DENR XI OIC-Regional Executive Director Atty. Ma. Mercedes V. Dumagan sets a continuous interfacing with the field employees of the office, recently in PENRO Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro, to consistently uphold her orders and directions.
Apart from ensuring that the office’s mandates are implemented, the director also constantly sets a clear goal of rendering public service with integrity and that the DENR core values should always run high among the employees.
On the other hand, Dir. Dumagan, along with the PENRO officials convened with the Wood Processing Plant or WPP operators and potential wood product entrepreneurs of the said provinces. Besides developing rapport, the said talk forms part of her unceasing campaign in reminding them to legitimize their operations.
The public is hereby informed of the 𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐮𝐚𝐥 𝐛𝐢𝐫𝐝 𝐦𝐢𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧 in the Philippines whereby influx of migratory birds is expected to commence around September (southward migration) and return to their breeding grounds by March in the following year (northward migration).
These birds stop briefly along wetlands - swamps, marshes, intertidal and coastal areas, rivers, ponds, lakes, as well as forests throughout the country, to rest and refuel for their onward journey.
We call on the public to help protect these birds. Hunting of wildlife including birds is illegal, and is punishable under the provisions of 𝐑𝐞𝐩𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜 𝐀𝐜𝐭 𝟗𝟏𝟒𝟕, 𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 "𝐖𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐀𝐜𝐭".
Certain migratory birds, such as wild ducks, gulls, and shorebirds are susceptible to avian influenza virus (avian flu). The public is therefore further advised not to handle any wild dead bird/s that may be found near wetlands.
In a forum held last September 2023 in Mati, Davao Oriental, DENR XI, led by its OIC-Regional Executive Director Atty. Ma. Mercedes Dumagan encouraged the lumber dealers, Wood Processing Plant or WPP operators, furniture shop owners and potential wood product entrepreneurs to abide with the forestry laws and other policies that regulate the wood industry and to ensure the legitimacy of their operations.
“We made a venue to hear your voice, your concerns in particular. Let us know how we [DENR] can help you.”, PENR Officer of Davao Oriental Pablito Ofrecia emphasized in his welcome message.
Several apprehension reports of illegally-acquired forest products in the province prompted the conduct of said activity. It also aims to educate and enlighten the permittees about the guidelines and the process that entails when acquiring permits from the DENR.
“It might be harsh and inconvenient but it is the law. That is why, we are here, we want to re-orient you as our partners and guide you with the policies.”, RED Dumagan stresses. She added that the office is more than willing to walk them through with the process and that it is the only way to ensure that their operations will be legalized.
Further, Asst. Regional Executive Director for Technical Services Forester Victor Billones keenly discussed the forestry laws as well as the guidelines in securing the permits from the DENR. The ARED likewise emphasized that the EO 23 which declares the Moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of Timber in the natural and residual forests is still enforced.
During the open-forum, the floor was given to the participants for their concerns and inquiries towards the DENR. The above-mentioned officials, alongside Davao Oriental CENR Officers Gretel Basoc, Raul Tambilawan, Henry Yap and Zaldy Lumaan addressed the queries and responded to them attentively.
LGU of Banaybanay Vice-Mayor Liezel S. Teves also came to join the said forum.
On the other hand, RED Dumagan emphasized to the participants that if, in any way, they will encounter corrupt DENR personnel, they shall report it right away.
“You can directly reach out to me.”, RED Dumagan said, stressing that she ardently prohibits corruption in the office.
For the first time in provincial level, the DENR-XI, through its PENRO Davao del Sur conducted a Cave Congress in aims of apprising awareness about the significance of caves through an experiential learning. The event was launched in September 5 in Brgy. Asbang, Matanao, Davao del Sur, with a line-up of activities that anchor to the theme “Empowering Stakeholders for Sustainable Ecotourism”.
The participants were given lectures on the Salient Features of RA 9072 or the “National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act”, RA 9147 otherwise known as Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act as well as the Cave Geology. Topics were delivered by the experts from DENR XI’s Conservation and Development Division and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau. Further, Basic Caving 101/Protocols and Guidelines and Basic Ropemanship and Knot Tying Learnings and Applications were also tackled in preparation for the spelunking activity.
To achieve the experience-based learning, the participants accessed the 3 of the marvelous caves of Matanao namely- Asbang Fak Sol, Dat’s Cave and Su’bon Cave. Around 75 partakers were able to set their foot inside the cave, held on its bumpy stone walls, enjoyed the sight of intricate and fragile centuries-old formations that hang and protrude, converged with wild lives, soaked in the subterranean water while walking, crawling, climbing and abseiling through the wide-to-tight passages.
Members of the Regional Cave Committee (RCC-XI) who adopted and approved the conduct of the 1st provincial congress also showed its support by gracing the event, pitching in the line-up of activities and conduct its 3rd quarterly committee meeting.
A photography contest was also conducted to spur the participants’ creativity in capturing the sights and moments which they perceive champions a story. What made the event even more meaningful is the conduct of tree-planting activity wherein around 500 seedlings of molave and narra were planted in a 1-hectare area of So. Talambato, Asbang.
The 3 full-packed days has been successful through the support of different sectors, partners and stakeholders including the Dept. of Tourism-XI, RCC-XI, Lone Congressional District of Davao del Sur, PLGU Davao del Sur, PENRO-LGU of Davao del Sur, Provincial Tourism Office of Davao del Sur, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Municipal LGU of Matanao, Municipal Tourism Office, MDRRMO-Matanao, MENRO-Matanao, BFP- Matanao, Philippine National Police- Matanao, Armed Forces of the Philippines, 39th Battalion, Municipal Engineering of Matanao, Barangay LGU of Asbang, Matanao and the Local Cave Guides of Matanao.
Asbang Fak Sol, Dat’s Cave and Su’bon Cave have all been assessed by the DENR. These are all determined as Class II caves which qualifies the place to be open only to experienced cavers or guided educational tours/visits. However, having all significant matters considered, only the Sub’on Cave is open to the public as of the moment.
Congratulations on the success of 1st Cave Congress, PENRO Davao del Sur!
As part of the Aboitiz Foundation Incorporated’s corporate social responsibility, forty (40) of the hundred and thirty (130) hawksbill turtle hatchlings were released last September 1, 2023 along the coastline of Aboitiz Cleanergy Park in Punta Dumalag, Matina Aplaya. This event was attended by Department of Environment and Natural Resources OIC, Regional Executive Director Atty. Ma. Mercedes V. Dumagan.
The Aboitiz Cleanergy Park is an eight-hectare ecological preserve and biodiversity conservation site managed by AboitizPower subsidiary Davao Light, and Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. The park was launched in 2014 and has become home to critically endangered pawikan species like the Hawksbill turtle, Green Sea turtle, and Olive Ridley turtle. It is also a haven for endemic migratory bird species and other marine species.
Aboitiz Foundation Inc. is one of DENR-XI’s partners having a joint commitment to intensify conservation efforts for the marine turtles/pawikans in Davao City.
Hawksbill Turtle is one of the 5 species that can be found in the tropical oceans of the Philippines. It's held in high regard due to its distinct "tortoiseshell" that fascinatingly displayed in amber, yellow, black and brown. Further, its narrow head, beak-like jaws and overlapping scutes or scales are its dominant features, to which, its name was derived from.
For the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Hawksbill Turtles are listed as critically endangered, which means that if threats to their existence persist, these ancient species may set foot in the risk of extinction. But with everyone's dense efforts, their conservation is within reach.