"Changes are unfolding in the Department," says new Regional Director

By: Deniel Salvador B. Morillo


“Changes are unfolding in the Department because Secretary Lopez wants a paradigm shift in the agency to improve the quality of life of our people.”

Natividad Yabut- Bernardino highlighted this during the Turnover Ceremony for her designation as the new OIC- Regional Director (RD) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) MIMAROPA Region last February 13, 2017 at the Conference Room of L&S Building, Ermita, Manila.

rd naty-3“We need to change the parameters we use in determining our performance. We need to establish the base line in order to determine if the quality of life of our stakeholders is improving through our programs. We need to look at development in a holistic perspective to achieve the genuine development that we want,” said the newly designated Regional Director.

RD Bernardino also explained that the Department is pursuing the Sustainable Integrated Area Development (SIAD) approach in the implementation of DENR’s projects and programs.

“It is not just ecological integrity that has to be factored in but also how we bring social justice to our people. With the SIAD approach, we will use different methods and get the support of different agencies and stakeholders in order to address the need to provide for the health, livelihood, and necessities of the people living in the areas where we are working,” the former Director III of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) added.

RD Bernardino, who also holds a Master’s Degree in Development Economics from the University of the Philippines Diliman, further expounded on the moral responsibility of the DENR to take care of those who give care for the environment. She stressed that the benefits that the people get from the environment should translate to the improvement of the people’s well-being.

“You are the workforce, the frontliners, you are the walls of this Department. We, in leadership, are just your instruments. We are equal partners. I want us to be together in this journey- trust me in the same way that I am willing to trust you. What I can promise you is my dedication and my willingness to pursue change. I need your cooperation and faith for us to be able to do our mission towards the attainment of our vision,” ended DENR MIMAROPA’s Regional Director


“No longer just pen and paper”

test firing-1

“No longer just pen and paper.” This was the sigh of relief of Arnil Junia, a forest protection officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) attending a training on proper gun handling, operation, and firing by the Philippine National Police on November 8, 2017.

Forester Junia shared how demoralizing it is for a field officer to face armed violators without any tool but pen and paper. He added that their lives as forest officers are often in danger every time they apprehend illegal loggers, kaingineros, and wildlife poachers.

Another forest protection officer, Mark Anthony Gabuco, shared that, more often than not, they encounter violent resistance when they apprehend violators. Gabuco emphasized the need to improve their capacity to defend themselves so they can efficiently perform their job as law enforcer.

Junia and Gabuco, both from Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Brooke’s Point, are among the 143 forest officers undergoing training on law enforcement and forest protection in Puerto Princesa on November 6-10, 2017. Apart from gun handling and test firing, the training also includes lectures on  read more...


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