The new balangay-inspired PENRO Antique building of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 is “the most beautiful of all the DENR offices in the region, even the whole country,” said former DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu who was the special guest during the building’s inauguration.

Cimatu conceptualized the balangay-shaped building for PENRO Antique after the Malandog River Rehabilitation and Development Project (MaRiReDeP) took off in 2018. The iconic PENRO Building is reminiscent of the sailboats used by the ten Bornean datus who landed in Malandog River in 12th century. Such historic landing prompted Cimatu to call Malandog the “ancient tourist spot” in the country.

The new DENR – Provincial ENR Office building is also called a Convergence Building owing to the fact that it testifies to the convergence of efforts from various national government agencies, the provincial government of Antique, the municipalities of Hamtic and San Jose and its barangays. With the inauguration and blessing of the new PENRO Antique building on February 22, 2022, local leaders in the province of Antique takes pride in this grand development.

“We are happy with his (DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu) legacy and we are very proud of this Office, that he was able to make this beautiful dream come true,” said Antique Governor Rhodora.

In her message via phone patch, Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda encouraged former Secretary Roy A. Cimatu to continue helping her “para ang Malandog River at lahat pa na mga ilog sa Antique ay maging malinis kung e implement ang Republic Act 9003.” She also assured the DENR key officials of her support to keep improving the region.

DENR 6 Regional Executive Director (RED) Livino B. Duran, who hails from Sebaste Antique, underscored the impact of such milestones (the rehabilitation of Malandog River and the iconic PENRO building) for the province in his message.

“These developments showcased the strategic significance and importance of our indigenous culture here in Antique. This would be a historical and cultural laboratory for the province of Antique that also advocates for sustainable ecotourism as well as environmental conservation,” RED Duran said. “Coordination with the Department of Tourism is also underway for Malandog River to be included in the tourism map of the region,” Duran added.

In his message read by Director Duran, OIC Secretary Jim O Sampulna said: “This new PENRO building is like none other. Dito lang ito makikita sa buong Pilipinas. It synched in to the history of the place and its people. May this new PENRO Antique building also become a place where the public we serve gets satisfied with the services we provide.”

As inspiring as the balangays are, I hope our PENRO Antique employees here shall always serve with understanding and respect to each and every person that comes in thereby inspiring positive outlook for people in the government, in this case, in the DENR PENRO Antique,” Sampulna added./DENR 6