Press Releases

2 28 DENR XI conducts 2nd ENR Frontline Course

To continue to equip the employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-XI with a deeper understanding of the Department’s mandate, programs and the different environmental laws being implemented, DENR-XI is currently conducting its 2nd Frontline training course held at the Royal Mandaya Hotel, Davao City.

This training course, which will run from February 27 to March 2, 2020, is in line with DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu’s goal to strengthen DENR’s Provincial and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs and CENROs) as they are the Department’s frontliners in terms of implementing its programs and execution of different environmental laws. This is being participated in by 40 employees from DENR-XI’s PENROs and CENROs.

In her message, Assistant Secretary for Field Operations-Eastern Mindanao and DENR-XI Regional Executive Director Ruth M. Tawantawan reminded all the learners to practice good governance and to try their utmost best to be role models both to their colleagues and in their communities by being efficient and effective employees of the Department.

On the other hand, with the aim to re-orient the participants on DENR’s organizational structure and core values, Assistant Regional Executive Director for Management Services Atty. Ma. Mercedes V. Dumagan discussed to the learners about the Department’s mandate, vision, mission and priority programs of President Rodrigo R. Duterte and DENR Secretary Roy A. CImatu.

Among the topics that will be discussed during the 5-day ENR Frontline Course are: Biodiversity Conservation and Management Services; Forest Resources Management Services and Tree Cutting Permits; Mining Resources Management Services; Disaster Risk Preparedness and Awareness; Climate Change Mitigation; Clean Water Act; Solid Waste Management; Client Service Excellence; and Ethics in DENR.

DENR-XI conducted its 1st ENR Frontline and ENR Basic Courses last September 2-6, 2019 and September 10-16, 2019 respectively.

2 3 DENR 11 and 13 DONATE CONFISCATED LUMBERS TO DAVSUR EARTHQUAKE VICTIMSA total of 31,892.54 board feet of confiscated forest products were donated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regions 11 and 13 to the province of Davao del Sur last January 30, 2020.

It can be recalled that DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu issued a directive to its Mindanao offices last year to release confiscated lumbers to help Mindanao earthquake victims rebuild their homes.

During the signing of the Deed of Donations, DENR Undersecretary for Enforcement and Muslim Affairs Jim O. Sampulna said that the donation of forest products to Davao del Sur is one way of telling the people that DENR’s mission is not only to have a cleaner and greener environment, but it also includes looking at the welfare of the people.

Moreover, Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Eastern Mindanao and DENR 11’s Regional Executive Director Ruth M. Tawantawan assured the people of Davao del Sur that helping them rebuild their homes is one of the important things that Secretary Cimatu would want to attend to.

“As Secretary Cimatu is committed to have a DENR that gives high quality of service to the people, we are extending whatever assistance we can give especially to those communities who were affected by the devastation caused by the earthquake incident.”

Davao del Sur Governor Douglas RA. Cagas expressed his gratitude to DENR for the help they have extended in rebuilding the homes and lives of the earthquake victims.

“It’s painful to see the destruction caused by the earthquake that’s why I am very thankful to the DENR for donating these confiscated forest products. I know this will not be the last for I know they are really committed to help,” he said.

Cagas revealed that there were 9,000 homes in Davao del Sur that were totally damaged and 30,000 homes that were partially damaged. Mayors from the different municipalities of Davao del Sur also expressed their appreciation to the DENR for donating the confiscated lumbers to their province. They said they are hopeful that they could immediately start constructing temporary homes for the victims.

Also present during the event is Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chairman Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol who said that Secretary Cimatu immediately responded to LGU’s request for donations of lumbers which they could use for the construction of temporary shelters.

“DENR’s move to donate confiscated forest products to earthquake victims is actually showing to the people that this is a responsive government. We respond to the situation and we adjust our governance,” he said.

On the other hand, DENR 13’s Regional Executive Director Atty. Felix Alicer said that there are no political boundaries when it comes to extending help to the people. “We really want to help rebuild the lives of these earthquake victims in Region XI especially in the province of Davao del Sur. And to extend our help, we have to expand our jurisdiction.”

Hundreds to thousands of migratory waterbirds were logged during the conduct of Asian Waterbird Census (AWC), a program that aims to monitor and record bird sightings across the globe. It was conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-XI) in the early weeks of January 2020, in Davao Region’s six (6) monitoring sites – Malalag mudflats in Davao del Sur, Bucana in Davao City, Banay-banay in Davao Oriental and in Panabo, Carmen and Tagum in Davao del Norte.

