In line with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu’s goal to strengthen DENR frontliners, DENR-XI conducts its first Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Course for DENR personnel at Sunny Point Hotel, Davao City from September 2-6, 2019.
DENR-XI’s Assistant Regional Executive Director for Management Services Atty. Ma. Mercedes V. Dumagan welcomes the participants with a message reminding everyone to give their hundred percent attention because this will help them become better employees.
“It is the goal of the management to provide responsive learning opportunities for each DENR employee,” she said.
On the other hand, Assistant Secretary for Field Operations-Eastern Mindanao and Regional Executive Director Ruth M. Tawantawan said that this is the first time that the region is holding this kind of seminar.
“Our Secretary would want all DENR employees be equipped with knowledge and deeper understanding about the mandates of the agency. Learners should be a role model so set yourself as a good example to your colleagues, subordinates, and even in the community where you are living because good governance and efficient and effective public service is also President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s mandate,” Tawantawan stressed.
The 5-day course is participated in by employees from the Community and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs and CENROs) mostly administrative and field rank-and-file personnel. The course aims to train, capacitate, orient and re-orient the employees on DENR’s mandate, vision, mission, priority Programs and Projects, and basic ENR services.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources-XI (DENR-XI) participates on the compassed Mindanao-wide Turnover & Distribution of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries last August 2, 2019 in Davao City.
The DENR is one of the partner implementors of the said program by jointly identifying, together with the Department of Agrarian Reform, specific properties that may be covered under the Land Acquisition and Distribution component of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform (CARP).
DENR also issues a certification that the tract of land is within an area classified as alienable and disposable. In view of R.A. 6940, the DAR shall only cover, and, therefore, require the foregoing certification on lands which have been classified as alienable and disposable before 16 April 1960.
Further, DENR continuously supports the government on its pursuit of helping farmers and lifting the country’s farming industry.
With its mandate to address environmental issues that contribute to the degradation of the nation’s coastal and marine ecosystems, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-XI) is strictly implementing Republic Act 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 as one of its priorities together with the Clean Air Act and the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
With the on-going rehabilitation of Manila Bay, DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said that stricter enforcement of RA 9275 is the key to addressing water quality issues and other environmental problems not only in the historic bay but in all the rivers and other water bodies in the country.
During the recent Pre-SONA on Climate Change event held in Davao City, Cimatu said in an interview that he wants to have communal septage facilities in the city’s coastal informal settlements to help minimize the presence of coliform in the coast.
“As long as the settlers are defecating there, there is coliform,” he said.
In Region XI, DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) is tasked to monitor coliform levels in the rivers and coasts through its monitoring stations along Davao River and Davao Gulf.
EMB-XI has established 25 monitoring stations in Davao Gulf from Davao del Sur area to Davao del Norte area while there are also 17 monitoring stations established along the Davao River.
Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Eastern Mindanao and DENR-XI’s Regional Executive Director Ruth M. Tawantawan said that aside from the regular monitoring of Davao Gulf and Davao River, the Department has also taken initial action in addressing the sanitation of the Davao Gulf as EMB-XI will designate it as a Water Quality Management Area (WQMA) this year.
“The plans of rehabilitating Davao Gulf is part of Secretary Cimatu’s priority in protecting the marine and coastal ecosystem,” Tawantawan said.
Pursuant to Section 5 of Republic Act 9275 known as The Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) is mandated to designate WQMA.
The objective of the WQMA is to protect, through stakeholders collaboration, the water body and its tributaries by keeping their water quality within the Water Quality Guidelines or Criteria conforming to the water body’s classification or even improve the quality to higher classification. A WQMA Action Plan will be prepared in order to address water quality issues and problems in the area and later result to the improvement or better water quality of the said water body.
“Along with these initiatives, we are also one with the City Government on its plans in establishing sewerage treatment systems in the City. This is one of the City’s projects that we would want to prioritize and to pursue,” Tawantawan added.
During Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio’s State of the City Address (SOCA) last October 2018, she suggested to put focus in building and operating a septage treatment facility.
