About Us




      Atty. Ma. Mercedes V. Dumagan is a Certified Public Accountant, Lawyer, and Civil Service Executive Eligible (CSEE). Her career started at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region XI, as Attorney III under the Legal Division in October 1999. She was in charge of the handling of numerous civil, criminal, and administrative cases including arbitration proceedings for land claims and conflicts. With her outstanding performance as Atty. III in the agency, she was designated as the Assistant Regional Director for Legal Public Affairs in the year 2002. 

      On the 17th day of November 2003, Atty. Dumagan was promoted to Financial and Management Officer II and became the Chief, Administrative Officer of the Finance Division in the year 2005.  On July 14, 2015, she was promoted to Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer of Davao del Sur. One of her achievements was during the Mt. Apo Fire Incident in April 2016 where the PENRO Davao del Sur joined forces with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council – Incident Management Team on the Fire implementation and tactics to combat the Mt. Apo Fire.

      A year after, Atty. Dumagan was designated as the OIC, ARED for Management Services and became full-fledged Director III, ARED-MS of DENR Region XI on March 23, 2018. As ARED for MS, she supervised all the management activities and concerns in the region, securing effective and efficient delivery of services to the people and clientele. Her accomplishments include resolving and fast-tracking of the numerous cases in the Legal Division, expediting the hiring and promotion in the Region as the Chairperson of the Human Resource Merit Promotion and Selection Board (HRMPSB), cascading Region XI-Environment and Natural Resources Academy where she was one of the resource person. In addition, Atty. Dumagan was the chairperson of the DENR XI- Quality Management System Implementation and supervised in maintaining the QMS ISO 9001:2015 Certification. She is the GAD Focal Point System Chairperson, the highest-ranking lady official in the region. 

      For the period September 24, 2020 up to November 20, 2020, she was given the chance to supervise and implement the policies, laws, and all the plans and programs of DENR Region XI as she was designated as the OIC, Regional Executive Director.

     On June 23, 2023, she was again designated as OIC, Regional Executive Director per Special Order No. 2023-389 signed by Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga. Atty. Dumagan is a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Davao Lady Lawyers Association, and she is a past lady chancellor of Sigma Tau Mu Sorority of the Fraternal Order of St. Thomas More.


Davao is said to have derived its name from the word, Daba-daba, a region of flames or fire as recorded in the books of the early Jesuit priests. Some sources say this word is of Bagobo origin which is the name of the sacred brush that belonged to the chieftain of the early Bagobos named Datu Duli who lived in the rolling hills of Sandawa Mountain. As was the custom during the ancient times, the Bagobos kept the fire burning twenty four hours a day throughout the year. And the fire was supposed to be burning at the foot of the Sacred Brush called Daba-daba. It was said that Datu Duli, the Bagobo chieftain was kind and just in his decision over an accused person. Other Bagobos then pronounced the word Daba-daba with the sound of "o" at the end. It was said it had been practiced by Datu Duli when he rendered decisions in settling cases. As time went on the Bagobos of the succeeding generation changed the word Daba-daba to just Daba and added the letter "o" to justify the actuations of Datu Duli in rendering his decisions. Thus the ancient Bagobo word Daba is now pronounced Davao by both native and immigrants.

Some also say that Davao was derived from the name of a Manobo rebel Dabao. Others maintain that the name Dabaw was derived from the word dabahan, a big basin for laundering used by the natives. Still another derivation of the name was form the word daba meaning earthen pot or palayok which the early natives made and sell as their means of livelihood. When mountain dwellers got down to the lowlands the first things they looked for and bought was the daba.

But many native Dabawenyos prefer to believe that Davao derived its name from the great river which the early Tagabawa tribe called Dabu. The Guingans called Duhwow and the Obo called Davoh. Later, the three names given to the river by these early natives were incorporated into what is now DAVAO.

