Regional Releases

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources –Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR -PENRO) Negros Occidental and the Buhay Dagat Snorkeling Guides of Sagay Association inked its Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) of Biodiversity-Friendly Enterprise Development (BDFE) at Balay, Kauswagan, Sagay City, recently.

BDFE are economic activities and practices of micro, small, and medium enterprises, local government units (LGUs), and people’s organizations (POs) that promote the sustainable use of biological resources, create wealth and value, and open opportunities for the equitable sharing of benefits among stakeholders.

PENR Officer Edgardo Rostata and Sagay Mayor Alfredo Marañon III led the MOA signing spearheaded by the Community ENR Office of Cadiz through its Sagay Marine Reserve (SMR).

Furthermore, Buhay Dagat Snorkeling guides received 30 sets of life vests, 30 sets of full foot fins, and 30 sets of masks and snorkels as support to their BDFE as snorkel guides to enhance visitors and tourists recognition of the marine ecosystem while giving them the opportunity to gain income.

DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran commenced such activity and also reminded the snorkelers and the divers to be environmentally cautious. “Our snorkeling guides as well as the other guides in our ecosystem are the person who knows the area well and having an environmentally responsible behaviors these people are one with the DENR,” he said.

BDFE is in line with the DENR development principles on Ecosystem Integrity, linked to biodiversity conservation which is one of the ten priority programs of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

“The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow” –Nelson Mandela

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 6 believes that the youth today are the solution of the future environmental problems thus, the Community ENR Office of Cadiz City conducted an Environmental Awareness Orientation for the Youth at Philippine Normal University-Visayas on October 19 to 20, 2021.

Participants were the SK Chairpersons, members of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines, Tayo Ang Kalikasan-ENR Ambassadors and volunteers. The orientation was held to equip the participants with information on environmental laws, climate change as well as the projects and priority programs of the department.

CENR Officer of Cadiz City, Mamad Gandarosa Jr, welcomed all participants and acknowledged their important role as the hope of the future, not just on the environmental concerns but also to the other important matters, that can benefit many.

Retired Judge Frances Guanzon and Councilor Cedrick  John Olvido represented  Mayor Salvador G. Escalante, Jr., who congratulated and encouraged the youth to be the steward of environmental protection. He also thanked the Department’s involvement of youth to create positive and significant changes in their community.

Lectures on the Role of the Youth in Environment Protection, LGU initiatives to Biodiversity Conservation, Land Classification and Administration, Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act (RA 9147), Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003) and Northern Negros Natural Park (NNNP) were presented and discussed by DENR-CENRO Cadiz, City Environment and Natural Resources Offices and PENRO Negros Occidental personnel.

Mary Rose Tayo, PIO of DENR-CENRO Cadiz led and coordinated with the City Environment Office for the orientation to be conducted in support to the continuing Communication, Education and Public Awareness Program (CEPA) of the Office.

Signing of their Pledge of Commitment was done after they gave their impressions highlighted the event.

“Youth voices are stronger and louder in today’s generation. It is their time to be aware of what is happening in our environment and natural resources. It is their youthful vigor they can use to pursue what is good for the ones that follows after them,” said RED Livino B. Duran.

A tree growing activity was conducted to conclude the activity for the participants to fully appreciate and value the rich biodiversity that the province possesses. It helps strengthen their awareness on the wild flora and fauna, the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people and the need to reinforce the fight against illegal activities. A total of 100 seedlings (70 Mahogany and 30 Molave) was planted in the area of family contractor Ruben Barcelona at So. Margarita, Brgy. Caduhaan, Cadiz City.

Secretary Roy A. Cimatu once said that “the choices we all make in our everyday lives affect the kind of environment we want our children and our children’s children to live in.”

Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials on proper Solid Waste Management, bamboo and protection of wildlife were also distributed to the participants./

In the recent campaign of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 6, Western Visayas against illegal occupation in protected areas, the Community ENR Office of Bago City in Negros Occidental reported issuance of Notices of Violation (NOV) and Show Cause Orders.

A total number of fifty (50) NOVs, and two show cause orders were issued recently to the illegal Northern Negros Natural Park (NNNP) occupants.

“Like NNNP, other protected areas are our hopes to continue the green and blue ecosystems balance,” said DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran.

“They are the home to our diverse floras and faunas, they are our biodiversity and of course, the trees in our protected areas (PAs) provide us with abundant supply of oxygen for our daily needs, so therefore, protected area should remain protected,” he added.

