Press Releases

115839803 2595800210681638 6680575480376172493 nA green sea turtle was recently rescued by DENR-XI’s Provincial and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENRO and CENRO) of Digos with the assistance of the members of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) substation in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.

Days after the rescue, the seemingly-weak pawikan was transferred to the Aboitiz Cleanergy Park in Davao City and was later found out to have ingested a plastic trash as it has been continuously excreting plastics for 3 days. With the guidance of Cleanergy Park’s in-house veterinary, vitamins were intravenously given to the pawikan to help restore its good condition.

DENR-XI’s Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section Chief Marigelaine Arguillas said that they appreciated the great efforts of the PCG as they have gone beyond their call of duty to rescue the pawikan.

“Everyday, they would swim in the ocean to get seaweeds for the pawikan to eat. And when we transferred the pawikan from Digos to the Cleanergy Park in Davao City, the PCG also provided some of their shirts and towels so the pawikan will be comfortable during the transfer,” Arguillas added.

Among those who assisted the DENR-XI team during the rescue are those who are under the command of Commodore Roy A Echeverria PCG, Commander, Coast Guard District South Eastern Mindanao: Coast Guard Substation Commander PO3 Jovie M. Talaver PCG; Sn1 Ernesto R. Movilla, Jr, PCG; Sn1 Leo M. Toca, PCG; Sn2 Julius Ceazar M. del Cruz, PCG; Asn Jaimor D. Bation, PCG; ASN Josiem P. Densing, PCG and; MFLET-Sta. Cruz Mr. Benjamin O. Adtoon, Jr.

Green sea turtle species is one of the 5 sea turtles known to occur in the Philippines along with the Hawksbill turtle, Olive ridley turtle, Loggerhead turtle and Leatherback turtle. Under the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN, Green and Loggerhead turtles are categorized as endangered while Olive ridley and Leatherback turtles are categorized a vulnerable.

On the other hand, Hawksbill turtle is categorized as critically-endangered. Killing, collecting, trading, hunting and other related activities that pose threat to these species is punishable as it is a violation to RA 9147 of the Conservation and Protection of Wildlife Resources.

6 30 DENR XI AWARDS ITS BEST PENR AND CENR OFFICES FOR 2019

To culminate this year’s Environment Month celebration, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-XI) awarded its top Provincial and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENRO and CENRO) for accomplishing their 2019 goals and targets that contributed to the achievement of the Department’s mandate and programs in Region XI.

Through the efforts of the Praise and Awards Committee of DENR-XI, the awarding is part of the office’s continuing commitment to respond to one of the Human Resource mechanisms which is granting of rewards and recognition to deserving employees and offices.

During the virtual culmination program, DENR-XI headed by Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Eastern Mindanao and DENR-XI Regional Executive Director Ruth M. Tawantawan awarded the Best PENRO to PENRO Davao del Sur and the Best CENRO to CENRO Davao City.

RED Tawantawan urged the awardees to continue to give their best not only in accomplishing their targets but most of all, to practice efficiency in implementing the programs and projects of the DENR.

“There is nothing that DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu would want us to do but to continue to give our utmost best in giving service to the Filipino people by being innovative in preventing any man-made and natural environmental disasters, in maintaining a balanced ecology and in preventing all kinds of pollution,” she said.

RED Tawanatawan also reminded all the provincial offices to be enthusiastic in rendering government services by being efficient, pro-responsive, pro-active, and fast in rendering public service.

Before the awarding, Assistant Regional Executive Director for Technical Services Marcia G. Isip cited the criteria involved in the Best PENRO and CENRO awards.

In a message, best PENRO awardee Pablito M. Ofrecia of PENRO Davao del Sur gave his appreciation to all the employees under his jurisdiction for their commitment and dedication in pursuing public service.

"Just like any other awards and just like this pandemic, this too shall pass. But the dedication, commitment, and the memories of Davao del Sur will always remain," PENRO Ofrecia said.

On the other hand, CENRO Marvin D. Parilla dedicated the Best CENRO award to all the hardworking employees of CENRO Davao City, stating that receiving such recognition is his long-time dream.

"In my 42 years, there were so many attempts to be able to receive such recognition and finally, it is here. I did not stop dreaming and I just continue to give my best in rendering service to the people," he stressed.

The office also gave recognition to all the winners and participants of this year’s Online Environment Month Quiz Bee Contest. Assistant Regional Executive Director for Management Services Atty. Ma. Mercedes V. Dumagan stressed that despite the pandemic, DENR-XI continued its information and awareness campaign.

“The pandemic did not hinder our office to continue with our IEC campaigns for the benefit and encouragement of our employees to keep themselves updated with the status of our environment,” she said.

The winners and participants for the Environment Month Quiz Bee Contest are: Cyrian Anthony Durban of PENRO Davao de Oro (Champion); Cherrybeth Padilla of PENRO Davao del Sur (1st Runner-up); Melody Joy Dagta of the Regional Office (2nd Runner-up); Donnazel Bitoy of PENRO Davao Oriental; Geneveve Magpatoc of PENRO Davao del Norte; Marylove Dalumatan of PENRO Davao Occidental; Ryan Anthony Paran of Mines and Geosciences Bureau and; Mariz Stella Sillada of Environmental Management Bureau.

