by: Ma. Grace Laurente-Agatep
Loreen M. Belza
By virtue of Executive Order 366 or otherwise known as the Government Rationalization Program issued by Pres. Gloria Macapagal – Arroyo on October 4, 2004, all branches of the Executive Department were directed to strategically review the operations and organizations of the branch and provide options and incentives for government employees who may be affected by the rationalization of the functions and agencies of the executive branch. It aims to focus government efforts on its vital functions and channel government resources to these core public services and improve the efficiency of government services, within affordable levels, and in the most accountable manner.
As a department of the Executive branch, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) started its rationalization efforts on September 1, 2005. Various steps had been taken by the DENR towards this purpose. DENR rationalization proposals have been submitted and resubmitted together with justifications to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for consideration. This is to ensure consistency with the objectives of this effort.
Hence, as part of the implementation planning activities of the rationalization program of the DENR, a workshop was conducted by DENR-IVB-Regional Office through its Administrative Division and Regional Public Affairs Office at the City State Tower Hotel, Ermita, Manila on July 3-5, 2013. It was conducted to inform the key personnel in the various provincial offices on the rationalization program. It was also organized to determine issues confronting the employees and to clarify actions, roles and expectations on the rationalization program. The workshop was attended by a total of thirty (30) participants composed of Administrative Officers, Personnel and Property Officers and Employees Union representative from each of the province and representatives from the Finance, Administrative, Personnel, General Services, Public Affairs Office, Human Resource and Development Section and Employees’ Union for the first and second level from the Regional Office.
As part of his inspirational message, the Regional Executive Director of DENR-IVB Edgardo O. Galeon emphasized that the rationalization plan is for the employees of DENR especially the permanent employees since it calls for the placement of permanent employees and subsequent hiring of qualified contractual or casual employees for any existing vacancies. He stressed the importance of exercising full transparency in the implementation of the rationalization plan. For this reason, he gave an undertaking that such transparency shall be highly observed so that no unsound discretion or abuse of authority shall be exercised in the course of executing the rationalization plan.
Discussions during the workshop covered: EO No. 366, Orientation on the Placement Guidelines and Policies on Personnel Actions Relating to Placement of Personnel under the DENR Rationalization Plan by RTD for Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Service (PAWCZMS) Gwendolyn C. Bambalan and Incentive Package under EO No. 366 by OIC-Chief of Administrative Division Alberto Arbo.
RTD Bambalan elaborated that the rationalization plan will provide more benefits than disincentives. She explained that the rationalization plan is the proper placement of permanent employees and not of promotion. In her discussion, she mentioned that the placement of employees shall only be done after the issuance of indicative staffing pattern by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Meanwhile, it was mentioned that for purposes of determining the incentive benefits under the rationalization plan, the employment status shall be reckoned from the time they rendered their government service as casual employees until the age of fifty nine (59).
RED Galeon directed the would-be-retirees to process their claims and other documents as early as possible. He instructed the Administrative Division-Regional Office to designate one employee to process the request for clearance from the Ombudsman and to inform the PENROs through a memorandum to send the necessary documents to the Regional Office.
Queries regarding administrative and finance functions as well as on property procurement were also made during the workshop wherein RTD Bambalan encouraged the participants to always act with impartiality, integrity and to comply at all times with existing civil service rules and other pertinent regulations. Likewise, RTD Bambalan reiterated the vitality of communications and coordination between and among personnel of Administrative and Finance Division.
On the last day of the workshop, representative of each provincial office presented their workshop output; Summary of Positions, Position Categories (Opportunity, Placement, Status Quo and Co-terminus with the Incumbents) and Summary of Survey Results with Computation of EO 366 Incentive. The participants were reminded of the Standard pro-forma Memorandum that they should prepare for the employees who will avail of the incentive package and that the computed amount should be indicated for information of the concerned employee.
SECRETARY PAJE VISITS SNAKE ISLAND
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J.P Paje was in Puerto Princesa City last March 22, 2014 for an on-site visitation to insure operation of field station in idyllic Snake Island in Honda Bay, Palawan.
Provincial Governor Jose Chavez Alvarez and his staff accompanied the Secretary during his visit in the province and rode on-board a chopper to reach Snake Island. The said chopper was the first one that landed at Snake Island's helipad. Secretary Paje and Governor Alvarez were warmly welcomed by MIMAROPA's Regional Director Oscar C. Dominguez, PENRO Palawan Juan C. Dela Cruz and some DENR personnel in the island.
The Snake Island was chosen as a prime research center for the country’s coastal and marine resources or the National Coastal and Marine Center for Research (NCMCR) by virtue of DENR Administrative Order No. 2011-12 dated November 3, 2011. It was established to have a more effective and efficient conservation of our country’s vast biodiversity and serve as a field station for applied research on marine and coastal ecosystems, ecotourism and biodiversity. In effect, Snake Island was temporarily closed to any tourism activities since February 2, 2012 for restoration purposes. The existing DENR building was renovated and additional facilities such as mangrove boardwalk and helipad with gazebo were constructed. DENR also acquired a service motorboat - M/B Hawksbill for the conduct of patrol and monitoring activities within the island. (Vivian Soriano)
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