NNNP is located at the northwestern part of Negros Island within the Province of Negros Occidental. With a land area of 70,826.16  hectares, it covers eleven (11) local government units, including cities of Cadiz, Silay, Talisay, Victorias, Sagay, and San Carlos; and towns of E.B. Magalona, Taboso, Calatrava, Salvador Benedicto, and Murcia. It is home of the threatened and endangered species that are endemic to the area such as the Negros bleeding heart dove, Visayan warty pig, Visayan spotted deer, and red Lauan.

NNNP Protected Area Superintendent Joan Nathaniel Gerangaya disclosed that violators failed to secure building permits, or a tenurial instrument such as  the Special-use Agreement in  Protected Area (SAPA), and clearance from the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) prior to construction.

He cited Section 18 of Republic Act 11038 or the Expended National Integrated Protected Areas System Act, which states that it is unlawful for any person to occupy or dwell in any public land within the protected area without clearance from the PAMB and could warrant a fine of P200,000 to 1P million and/or imprisonment of one to six years.

The Department installed public notice and signages in strategic locations across the protected area to warn potential buyers of public lands.

In July, a man was caught selling portions of public land in Brgy. Kumaliskis, Salvador Benedicto, and two more suspects were arrested in Brgy. Bunga the following day for engaging in the same illegal activity.

Maintaining protected areas (PAs) and other natural resources is one of the programs implemented by the DENR 6. It is tightly linked to biodiversity conservation which is one of the ten priority programs of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

Turtles are one of the important reptiles in the marine ecosystem as they help maintain healthy sea grass beds and coral reefs that benefits commercial species such as shrimp, lobster, and tuna.

Rescuing marine turtles is part of conserving our biodiversity such that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) deemed it important for people to report rescued marine turtles and other animals to the authorities.

A female Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) was rescued in Sito Lacaran, Brgy. Ermita, Dumangas, Iloilo around 9:00 o’clock in the evening of August 12, 2021. The turtle was found by a fisherfolk along the seashore and was immediately reported to the Community ENR Office (CENRO) in Barotac Nuevo. The marine animal was measured with a length of 84 cm. and width of 63.5 cm and has an estimated weight of 100kgs.

It was in good condition and was tagged with PH 1775M prior to its release back to the wild at Lapus-lapus Fish Sanctuary in Paloc, Dumangas, Iloilo. The area is a proposed Marine Protected Area (MPA).

In Brgy. Montpiller, Buenavista Guimaras, a Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) turtle was rescued last August 18, 2021. Staff from the Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation/Coastal Unit (PAMBCU) of Provincial ENR Office (PENRO) in Guimaras assessed and observed the condition of the Hawksbill that was accidentally trapped inside the gill net. The reptile was tagged with PH0965J.

The Green Sea turtle is classified as endangered while the Hawksbill is critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Saving marine animals such as turtles helps a lot in enhancing biodiversity conservation, one of the top priority programs of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

The Philippines is home to the world’s longest snake, the Reticulated python (Python reticulatus), which also happens to be the world’s longest reptile. It can grow up to 28.5 feet (8.7 m). These reptiles are known to be fantastic swimmers, since they require a water source near them. According to Reptile World Facts, Reticulated Pythons are quite aggressive in the wild but captive breeding has changed the reputation of these pythons from that of an aggressive hard to handle snake, to a snake that is easy to care for, and very intelligent, with gorgeous looks. 

Now, under the Department Administrative Order (DAO) 2019-09 otherwise known as “Updated National List of Threatened Philippine Fauna and their categories”, the Reticulated python is classified as other threatened species which is under threat from adverse factors such as over collection throughout its range and is likely to be moved to the vulnerable category in the near future. 

As a way of protecting this wildlife species, The DENR-CENRO Cadiz City took custody of a Reticulated python that was found and rescued inside Lindy’s Grocery store in Brgy, Daga, Cadiz City. One of the residents helped in rescuing the said python. OIC, CENR Officer Mamad T. Gandarosa, EMS I Nelsa Salimbot, and FT I Abie Michael Lunaba facilitated the turn-over of the Reticulated python. CENRO Cadiz took the python under its care for safekeeping and check-up.                                                              

One of DENR’s priority program which is enhanced biodiversity conservation focuses not only on preserving natural habitats like watersheds, wildlife sanctuaries and mangrove habitats but also preserving the diversity of species.