With an eye toward revitalization and reforestation of the Philippine’s highest peak, the Mt. Apo Natural Park, the directors of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR XI) and Philippine National Police (PNP-XI) signed up an understanding, today, March 11, 2021 at the DENR-XI Regional Office, Lanang, Davao City.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) stipulates that both parties agree to revitalize forest protection and forest law enforcement activities and to establish forest nurseries within PNP training camp and adjacent areas of Strict Protection Zone (SPZ) which shall be planted in the identified rehabilitation areas within the MANP.
Pursuant to MANP-Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) Resolution No. 2007-06, the PNP has been allocated with 100-hectare within the Multiple Use Zone (MUZ) of MANP, particularly located at So. Lutangan, Brgy. Kapatagan, Digos City. Davao del Sur.
“It is only a stepping stone towards a bigger future in forest protection management in our protected areas.”, said For. Marcia G. Isip, DENR XI’s Asst. Regional Executive Director for Technical Services, adding that it is not just for the DENR and PNP but for the citizenry as well.
PNP XI’s director, PBGEN Filmore B. Escobal said that the understanding also lines up with their agency’s program- the Pulis Makakalikasan. “It is also embedded in our core values- Maka-Diyos, Makatao at Makakalikasan.”, Dir. Escobal added.
Through the said MOU, it is expected to provide an opportunity for both agencies to strengthen collaborative mechanism in forest protection and rehabilitation of Mt. Apo Natural Park.
“With our partnership and with this new endeavor that we have entered into, I am truly hopeful that this becomes a success not only to our respective agencies but also to the status of Davao region’s environment.”, stresses DENR XI Regional Executive Director Bagani Fidel A. Evasco.
The MOU was signed by RED Evasco representing the DENR-XI while PBGEN Escobal signed for PNP-XI. Signing as witnesses are DENR XI’s ARED Marcia G. Isip and PNP XI’s OIC-Regional Logistics and Research Development Division PTLCOL Rodrigo Benedicto H. Sarmiento, Jr.
In line with the Annual Asian Waterfowl Census (AWC) for migratory birds, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-XI) through its Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section (PAMBCS) started its bird watching and counting activities in the different municipalities of the region.
This activity aims to obtain information on the population of migratory birds and monitor the status and condition of wetlands in the region at the same time. In addition, this activity also aims to encourage greater interest in waterbirds and wetlands amongst citizens.
The DENR reminds the public that illegal hunting and selling of migratory birds is strictly prohibited.
In Region XI, PAMBCS are monitoring 8 sites: Carmen, Panabo and Busaon, Davao del Norte; Banaybanay and San Isidro, Davao Oriental; Malalag and Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur and; Bucana, Davao City.
Last week, DENR-XI team together with one of its partner bird expert and photographer Pete Simpson sighted several migratory birds including the critically-endangered Chinese Crested Tern in Carmen, Davao del Norte.
The annual bird migration season begins in September and extends until February of the following year. As part of DENR and its partners in their global effort to monitor the population of the migratory birds, bird watching and counting is being done during that period.
Migratory birds from other countries such as Siberia, China, Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand come in numbers during this period as it prefer the Philippine wetlands for their nesting, feeding and breeding grounds while escaping the cold season from their country of origin.
And to further raise awareness about the significance of migratory birds as well as the posing threats on them, the World Migratory Bird Day is being celebrated every second Saturday in May and in October every year. In addition, Wetlands Day is also being celebrated every February 2 of each year to highlight the importance of conserving and protecting waterfowls and its habitat.
AWC was initiated in 1987 in the Indian subcontinent and since has grown rapidly to cover major regions of Asia, from Afghanistan eastwards to Japan, Southeast Asia and Australasia. There are 9 migratory flyways in the world and one of which is the East Asian-Australasian Flyway where the Philippines is a part of it. All these flyways are also conducting its census.
In the Philippines, volunteers from all sectors are encouraged to join this annual census for them to learn and appreciate the importance of the migration season and its flyways as stop overs for the birds.
Bagani Fidel A. Evasco is the new Regional Executive Director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Region XI (DENR-XI).
Evasco is an Environmental Science graduate at the Ateneo de Davao University with profound knowledge of Marine Biology due to his experience as a licensed Dive Master and Technical Diver. He is a member of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors in Australia, the International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers in the United States of America, and Project AWARE which is a global movement for ocean protection and marine conservation.
After he graduated from college, Evasco also pursued his dream to become a pilot which propelled him to be a licensed private and commercial pilot at present. He is also a professional underwater photographer and a mountaineer as well as a soccer player and a triathlete. All these passions made him a multifaceted person.
“My varied interests are closely related with the environment – taking care of nature, conquering mountains, diving in the oceans, loving the beaches, and navigating the air – all of which are the advocacies that I gladly share with my family,” he said.
The 34-year old Bagani Evasco is the son of Leoncio “Jun” Badilla Evasco, Jr., a former Cabinet Secretary and a former Mayor of Maribojoc town in Bohol. He is currently taking up his Masters in Public Administration major in Public Policy at the Ateneo de Davao University.
During his acceptance speech yesterday, November 23, he highlighted his five personal principles as a leader. He said that he will be a listening leader for he wouldn’t want to perform any act or make decisions without considering the stand of his officials on any issues.
