In his aim to have all Protected Areas (PAs) to be fully planted of trees within its strict protection and multiple use zones, DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu met with Region 6 Senior Officials and field implementers for a rigid discussion and workshop to eventually come up with a doable work plan for implementation this CY 2022, just recently.

Regional Executive Director (RED) for Region 6 Livino B. Duran led the brainstorming and deliberation of data of all PAs in the region based on the actual situation on the ground as to how many hectares shall be allocated in the protection zone and that for multiple use zone as well as the species and number of seedlings needed to enhance/enrich the whole area.

PAs are under the supervision and management of the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) where the Regional Executive Director serves as its Chair. “Our work plan should address all the concerns and instructions of the Secretary that will cover Clean Air, Clean Water, ESWM, enhanced Biodiversity and enhanced NGP.”, RED Duran stressed.  

The activity was attended by ARDs for Technical Services Raul L. Lorilla and ARD for Special Concerns Ivene D. Reyes and were joined together by the PENROs, CENROs, PASUs, NGP Coordinators, and senior staff from the regional office.

One of the identified species for planting include bamboos for it provides livelihood and sequester carbon more efficiently. Peoples Organization (POs) involved in the National Greening Program implementation will be tapped to undergo this activity from nursery establishment, site development, planting, and up to maintenance and protection.

Region 6 has 5 legislated PAs and 9 with initial components covered by Presidential Proclamations and another 4 without PAMB with a total area of 204,523.39 hectares. With this, giving due importance to all the Pas, not only in Western Visayas but in the whole country is the best option to ensure a well-protected tree plantations which is very important in our quest for a greener and cleaner environment and the best habitat for our wildlife.

Secretary Cimatu also instructed each PENRO and CENRO to closely coordinate with their respective LGUs from the Province, City, Municipality down to the barangays and to encourage them to establish their respective mini-forests. He also encouraged the PENROs and CENROs to tap the LGU-led environment officials to work together in the implementation of all environmental laws and policies.

"We need these ENROs to work together to achieve our role of a clean and healthy Mother Earth", Cimatu qoute.

Intensified Forest Protection and Anti-illegal Logging is among the 10 Priority programs of the DENR Secretary.