Press Releases

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

In line with the continuous clean-up and rehabilitation of Malandog River in Antique, notable developments and other activities were already in place as what the Local Government Unit (LGU), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) , and other line agencies envision.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu as he is called the “adopted son of Antique” pursued environmental activities and projects in the province especially the Malandog River Rehabilitation and Development Project where he wanted to restore the historical significance of the river and to make it as one of the province’s tourist destinations. 

Part of the waterbreak project is to make the river free from fishing vessels docking on the river’s mouth. To obtain this goal, Sec. Cimatu initiated coordination with higher officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with the support of the LGU of San Jose to come up with an ordinance requesting for the construction of Breakwater at San Jose shorelines since most of the residents livelihoods are from fishing industry.

Two hundred million pesos (Php 200,000,000.00) worth of Breakwater Porject was approved and will be constructed at (1) San Angel to Malaiba and (2) Maybato North to Maybato Sur, San Jose de Buenavista, Antique with a budget of one hundred million (Php 100,000,000.00) each. These two breakwaters has a length of about 0.764 linear-meter where the budget will be downloaded to DPWH Antique District for implementation. 

Purposely the breakwater is to provide protection for beaches and harbor against high waves especially during bad weather. To finalize the appropriate breakwater design for the area, a hydrographic survey or bathymetric survey was conducted which measures the depth of the water body and maps the underwater features. This survey is required to calculate the volume of materials required for the breakwater, where finalization of plans and designs are already subject for bidding.   

Consequently, the project will benefit a total of  more or less one thousand four hundred fifty four (1,454) registered fishing vessels at San Jose based on the updated list at the Municipal Environment and Natural Resource Office (MENRO). Other commercial fishing vessels from adjacent municipalities may also use the said breakwaters during bad weather conditions.

“This project is a proof that with convergence efforts of all government agencies, big things are bound to happen that will surely benefit the community,” DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran said.  

“I too was amazed by the development of the Malandog River. It is just a vision first of Sec. Cimatu, now it is slowly recovering its lost beauty,” he added.

“This will provide you a safe mooring and anchoring place for your daily operation and during inclement weather. We need to rehabilitate our Malandog River and our Waterways and bring back its cleanliness and biodiversity thereby putting in place orderliness and sustainability in our fishing industry and eco-tourism ventures,” Provincial ENR Officer Andres Untal posted on his social media to asked for the residents full cooperation regarding this activity/project.

 As remembered on previous years, Secretary Cimatu considered Malandog River as one of the priority rivers for rehabilitation and the “Center of Excellence” in the Province of Antique considering its historical, socio-economic and cultural significance to Antiqueños, where Clean Water is among its 10 Priority Programs./DENR 6

As there is an alarming increase of wastes usage brought by a lot of environmental changes and unjust human activities, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6, encourages the people to continuously be mindful and be aware about properly segregating and disposing their wastes.

In observance of the Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management 2000, the DENR 6 through its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) organized a month long activity for the celebration of January as the Zero Waste Month.

Here are some tips to lessen, if not fully solve the solid wastes problems:

  1. Bring your own bottle
  2. Keeping your own cutlery when you’re on the go
  3. Create your own reusable cloths by cutting up some old fabric
  4. Avoid using plastic straws
  5. Bring your own reusable bags when you go grocery shopping

The Environment Management Bureau (EMB) Regional Director, Atty. Ramar Niel V. Pascua said that “we should continue to fight for our garbage problem, which is a crisis that not only today but future generations will increasingly face, and that we should come together as one and make a collective action, so we will be able to achieve our goal of a sustainable and livable environment for the next generations.

According to DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran made a remark saying that “We should always aim for a progress, overcome challenges, take on responsibilities, and muster up courage to be a better citizen for a livable environment, not only for us but for the future generations, because it’s one of those legacies that we can leave them. Take care of the environment and it will handle our future”.

The Zero Waste Month is an Advocacy that promotes designing and managing of products and processes to avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste materials, and the key in achieving this goal is to be a responsible citizen for a brighter and healthier environment.

With the Boracay rehabilitation still ongoing and the term of the Boracay Island Task Force (BIATF) extended until June 2022 by virtue of Executive Order No. 147, natives and businessmen in the island sought help from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 to hear them out with their issues and concerns.

In a dialogue held at the municipality of Malay in Aklan province, members of the Natives of Boracay and Business Stakeholders, Inc. (NABBSI) openly told the DENR 6 team, led by Regional Executive Director (RED) Livino B. Duran, they believed Presidential Proclamation (PP) 1064 is implemented without social justice and is a form of oppression by the government. They cited massive land grabbing and that the law did not consider the vested rights of the occupants since the earliest times.

The NABSSI, led by their president Aisa Reyes, proposes amendments to the provisions of PP 1064 which they believed would respect their rights as well.

“Please remember that PP 1064 was deemed constitutional. The Supreme Court ruling on the matter stands and we must respect it. It is also necessary to respect guidelines of various laws and judicial titles as in the case of Tirol family. No one can be above the law,” Duran reminded the aggrieved parties.

Furthermore, he reiterated to all stakeholders the land classification of the island under PP 1064.

“The forestlands in Boracay include Timberland Blocks A–P (covering the three barangays of Balabag, Manocmanoc and Yapak), the 25+5 shoreline easement, and the 15-meter road easement measured from the center of the road,” Duran said.

Both parties tackled the pressing issues with NABBSI and the group proposes for the following to consider: 1. Six-meter road easement from the center of the road (main road); 2. Secondary road shall be 9-meter wide; 3. Tertiary road shall be six meters; 3. The pedestrian lane shall remain as is. Additionally, responsible agency/institution for road construction and maintenance shall be as follows: main road under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH); secondary road under the provincial government; and the tertiary road shall be under the municipal and barangay local government unit.

Meanwhile, Malay’s Municipal Ordinance No. 2000-131 have allowed structures within 10 meters from the cliff and the local government unit have issued building permits, which runs in conflict with the 25+5 easement rule. RED Duran however, emphasized that there shall be no structures within the 25+5 easement with 100% compliance, possible exemptions will be the existing public ports.

Boracay CENR Officer Rhodel Lababit disclosed to the group that establishments in Station 1 were among the first to comply with the 25+5 easement rule, contrary to rumors that they were not compliant.

“We can measure the 25+5 easement rule by locating the X/Y coordinates of the monuments or corners, which indicates the boundary between 25+5 easement and the A&D land,” Duran explained. Also part of the proposal is to increase the number of monuments (locally called “mohon”) with regards to misplaced monuments/corners.

All of NABSSI’s proposed amendments were noted by the DENR 6 but should be discussed with the Office of Congressman Teodoro Haresco of Aklan’s 2nd District for consideration by LGU Malay./DENR 6

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.