scorpionfish โ€“ another species of exotic critters that were photographed by DENR-XI Regional Executive Director Bagani Fidel A. Evasco within the coastal areas of Davao Region.

Scorpionfish comes in three kinds: the frondosa, aphanes and the eschmeyeri and each differs in color, pattern and size. They are said to be extremely-coveted and photogenic critters that seasoned divers and underwater photographers must travel around the globe for the chance of seeing one. Because of their ability to camouflage and blend in perfectly with the reef, scorpionfish are said to be one of the marine species that are tough to spot, thus holding the top slot on the โ€œHoly Grailโ€ list of critters.

Aside from its ability to camouflage, scorpionfish also has a knack in swaying gently with the water current. And combining these two abilities is how they ambush their prey by dropping their jaw and inhaling the fish, the very reason why scorpionfish is known to have a โ€œyawning behaviorโ€. As its mouth opens and the jaws gape forward, it quickly pulls in a mass of water like a vacuum, making it impossible for its prey to escape.

These photogenic critters may be one of the fishes, but no, swimming is not really their point of interest because they are the lie-in-wait type, in favor of being a strategic predator. They also prefer using their fins in crawling along the comfortable spot on a sandy bottom. And as scorpionfish spends so much time in one place, parasites and algae can easily accumulate on its skin thus this critter shed its cuticle to combat this problem.

They are venomous too! But because of having a laid-back personality, they donโ€™t usually arm their venomous dorsal spines to put into use. But once disturbed or mishandled, its sting can be excruciating. Along with the scorpionfish and other odd yet exquisite critters that resides within the โ€œblue planetโ€ countless species that are thriving into the depths of our ocean. How much more? No one can devulge with absolute certainty.

Indeed, ocean offers a great deal of stunningly-beautiful marine species and some of these are the exotic critters that were found and photographed in the coastal areas of Davao Region. As the world is celebrating the Ocean Day today, let us be reminded that oceans provide not only food and resources for people, but also a home to millions of wildlife species that need to be protected and conserved.

With this yearโ€™s theme โ€œRevitalization: Collective Action for the Oceanโ€, it highlights the importance of people taking action with regards to providing solutions to the growing problems of our coastal ecosystems.

Commemorating the World Ocean Day, DENR-XI Regional Executive Director Bagani Fidel A. Evasco enjoins everyone to take part in pushing for sustainable action in protecting this โ€œblue planetโ€ called ocean.

โ€œMay this online photo exhibition trilogy give everyone the inspiration to be more aware and be more kind to our ocean and the marine species living within. We are doing this not only to showcase the different sea creatures that can be found within the Davao Region but most specially to encourage everyone to be mindful of our acts that are detrimental to our environment, specifically our ocean,โ€ RED Evasco said.

6 8 Critters Leaf Sheep 1As World Ocean Day is being celebrated on June 8 every year, people around the globe should not only take heed on the need to protect and conserve the waters but should also get to know and appreciate more the different marine species living within the oceanโ€™s endless depths. With the ocean so vast and infinite, exotic critters also seem to be fathomless.

On one of DENR XIโ€™s Regional Executive Director Bagani Fidel Evascoโ€™s dives, he was able to capture series of photos that showcase bizarre, colorful and beautiful creatures living within the waters of Davao City and the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS). This juncture is the second of an online photo exhibition trilogy.

Another creature that Director Evasco has taken a photo of is the ๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ข ๐˜ฌ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฆ also known as the leaf sheep or leaf slug. This creature belongs to the nudibranch species which are a group of soft-bodied marine gastropod mollusks and are noted for their striking colors and forms.

Leaf sheep has black beady eyes situated closely together and have rhinophores with black tips like that of sheepโ€™s ears. Its rhinophores are the ones that pick up chemical signals in the water, enabling it to find food sources. And resembling a house plant in the marine ecosystem, this small marine creature has leaf-like appendages of which contain branches of digestive gland. These appendages are typically with pink, purple or white tips.

Known to be one of the most adorable and sophisticated marine creatures in the world, leaf sheep grow to a maximum length of 7 to 8 millimeters upon adulthood and with a life span between 6 months to a year. But if there is one notable significance of this slug-like creature has in the marine ecosystem, it is its ability to create its own energy by means of photosynthesis.

As Leaf Sheep feeds on algae, they can retain chloroplasts from it and utilizes the chlorophyll to perform photosynthesis when needed. By doing so, it allows the Leaf Sheep to supplement its diet for months. Generally, photosynthesis is known to be performed by plants, but leaf sheep also has this amazing ability thus being called as โ€œsolar-powered sea slugs.โ€

Fortunately, Leaf Sheep is still not considered as critically endangered but they can still face threats most especially if marine habitats are being destroyed through destructive fishing practices that uses dynamite or cyanide. Climate Change also places a threat to this creatureโ€™s survival as too much greenhouses gasses in the atmosphere can damage marine ecosystems.

And while Leaf Sheep are considered as one of the most beautiful and adorable marine creatures, it should not be made as pets as they are still considered as wild animals and are best to live in their natural habitats.