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Sealing a pact that would ensure a sustainable environment for the future generations of Guimarasnons, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Guimaras Wind Corporation (GWC).

The MOA signing was officially done at the Amihan Learning and Training Center of GWC located at Barangay M. Chavez, San Lorenzo, Guimaras on July 14, 2022.

Guimaras Wind Corporation shall adopt the 176 hectares within the existing Enhanced National Greening Program (ENGP) area in the Municipality of San Lorenzo, Guimaras for a term of 3 years. During which time they will develop the area to turn it into an arboretum where native trees and bamboos shall be grown.

 “Guimaras is currently a developing province, attracting many foreigners and tourists with its beautiful resources and ecotourism destinations. The proposed Panay-Guimaras bridge will soon be constructed and we are looking at the onset of more investments and more assets for the Province that will help uplift the economic status of  Guimarasnons,” said DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran in his message.

The MOA signing was also officially graced DENR Guimaras Provincial ENR Officer Edgardo M. Rostata together with GWC officials, namely: Mr. Gabino Ramon E. Mejia, President and Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Richardson C. de los Santos, AVP, Plant Operation; and Engr. Edwin L. Gallego, Plant Manager.

DENR PENRO Guimaras was very grateful for the partnership and collaboration of GWC as they signified their willingness to contribute to the greening efforts of the Department thru its Ridge to Reef Conservation Program, extending their financial support as part of their corporate social responsibility program.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 6, Yolanda Financial Assistance Team, which composed of Finance Division headed by Chief, Amellee D. Sardia and staff; Personnel and Cashiering Units of Administrative Division; together with DENR 6 Employees Union President Emma P. Delima, disbursed 100% of financial assistance from the Office of the President- Presidential Social Fund (PSF) amounting to Php 7,280,000.00 for DENR 6 employees affected by the 2013 Super Typhoon Yolanda.

The distributions were conducted last May 25, 2022 and June 18, 2022 to the provinces of Aklan, Capiz and Iloilo. Those beneficiaries who were totally damaged received Php 100,000.00 (26 beneficiaries) and those who were partially damaged received Php 30,000.00 (156 beneficiaries).

DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino D. Duran was glad to hear the news and expressed his gratitude to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for the support to the department’s employees despite the pandemic caused by COVID-19 which eventually limit the governments’ resources. 

DENR Regions 8, Tacloban and 4B, MIMAROPA, likewise received cash assistance amounting to Php 34.2 million and Php 760,000, respectively.  Furthermore, Delima confirmed that retired employees/beneficiaries also received the cash aid, including those deceased employees/beneficiaries through their next kin.

Around Eighty- three (83) employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region VI were recognized and awarded for their years of service in the department and for their vital contribution in the attainment of DENR’s goals and accomplishments throughout the years.

The Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) of the department gave “Service Awards” for 60 employees who rendered 20-45 years of service for the department. The longest so far was Corazon D. Ignacio, Forest Ranger from CENRO Sara who rendered 45 years in Government Service.

The number of Service Awards given to the employees from the regional office and per province are as follows: seven (7) employees from DENR Regional Office VI, twelve (12) from Iloilo, eleven (11) from Aklan, nine (9) from Antique, two (2) from Capiz, six (6) from Guimaras, and thirteen (13) from Negros Occidental.

A Special Recognition was also given to Dr. Alicia L. Lustica, Chief, Science Research Specialists/Center Head for Coastal Resources and Ecotourism Research, Development and Extension Center (CRERDEC) covering three (3) regions in Visayas - Regions 6,7 & 8. Dr. Lustica retired from service last December 2021 with 35 years of selfless service.  

A total of five (5) employees also received special awards for pursuing their personal growth and for completing their graduate and post-graduate degrees at their own personal expense, thereby enhancing their knowledge and skills in their respective office for the benefit of the department.

Eighteen (18) employees who retired from their service were also recognized by the department for their contribution and unparalleled dedication to the organization.

Regional Executive Director (RED) Livino B. Duran gave his appreciation to the awardees during his speech in the Pasidungog 2022.

“I want to thank you all for your contributions with the DENR, particularly in Western Visayas. Thank you for all your hard work and service for the department and for the people of Western Visayas. Pasidugong 2022 will now evolve as a traditional activity here in our region because we wanted really to honor our employees and our personnel in the department and to give incentives. I hope this will become an inspiration for us all to serve more and do better,” said RED Duran.