Certificates of Appreciation were also given to the frontliners of DENR-XI who have served the office and rendered essential services during the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Davao City. Among the awardees are: Ms. April B. Lepardo; Efren P. Flores; Ervin Ramirez, Rodrigo Sismar; Glenn Ford Quibod; Natanael Canillas; Jopet Bancure; Adrian Labrador; and Romar Monungohl.

Moreover, a Loyalty Award was given to Ms. Evelyn A. Origenes of CENRO Davao City for her 30 years of dedicated service to DENR-XI which contributed to the achievements of the Department’s goals and targets. Also, a “Thinking Mind Award” was given to Ms. Beverlyn M. Maguate for her initiative in conducting mind-stimulating online activities, especially to DENR employees, during the ECQ.

6 21 PITCHER PLANTS

It is no secret that Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. For within this vast pygmy forest are the countless rare and striking site-endemic species. Some has been described while it seems a lot more are yet to be discovered.

Did you know that Mt. Hamiguitan has the Philippines’ most number of pitcher plants? And that five of which are endemic to this site? A German scientist once enunciated that these can’t even be found anywhere else in the world yet.

One factor why this mountain houses endemic plant species is its ultramafic soil which contains high level of metallic elements and less organic matter. Unfortunately, ultramafic soil deprives plants the "essential" nutrients it needs. The silver lining- some plant species are clever and resilient enough to find its way to survive through evolutionary processes such as adaptation and speciation.

Pitcher plants are one of those survivor plants. They adapted to the harsh environment by developing a modified structure in its leaf designed to lure and catch insects and other animals to supplement its nutrition. Once their prey is confined, it will be slowly dissolved by the enzyme-filled liquid inside the pitcher traps. That makes them one nimble, carnivorous plant.

All of these evolutionary processes have resulted to the sprouting of the five unique pitcher plant species in this mountain.

The first species, 𝑁𝑒𝑝𝑒𝑛𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑠 𝑝𝑒𝑙𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑎, was described in 2008. After a few years of continuous exploration, four others were also described namely 𝑁. 𝑚𝑖𝑐𝑟𝑎𝑚𝑝ℎ𝑜𝑟𝑎 (2009), 𝑁. ℎ𝑎𝑚𝑖𝑔𝑢𝑖𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑒𝑛𝑠𝑖𝑠 (2010), 𝑁. 𝑗𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑎𝑒 (2016) and the most recent, 𝑁. 𝑎𝑙𝑓𝑟𝑒𝑑𝑜𝑖 (2017).

Humans can learn from these species as well. Such as whenever we find ourselves in a harsh, difficult environment, be resilient. Be like pitcher plants.

Meanwhile, a day to go for the PA Talk!

Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary is among the six protected areas in the country which will be featured in the pilot episode of PA Talk, an hour of online conference organized by the DENR's Biodiversity Management Bureau and will be hosted by Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda.

6 17 BANTAY GUBAT

For a mountain as remarkable as Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (MHRWS), notable for hosting numerous unique species, particularly the endemic pitcher plants, it sure needs a full-whack of conservationists.

Aside from the collaborative conservation efforts of the DENR and the local government units of Davao Oriental, there is also a strong engagement of the local community in safekeeping the mountain especially from the poachers who are after the collection of species.

They are called “Bantay Gubat”, our very own local environmental warriors who have developed deep knowledge on the terrain of the mountain and the species in it due to their extensive exposure with various scientists and researchers.

Alfredo “Tatay Pedoy” Bolante, Sr is one of them who’s been watching over the mountain for almost two decades now. Currently 58 years old, still active and keen in his job. Though one-eyed, Tatay Pedoy is able to discern even the unrevealed and undescribed species in the mountainous realm. In fact, a site endemic pitcher plant that he found not so long ago was named after him. The researchers, Dr. Victor Amoroso and his team from Central Mindanao University named it Alfredo’s Pitcher Plant or Nepenthes alfredoi.

The DENR, through the Mt. Hamiguitan management recognizes the outstanding contribution of Tatay Pedoy and the rest of the Bantay Gubat, the guides and porters for the conservation and protection of MHRWS.

Meanwhile, 4 days to go! MHRWS along with other legislated protected areas in the Philippines under National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) will be featured through a live streaming conference on June 22, 2020. This is organized by the DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau with the Office of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda.

6 16 MT. HAMIGUITAN DAVAO ORIENTAL CROWNING GLORY AND JEWEL E

Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary or MHRWS is one of the protected areas in the Philippines known for its range of threatened and endemic flora and fauna species. Specifically located in Davao Oriental, this protected area became a catalyst for environmental conservation and protection as it houses the critically-endangered Philippine eagle, Philippine cockatoo, bonsai forests, and pitcher plants, among others.

At present, MHRWS is a world-renowned crowning glory and jewel of the province of Davao Oriental. And adding to its glory is being officially included in the prestigious list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site last June 2014 and being declared as an ASEAN Heritage Park in October 2014 due to its recognized outstanding universal value (OUV) that is worth sharing to the world.

Although MHRWS is the country’s 6th UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is the first of the only two protected areas that received UNESCO and ASEAN recognitions along with Tubattaha Reefs Natural Park in Palawan. In Mindanao, however, it is the only protected area designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Meanwhile, MHWRS along with other legislated protected areas in the Philippines under National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) will be featured through a live streaming conference on June 22, 2020. This is organized by the DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau with the Office of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda.