DENR MIMAROPA holds 1st Regional ManCon for CY 2016
by:  Deniel Salvador B. Morillo


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)MIMAROPA Region held its first Regional Management Conference (ManCon) for Calendar Year 2016 last March 16-17 at the Aroma Family Hotel and Resort Complex, Airport Road, San Roque, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.

1st mancon 2016 copyHeaded by DENR MIMAROPA Regional Director Oscar C. Dominguez, the two-day conference convened to assess the targets and provide updates on the different projects of the Region. The quarterly event also had the goal to prepare the different field offices for future projects and events.

The Regional Management Conference was formally opened by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) of Occidental Mindoro, Conrado A. Espejo Jr., who welcomed the delegates from the regional and field offices. In his speech, he highlighted the prominent scenic spots of Occidental Mindoro, such as the Apo Reef Natural Park (ARNP), and Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park (MIBNP) - which is the home of the endemic and endangered Tamaraw. He also took pride that Occidental Mindoro is considered as the largest rice and leading corn producer in MIMAROPA.

In front of forty-eight (48) officials in the conference, RD Dominguez called the session to order and presented the provisional agenda. The agenda was approved with addendum to include the presentation of the MIMAROPA flight plan and the presentation of the MIMAROPA newsletter draft and Website Updating for the first quarter. Upon approval of the agenda, RD Dominguez began the reading and approval of the Minutes of the 2015 4th Management Conference held last December 2015 and ensured that all concerns were fully addressed by the concerned officials. The following were also presented, updates on the second Regional Directors’ meeting, the RD’s Office Performance Commitment and Review (OPCR) for CY 2016 by Planning and Management Division Chief Marilyn Limpiada, updates on the Rationalization Plan Implementation by OIC- Assistant Regional Director for Management Services Nelson V. Gorospe, CESE, Regional Memorandum Circular No. 01 Series of 2016 on the Regional Accomplishment Monitoring System (RAMS) by Michaela Rongavilla, presentation of video-documentation on the impact of the National Greening Program (NGP) by Kerby Pajarillo, and the preparation for DENR MIMAROPA’s hosting of the Regional Directors’ meeting.

Further significant discussions were done on the second day of the conference such as the presentation of the Provincial Environmental Governance (PEG) Re-Entry Plan of CENRO Emer Garraez of Puerto Princesa City and CENRO Eriberto Saños of Coron, status and prospects of Busuanga Pasture Reserve (BPR) by Alfred Lopez, updates on Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center by Project Director Ronnie Sumiller, updates on the Palawan Quick Silver Mines Inc. Rehabilitation Project by MGB 4B Regional Director Roland De Jesus, EMB Thrusts/Programs for CY 2016 and CY 2015 Accomplishment Reports by PENRO Samuel Danganan, and the two added agenda- the presentation of the MIMAROPA Flight Plan by Assistant Regional Director for Technical Support Vicente B. Tuddao, Jr. Ph.D., CESO IV, and the presentation of the MIMAROPA newsletter draft and Website Updating for the first quarter by the Chief of the Regional Public Affairs Office, Chona C. Zamora, and Michaela Rongavilla.

RD Dominguez adjourned the Regional Management Conference and proceeded to the awarding of the Most Timely Submission of Accomplishment Reports to CENRO Mamburao, PENRO Palawan/Occidental Mindoro, and Legal Division in the Regional Office. Each awardee received a Plaque of Recognition.


DENR slaps criminal charge against Ipilan Nickel Corporation


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July 14, 2017. Puerto Princesa City. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, through Brooke’s Point Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer Conrado Corpuz, files today at the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor a criminal charge against Ipilan Nickel Corporation for violation of Section 77 of Presidential Decree 705 or the Forestry Code of the Philippines.

The case filed by DENR involves a 1.7 hectare area out of the total 24-hectare forest cleared by Ipilan Nickel Corporation in Barangay Maasin, Brooke’s Point which DENR argues to be undoubtedly outside the company’s tree cutting permit.

DENR issued INC a special tree cutting permit in May 2016 as part of its Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA). However, former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez cancelled INC’s environmental compliance certificate (ECC) on December 16, 2016, rendering its tree cutting permit invalid. INC argues its tree cutting permit remains valid.

“Granting without admitting that INC’s tree cutting permit was valid, DENR has a strong case against the company on the 1.7-hectare cleared area,” asserts DENR MIMAROPA Regional Director Natividad Bernardino.

“This is just the first in a series of cases against INC,” says Corpuz. He said that DENR will also file other charges against INC upon completion of the inventory of the trees cut in the remaining 22.3 hectares. The onset of the rainy season and the huge number of felled trees has slowed down the retrieval and inventory of trees.

DENR is also investigating another violation – the construction of a mine yard road without clearance from DENR. Apart from this, Brooke’s Point Mayor Jean Feliciano is also batting to revoke the SEP (Strategic Environmental Plan) clearance issued by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development to INC.

“INC is criminally liable and Secretary Roy Cimatu wants to ensure that irresponsible miners do not get around the law,” says Palawan Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Felizardo B. Cayatoc referring to the Secretary’s instruction to not let INC off the hook.Further, President Rodrigo R. Duterte announced on July 12, 2017 that mining companies must make up for the destructive impact of their operations on the livelihood of farmers and fishpond owners.

“With the string of cases facing INC, there is little chance it will be allowed to continue its mining operations,” adds Bernardino.

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