AWC is an annual event which takes place during the second and third weeks of January.

In Malalag, about a thousand of Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) were sighted, along with hundreds of Pied Stilts (Himantopus leucocephalus) and Whiskered Terns (Chlidonias hybrida). A small number of Great Knot (Calidris tenuirostris), an endangered species was also sighted.

Moreso in Carmen Coastal Wetland, a few of nearly threatened species such as Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) and Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata) were also seen. With them are some Whiskered Terns also flocking in the area. The latter species were also spotted in its neighboring Coastland Wetland in Panabo along with hundreds of Little Egret and Pied Stilts.

Meanwhile in Banay-bay, White-browed Crake (Porzana cinerea) and Wandering Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna javanica) were recorded, just a few compared to the thousands of Pied Stilts that landed in the area. In the same area, a few Philippine Ducks (Anas luzonica), the sole endemic species were also spotted flying overhead. Philippine Ducks is one of our very own families of birds which are unfortunately listed as vulnerable because of its small population.

As Philippines is one of the avian migrants’ flyways or routes in East Asia/Australasia, these avian migrants fly from their origin all the way to the lands of Davao Region to find a better habitat that will suit their need for breeding, feeding and raising their young. They are flying from vast distances including China, Japan, Siberia and other areas around the world that has winter season. These migrant birds travel beyond their country’s borders in search for warmer and safer refuge where they can also find sufficient food resources.

As a warm welcome to these visitors, may we all refrain from touching or harming them. Just let them fly freely.



The Chinese Crested Tern (Thalasseus bernsteini) yet again, surprises the wild with its rare presence after several decades of invisibility. In fact, they were once thought to be extinct.

Chinese Crested Tern’s sight and specimen records show that their population was just as few as half of a hundred. Due to their rarity, they were tagged as a bird of legend and were labeled as critically endangered species.

These birds were first sighted in Indonesia in 1863 and were randomly spotted again after a few years that turn into decades in China, Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan. In the Philippines, there were sight records of them in 1905 and made its surprising come back in March 2018 and just recently, November 2019 among other migratory birds that landed in the coastal wetlands of Panabo, Davao del Norte.

Ornithologists and conservationists around the world are unceasingly formulating measures to preserve these rare birds and increase their population which include conservation of their habitat and breeding colonies.

Among the threats attributed to their declining population are bird hunting, egg collection and other human and natural disturbances.

We can contribute to the conservation of Chinese Crested Terns and all other birds and save them from the danger of extinction simply by not being a threat. Please, do not disturb or hunt them, do not collect, buy or consume their eggs.

Let them fly and multiply freely.

(Photo taken in March 2018 courtesy of Peter Simpson, a professional birdwatcher.)

Officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-XI) and the Indonesian Consulate recently had a meeting to plan out the possible repatriation of wildlife species that were confiscated in Mati, Davao Oriental last April this year. If pushed through, it will be the first in the region and the Philippines to return rescued wildlife species in its country of origin.

It can be recalled that Task Force POGI (Philippine Operations Group on Ivory and Illegal Wildlife Trade) composed of representatives from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), DENR, Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army (PA) seized different kinds of exotic animals on April 8, 2019 in Barangay Dahican, City of Mati, Davao Oriental. The wildlife species, mostly birds, were said to have come from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

Task Force POGI was organized by DENR in 2013 to curb poaching and illegal trade of wildlife in the country.

Most of the apprehended wildlife species, composed of birds, mammals and reptiles, are categorized as endangered based on the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). CITES is an international agreement between government and aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. This was conceived to regulate the trade of wildlife animals and plants across borders and safeguard certain species from over-exploitation.

In behalf of DENR Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Eastern Mindanao and DENR-XI Regional Executive Director Ruth M. Tawantawan, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Pablito Ofrecia welcomed Indonesian Consul Henny Mulyani and other representatives from the Indonesian Consulate. After the meeting, the team proceeded to Davao Crocodile Park to check on the said wildlife animals that was turned over there for safekeeping.

Also present are Dr. Esteven U. Toledo of DENR-Biodiversity and Management Bureau (BMB); Chief of the Conservation Development Division (CDD) Myrna Erlinda Arbiol; Chief of the Legal Division Atty. Iris Pauline Tapales; Chief of the Wildlife Permitting Section Jose E. Lechoncito Jr.; and Special Investigator I of the Enforcement Division Brine Dumdum.