The awarding was held during DENR’s Pasidungog 2022 and Culminating Activity for the celebration of the Environment Month with the theme: “Askyon Para Sa Natatanging Mundo”. It aims to recognize the hard work and service of officials and employees to encourage efficiency and productivity in the public service./DENR 6

Ilonggo bikers showed their strength in numbers by joining the first-ever Bike.Hike.Plant (BHP)+ 2022 on June 25, 2022 in observance of the 159th Year of the Philippine Forestry Service and Arbor Day 2022.

The event gathered a total of 932 registered participants who joined as either bikers or hikers. The National Greening Program (NGP) team led by Forester Fred P. Canto also recorded a total of 1,338 seedlings of Narra, Tapuyay, Bagalunga, Iloilo Tree, Kansulog, Bagalunga, Ipil, Kamagong, and Balayong species that were planted during the activity. The tree seedlings were sourced out from the Iloilo Provincial Nursery, CENRO Guimbal Nursery and Maasin Watershed Nursery.

B.H.P.+ 2022 was initiated by the Forest Management Bureau (FMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in collaboration with the NGP team of the DENR Region 6 that was also graced by Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Jr., Maasin Mayor Francis Amboy, DENR Assistant Secretary for Indigenous Peoples Affairs Jose B. Ong, FMB Director Tirso P. Parian, DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran and other DENR 6 key officials.

 Bikers pedalled the total length of 31.9 kilometers from Esplanade 3 in Iloilo City down to the municipalities of Pavia, Sta. Barbara, Cabatuan and Maasin, Iloilo. A 15-minute hike was then made by all who went to the planting site inside the Reserve.

DENR 6’s field offices such as PENRO Antique and PENRO Iloilo also joined the Bike.Hike.Plant+ 2022 activity last June 25, 2022. 

It is one of the most memorable BHP events ever conducted by far with the strong support of seasoned bikers, newbies and enthusiasts who were either registered online or just waited on the road then bike-in with the group. After the group’s ride out from Esplanade 3, a short stop at a hydration station was made in public plaza of every municipality where a Medic station staffed with team from Department of Health (DOH) is also available in case of emergencies.

The event was made more successful with the solid support from the local government units of Iloilo City, Pavia, Sta. Barbara, Cabatuan and Maasin. Pavia’s best baye-baye was provided to all during the brief stop at their municipality, while Mayor Amboy generously provided lunch for all officials and others. The bikers and hikers were provided packed lunch as well.

“Si Honorable Arthur Governor, Sr. ang unang nagbigay ng hudyat and we wanted to plant trees for the province. The greening of Iloilo – it started in Maasin Watershed. The issue [on deforestation] has evolved into a concrete intervention and what you see here now are the impacts of those activities and interventions,” said Director Livino B. Duran in his message.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) represented by DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran on behalf of Secretary Jim O. Sampulna recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote the growth of the bamboo industry in Guimaras during the 1st Guimaras Bamboo Summit 2022 held at Guimaras Mountain Resort, Piña, Buenavista, Guimaras.

Province of Guimaras representative, Governor Samuel Gumarin, the Clean Air Philippines Movement, Inc. (CAPMI) chair, Dr. Michael Raymond Aragon, Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council Executive Director Rene Madarang, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Secretary Isidro Lapeña, Department of Trade and Industry VI Director Rebecca Rascon, and CAPMI-Western Visayas director Maggie Cacho all signed the MOU to signify their active support and commitment to the Province of Guimaras in promoting its bamboo industry.

RED Livino B. Duran emphasized the importance of bamboo in our economy and in the environment.

“Bamboo has many uses and has proven itself to have vital contributions to the national economy and ecological stability of the country. It reduces the need for timber resources, and helps greatly in carbon sequestration,” said RED Duran.

“We can also look into the use of bamboo for poverty reduction and as one of the sources of income for our local farmers. With the collaboration and coordination of the government agencies this will become possible. The National Greening Program (NGP) of the DENR will concentrate on production, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and DENR will focus on the supply of bamboo, and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will go into processing and later on marketing,” he added.

The Summit was organized by the Clean Air Philippines Movement, Inc. (CAMPI); Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC) and Province of Guimaras.

DENR stands as the lead agency in implementing the sustainable management of natural resources through resource conservation, protection, and productivity enhancement. It continues and will continue to support the planting of bamboos in order to rehabilitate all the remaining unproductive, denuded and degraded forestlands as well as to provide livelihood to local farmers and help boost our economy. The Enhanced National Greening Program (ENGP) is one of the top ten (10) priority programs of the DENR.