“As we continue to improve, rehabilitate and build new drainage systems, we shall compliment this with the creation of the sewerage treatment facilities all over the city. We will continue to study on how to best build the sewerage treatment systems to ensure the city’s compliance to waste water regulations,” Mayor Duterte said.
This proposal is included in the IM4Davao which is a 27-year Infrastructure Modernization Plans that contains a proposed short, medium and long-term high priority projects for Davao City with an estimated cost of PhP 298.4 billion. At present, there is an on-going feasibility study for the entire region which is being conducted by the National Economic Development Authority.
The City has already identified 6 sites for the establishment of sewerage treatment facilities. The location of “Area A” that is included in IM4Davao’s priority project is within the vicinity of Magsaysay Park that covers the districts of Poblacion and Agdao.
The plant will serve a population of 370,000 people with a treatment capacity of 100,000 cubic meters per day.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the provincial government of Davao de Oro signed a Memorandum of Agreement this week for the dredging, quarrying and rehabilitation of Naboc River in Monkayo.
The MOA signing was attended by DENR Secretary Roy A Cimatu, DILG Undersecretary for Operations Epimaco V. Densing III, Davao de Oro Provincial Governor Jayvee Tyron L. Uy and DPWH-XI Regional Director Allan S. Borromeo.
The rehabilitation of Naboc River is one of the priority programs of Secretary Cimatu after President Rodrigo Duterte stated in his SONA last July 2017 the ill condition of the river caused by Mercury, Cyanide and fecal coliform contamination.
"Mt. Diwalwal had been the debris of man's insatiable greed and we will not allow this river to die and we will exhaust all means to bring it back to life as what we have successfully done in Boracay and what we are doing in Manila Bay," Cimatu said during his message.
As initial phase of Naboc River rehabilitation, the Provincial Task Force Naboc River (PTFNR) in Region XI has served Cease and Desist Orders (CDOs) to 1,797 ball mills and carbon-in-pulp (CIP) owners last March 16-18, 2019. Under the slogan “Lihok Alang Sa Naboc”. This 3-day operation aimed to immediately transfer informal settlers and all processing plants from Mt. Diwata to Sitio Mabatas to attain the government’s goal of addressing Diwalwal’s environmental problems.
Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Eastern Mindanao and DENR-XI Regional Executive Director Ruth M. Tawantawan said that it is very fulfilling to have delivered the mandates and challenges of the President and the DENR Secretary.
"The resolution of this long-overdue problem is a clear manifestation of Presidents Duterte's political will for change. And with the issuance of Secretary Cimatu's Special Order for creating the Provincial Task Force Naboc River coupled with his strategies, stipulated an impetus potent enough to reach an effective solution," she said.
On the other hand, Governor Uy vowed to help in cleaning the Naboc River and restore its natural waters.
"As the Governor, I will fully commit my time, my effort and my passion to clean-up this Naboc River and support the advocacy of the DENR and the President as well," Uy said.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources-XI celebrated Philippine Arbor Day through a tree planting activity at Brgy. Marahan, Marilog District. Foresters from DENR-XI headed by Assistant Regional Executive Director (ARED) for Technical Services Marcia G. Isip joined the activity and planted 200 seedlings of coffee and 800 seedlings of Cacao within the Sustainable Integrated Area Development (SIAD) in Marilog District.
Said participants are also members of the Society of Filipino Foresters, Inc. (SFFI).
In the Philippines, Arbor Day was declared through Proclamation No. 30 by former President Manuel Roxas in 1947, to be held every second Saturday of September of each year in schools and communities. Most recently, it was revived through Republic Act 10176 or the Arbor Day Act of 2012 when President Benigno Aquino 3rd signed into law a bill reviving tree-planting day as a yearly event.
Arbor Day in the Philippines has been institutionalized to be observed every June 25 of each year by planting trees, ornamental plants and other forms of relevant activities.
Arbor Day, which comes from the Latin word “arbor” meaning tree, is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. Participation of all government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations, private sectors, schools, civil society groups, and the citizenry are enjoined.