Regional Releases

With the observance of Month of the Ocean (MOO) this May 2022, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 conducts different activities in support to the month-long celebration aligned to its theme: “Protect and Restore Ecosystems and Biodiversity.”

One of those activities was the conduct of a pre-survey and monitoring of Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (COTS) occurrence in the portion of 300 hectares Coral Garden in Jawili, Tangalan, Aklan on May 5, 2022 in collaboration with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of the municipality of Tangalan, Aklan.

The COTS is a sea star named for the spines that cover its body and arms. It is also known to permanently damage coral reefs, and scientists consider it a species of concern –not because its numbers are too low but because locally high numbers can threaten other species.

Upon the conduct of survey and monitoring, the certified divers from DENR Aklan and LGU Tangalan spotted numbers of COTS population in the area, wherein twenty (20) pieces of this spiky predator were collected.

With this, the DENR – PENRO Aklan scheduled a mass extraction of COTS in the said area, today, May 24, 2022. The activity will highlight the MOO celebration 2022, which aims to understand the effects of multiple stressors on ocean ecosystem and take action by providing solutions in the degradation of marine biodiversity and ecosystem. The team will be composed of divers from DENR Aklan, LGU Tangalan and Office of the Provincial Agriculture.

 “These spiky predators should be removed to prevent damage to our coral reefs. This Month of the Ocean (MOO) we should value the importance of coral reefs, because once a reef’s ecosystem failed, it will be hard for us to restore it,” said DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran.

 Corals are archetypal ecosystem engineers –they provide the foundation for the diversity and abundance of all the species in coral reef ecosystems.

 Scaling up of Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Program with the following activities (1) Development of Bio-diversity Friendly Enterprises; (2) Maintenance and Protection of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems; and (3) Coral Reef and Sea Grass Assessment, is one of the priority programs lay down by DENR Acting Secretary Jim O Sampulna.

PENRO Guimaras warmly welcomed PENRO Edgardo M. Rostata as its new PENR Officer during its 2nd Quarter Provincial Management Conference and Turnover Ceremony last April 19, 2022 at DENR PENRO Guimaras.

Outgoing PENRO Vicente A. Sardina together with DENR 6 Regional Executive Director (RED) Livino B. Duran ceremoniously turned over the key of responsibility to incoming PENRO Edgardo M. Rostata.

“I wholeheartedly accept the responsibility and commit to pursue the mandate of PENRO Guimaras. I vow to give the same quality of work here as I have given PENRO Negros Occidental,” Said PENRO Edgardo M. Rostata during his acceptance speech. He served as the PENR Officer of Negros Occidental prior to his new appointment.

Outgoing PENRO Vicente A. Sardina also highly acknowledged the personnel and staff of PENRO Guimaras for their efficiency, continued commitment, and outstanding performance in terms of providing Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Services. He also vowed to continue serving DENR 6 wherever he may be assigned next.

In his closing message RED Duran lauded the work performance of PENRO Guimaras under the leadership of outgoing PENRO Sardina and further said that PENRO Guimaras is still in good hands. He also advised incoming PENRO Rostata to create programs aligned with the mandate of DENR and to boost the local development of Guimaras.

“We need to focus on the specific environmental concerns of Guimaras, let us strike the heart of the problem in order to boost the socio-economic development of the Province of Guimaras,” said RED Duran.

PENRO Edgardo M. Rostata assumed his post pursuant to an appointment made by Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna. The transfer of PENRO Rostata from PENRO Negros Occidental to PENRO Guimaras during the Election Banning Period was sanctioned by the COMELEC upon the approval of the Request for Exemption from the Provision of Section 261 (H) of the Omnibus Election Code in Relation to COMELEC Resolution No. 10742.

Meanwhile, outgoing PENR Officer Vicente Sardina, who served PENRO Guimaras for almost eight (8) years, shall now report to the Office of the Regional Executive Director at DENR Region 6. The same is also true with the other CENRO/PENRO officers who were affected by the change in command in their respective offices, they are mandated to report back to their Regional Executive Directors.

The said program also included the 2nd Quarter Management Conference wherein the different units of PENRO Guimaras presented their accomplishments before RED Livino Duran, outgoing PENRO Vicente A. Sardina and incoming PENRO Edgardo M. Rostata, and the personnel and staff of PENRO Guimaras and DENR 6.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 supported the convergence program called Integrated Sustainable Assistance, Recovery and Advancement Program (ISARAP) by distributing more than half a million in cheques to ENGP People’s Organizations, a total of 291 patents to its identified beneficiaries, and tree seedlings to people who attended the events.

DENR 6 Assistant Regional Director for Special Concerns Ivene D. Reyes led the agency in supporting the ISARAP activity during its first leg in Silay City, Negros Occidental last April 8, 2022. A total of Php 619,364.00 in cheques were distributed to three Peoples Organizations under the Enhanced National Greening Program (ENGP) in Negros Occidental, namely: Culipapa Upland Farmers Association (CUFA); Damutan Agro-Forestry Farmers Association (DAFFA); and Binitinan Tree Growers Association (BTGA). ARD Reyes was with PENR Officer Edgardo M. Rostata. Also gracing the event was Secretary Leoncio B. Evasco, Jr., Presidential Adviser on Streamlining of Government Processes.

Moreover, 78 People’s Organizations under the jurisdiction of CENRO Kabankalan have received their signed Letter of Agreements (LOAs) for the implementation of the Enhanced National Greening Program (ENGP) in their respective areas. Meanwhile, 13 POs also received their LOAs for ENGP and one PO received their LOA for a retention fee.