Davao, in its beginning was peopled by different races and groups from different regions and countries. The waves of migration into the Philippines from the Asian countries of Borneo, Malaysia, Indonesia and Persia via Celebes Sea, first landed in Mindanao, then pushed their explorations toward the North. On their way, some of them probably weary and tired from the voyage, settled and lived in Sarangani Island, then later found their way to what is now Davao. Among these groups were the little people known as the Dawn Man of the Australoid Sakai type, Proto-Malays, Indonesian B types of the late Neolithic period. These ethnic indigenous groups are of varied cultures and racial tribes.

During the Spanish Period Davao first loomed in history as a Moro settlement in the banks of Tagloc river (name, pioneer settlers say, given to Davao river by the early Bagobos). But the real history began in 1848 when Don Jose Oyanguren, A Spanish Lawyer-turned-trader sent by the Spanish Governor-General Narciso Claveria, launched an expedition composed of his own Spanish soldiers with their families and volunteers soldiers, defeated the Muslims under Datu Bago.

Christianity was introduce in the Davao Gulf Area when Oyanguren with his group of Spanish soldiers and their families and the native volunteers from Caraga and Surigao settled in Davao in 1848 after defeating the Muslims at the banks of the Davao River under Datu Bago. A priest was sought by the group of Oyanguren to help them build a Christian community in the area since one of the objectives in the conquest was to establish the Christian Religion.

By the time the Americans came to Davao as a new colonial power at the turn of the 20th century, Davao was already peopled by indigenous ethnic tribes found in the interior or hinterland; by Muslim settlers found along the coast of Davao River; by Christian Filipino descendants of Davao's first Filipino Christian settlers in 1848, by Christian Filipino migrants from Luzon and Visayas who migrated to Davao to escape political persecution in their provinces in the late 1800s, by army deserters, by few fugitives, and by the foreign migrants who inhabited the cabecera or town proper.

With long years of existence, full of determination and visionary insights to attain prestige and identity, Region XI, through its struggles, zoomed high like the eagle in the sky.

MANDATE (E.O. 192, s. 1987)

The Department is the primary agency responsible for the conservation, management, development, and proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources, specifically forest and grazing lands, mineral resources, including those in reservation and watershed areas, and lands of the public domain, as well as the licensing and regulation of all natural resources as may be provided for by law in order to ensure equitable sharing of the benefits derived therefrom for the welfare of the present and future generations of Filipinos.

To accomplish this mandate, the Department shall be guided by the following objectives:

1. Assure the availability and sustainability of the country's natural resources through judicious use and systematic restoration or replacement, whenever possible;  

2.  Increase the productivity of natural resources in order to meet the demands for forest, mineral, and land resources if a growing population;  

3.  Enhance the contribution of natural resources for achieving national economic and social development;  

4.  Promote equitable access to natural resources by the different sectors of the population; and  

5.  Conserve specific terrestrial and marine areas representative of the Philippine natural and cultural heritage for present and future generations.


A nation enjoying and sustaining its natural resources and a clean and healthy environment.


To mobilize our citizenry in protecting, conserving, and managing the environment and natural resources for the present and future generations.


Human well-being, and environmental quality and sustainability ensured. 

    • Promote human well-being and ensure environmental quality
    • Sustainably-managed environment and natural resources
    • Adaptive capacities of human communities and natural sytems ensured 
    • Good Governance
      • Accountability, transparency, integrity, participatory and predictability
      • Ease of doing business
    • Social justice
      • Equity and gross national happiness
    • Social Enterpreneurship
    • Partnership with Civil Society
    • Ecosystem integrity
    • Sustainable consumption and production
    • Polluters pay
      • Payment for ecosystem services
    • Rule of law
    • Honoring global commitments

1. Adoption of the watershed/river basin framework in planning

    • Prioritizing areas within the watershed
    • Forest Land Use Planning
    • Adopting soil and water conservation measures
    • Agroforestry systems

2. Closing open access areas of forestlands by granting appropriate tenure/ management arrangement

3. Convergence approach among NGAs, LGUs and CSOs

4. Area management approach - an integrated area development where all basic societal and economic services are delivered in an area for more impact

5. Capacity building of DENR frontliners, LGus, CSO partners, POs and docial entrepreneurs

6. IEC, advocacy and social mobilization

7. Certification Systems