“I will make most of my decisions after consultations if needed, but we have to remember that there is also such a thing as a management prerogative.”
Evasco also said that he will be a servant leader for he believes that “all of us are servants of the people and that I should put first the interest of the people over and above my own.” He also solicited the cooperation of the employees for he said he will be delegating tasks from time to time.
“It cannot be denied that most of you have been in your jobs for a long time and have prepared yourselves academically and your years of experience will be something I will give you credit for.”
He also said that he is the kind of leader that values accountability and that every employee must be accountable for everything that has been entrusted in their care. Lastly, he reminded the employees that he does not appreciate petty talks and hearsays in coming up with major decisions.
“I love it when there is an openness among colleagues and I commit to listening to both sides in times of dispute or conflict. I will be a friend to everybody and not just to the chosen few,” he stressed.
To “buckle himself to work”, Evasco said that he will start to do his rounds in the different areas and offices within the region to get the feel of the situation on the ground.
On the other hand, outgoing DENR-XI OIC, Regional Executive Director Atty. Ma. Mercedes V. Dumagan expressed her gratitude to DENR Secretary Roy A Cimatu for the opportunity to lead and serve Region XI.
“Indeed, it was challenging but a learning experience as well especially when it came to coming up with big decisions that would benefit not only our Department but most importantly, our different stakeholders,” she said.
Dumagan also thanked Assistant Secretary for Administration and Human Resources Ruth M. Tawantawan for the trust and confidence she has given her being the former RED of the region. “Being my former boss, you have instilled in me the passion and the drive to lead our people and to serve our constituents.”
She expressed her support to Evasco, assuring him that DENR-XI will be behind him in every endeavor that he will undertake and every challenge that he will be facing.
“DENR -XI has always been working as a team. We work as one and have always been unified with one purpose which is to serve. Thus, we are also looking forward to a meaningful and efficient journey with you with the belief that we will further learn from each other,” Dumagan said.
Gracing the Turn-over ceremony are: Undersecretary for Enforcement for Mindanao and Indigenous Peoples Concerns Conrado E. Laza; Assistant Secretary for Administration and Human Resources Ruth M. Tawantawan; Mr. Leoncio "Jun" Evasco and; DCWD Director Engr. Romel Alfredo R Ruiz.
Also present through Zoom are: Undersecretary for Field Operations and Environment Atty. Juan Miguel T. Cuna; Assistant Secretary for Field Operations-Mindanao and Legislative Affairs Joan A. Lagunda; and Human Resources Development Service Director Ric G. Enriquez.
In line with the observance of the 120th Philippine Civil Service Anniversary, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-XI) held its Digital Quiz Bee Contest participated in by 7 selected DENR-XI personnel both from the Regional and Provincial offices.
As per Presidential Proclamation No. 1050 series of 1997, the whole month of September is declared as the Civil Service Month. This year’s theme is “Philippine Civil Service @120: Public Sector in the Age of Digital Transformation”.
Assistant Regional Executive Director (ARED) for Management Service Atty. Ma. Mercedes V. Dumagan welcomed the participants and thanked them for their participation. She mentioned during her message that because of the on-going global pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease or COVID-19, DENR-XI conducted its Digital Quiz Bee activity through Google Meet.
On the other hand, Administrative Division Chief Atty. Chelin Joan Sonza Alug said that the activity is a venue to review the different Human Resources mechanisms as well as to allow participants to cope with the “new normal” in order to maintain vigorous mental alertness and well-being, especially during the on-going pandemic.
“As public servants, we have to remain competitive and receptive enough to meet the evolving needs of our clientele in this age of technological advancement,” she said.
The activity also aims to expand the employees’ knowledge and understanding of the agency’s various fields of endeavors and to showcase their wit and excellence in these different fields that they have gained through working in the agency.
This year’s Digital Quiz Bee Champion is Ms. Ginaville L. Vilchez of the Management Services while other winners are: Cyrian Anthony S. Durban of PENRO Davao del Oro for the 1st place; Milan N. Jerusalem of PENRO Davao Oriental for the 2nd place; and Luke Phillips G. Rubellano of PENRO Davao Occidental for the 3rd place.
In line with Secretary Roy A Cimatu’s directive to continually strengthen the frontline services, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-XI) through its Human Resources Development Services (HRDS), is currently conducting its webinar on the 2nd Basic Training Course under the Environment and Natural Resources Academy (ENRA). This Basic course will run from September 1-4, 7-11 & 14, 2020.
Twenty-eight (28) employees from DENR-XI’s Provincial and Community and Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs and CENROs) were re-oriented on DENR’s organizational structure, its core values as well as its mandate, vision, and mission.
On the other hand, Assistant Regional Executive Director for Management Services Atty. Ma. Mercedes V. Dumagan also discussed the priority programs of President Rodrigo R. Duterte and DENR Secretary Roy A Cimatu including the AmBisyon Natin 2040 which is the long-term vision and aspirations of the Filipino people for themselves and for the country in the next 25 years.
Among other topics that will be discussed during the 10-day ENR Basic Course are Understanding the ENR Laws; Accountability in Public Service; and Service Excellence.
The activity is designed to effectively direct and advocate the department’s priority programs, projects, and activities. It also aims to demonstrate technical competencies to support and enforce ENR laws.
DENR-XI conducted its 1st ENR Basic Course last September 10-16, 2019.