Also in Negros Occidental, a total of 86 patents were distributed to land beneficiaries from Tangub, Bacolod City (18 patents) and Canmoros, Binalbagan (68).

In Iloilo City’s ISARAP event last April 9, the DENR 6 distributed 100 patents to the following: 50 patents received by the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (MENRO) of the municipality of Tubungan, Iloilo while the other 50 patents were received by the MENRO of the municipality of Tigbauan, Iloilo.

Also, two (2) Peoples Organizations (POs) under the Forestland Management Project (FMP) received their cheques with a total amount of Php 303,000.00, namely: the Asosasyon sang Manugproteher sang Kabukiran sa Lambunao-AMAKAN in Lambunao, Iloilo (Php 164,000.00), and Aglobong Upland Farmers Association, Inc., AGUFA in Janiuay, Iloilo (139,000.00).

The DENR 6 had also entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with Katilingban sang Pumuluyo nga Naga-atipan sang Watershed sa Maasin (KAPAWA-Maasin) as represented by PO President Rubenie Castellanes for the implementation of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). Participants during the ISARAP event that was held at the Iloilo Sports Complex also availed of tree seedling with the Provincial ENR Office (PENRO) Iloilo distributing a total of 200 seedlings of Bugnay, Molave, Philippine Ash and Banilad, and also various IEC materials. With ARD Reyes were Iloilo PENR Officer Salvador “Jun” Manglinong, Jr. and CENR Officers (CENROs) Vicente T. Mellizas, Jr. of CENRO Guimbal, Glenn S. Del Norte of CENRO Barotac Nuevo, and Rene G. Abordo of CENRO Sara.

In the province of Aklan, ARD Reyes once again led the ISARAP activity in April 11, 2022 with Aklan PENR Officer Merlene B. Aborka and distributed a total of 105 patents to land beneficiaries. The event was held at the ABL Sports and Cultural Complex in Kalibo, Aklan.

“Our ENGP and patent issuances are just two of the many programs we are implementing in the Department which directly aid people in the communities. These programs not only respond to their needs in times of disasters or emergencies but are crucial in supporting their day to day needs,” said DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran.

Beneficiaries of the ENGP and recipients of patent issuance can attest to the many benefits that were provided to them for many years now. With ISARAP, the DENR 6 is being proactively involved in the convergence program implemented and monitored by the Office of the President.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources together with various environmental partners just recently conducted a Clean-up Drive at the coastal area of Brgy. Bocana, Ilog, to encourage and raise awareness on the importance of keeping their water sources and environment clean in line with the celebration of World Water Day 2022.

The said activity was initiated by the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Kabankalan City led by CENR Officer Rosieviel Dimatulac which is under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Negros Occidental under PENR Officer Edgardo Rostata.

More or less four (4) cubic meters of both recyclable and residual wastes were collected by over fifty (50) volunteers consisting of various environmental partners which includes the Purok Paglaum Mangrove Association (PPMA), Kabankalan URC- SURE Sonedco, Philippine National Police (PNP) Ilog, Negros Occidental, 542nd Engineering Construction Battalion, and the 53rd Engineer Brigade Philippine Army of Himamaylan City.

“By Initiating activities such as clean-up drives, we inspire the people in the community to take part in protecting our environment. When we join activities such as this, our actions become part of a collective effort to save our natural resources, which in the future will benefit us and the generations yet to come,” said Regional Director Livino B. Duran.

This year’s theme of the World Water Day is “Groundwater: Making The Invisible Visible.” Groundwater is found underground in aquifers, which are geological formations of rocks, sands and gravels that hold substantial quantities of water. It sustains springs, rivers, lakes and wetlands, and seeps into oceans. It also supplies a large proportion of the water we use for drinking, sanitation, food production and industrial processes and is critically important to the healthy functioning of ecosystems. Hence, there is an empirical need for us to keep our surroundings clean so as not to pollute our water sources and put our health and environment in grave danger.

Similar activities are conducted in the region in order to encourage the public to promote  the protection and conservation of our environment. Clean-ups and rehabilitation of rivers, coastal areas, and other water sources is one of the top ten (10) Priority Programs of the DENR.

After initial meetings with Sagay City Water District, site visit and assessment, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) Signing was done for the adoption and enhancement of the Enhanced National Greening Program (ENGP) site at Sitio Manara, Brgy. Puey, Sagay City, Negros Occidental. The signing was held at Balay Kauswagan.

“This is one of the best practices initiated by the Office which began in the southern part of Negros Occidental,” said Edgardo Rostata, DENR Provincial ENR Officer in Negros Occidental.

Rostata disclosed that the signed MOA is part of Sagay Water District’s social responsibility which he hope will be replicated by other water districts.

Alexander Entero, CENRO Cadiz ENGP Focal Person, discussed briefly the rationale and status of the site. In response, SWD General Manager Manfred Fuentesfina assured everyone of their full support on the program as water is considered to be the lifeblood of the planet and vital for our survival.

Mayor Thirdy Marañon said the Sagay City government has long been doing reforestation efforts and encouraged everyone to protect our resources. “We need to continue the conservation efforts started by our past leaders that is worth emulating,” Marañon added.

He also added that the MOA is yet to pass through the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) for approval and planting of trees in the proposed area can then be undertaken.

Also present during the MOA Signing were SWD Chairman-Board of Directors Thelma Chiu, SP Arthur Christopher Marañon, SMR-PaSu Antonio Cueva and one of the SWD Board of Directors Ezequiel Marañon.

This is part of the initiative to encourage sustainable support for the development of the Enhanced National Greening Program while at the same time having as goal the provision of clean and safe water at different areas in the northern part of Negros Occidental.