DENR MIMAROPA welcomes new Regional Director

By: Deniel Salvador B. Morillo

 

rd naty turn over copyThe Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) MIMAROPA Region welcomed its new OIC- Regional Director (RD), Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Natividad Yabut- Bernardino, CESE, last February 13, 2017 during the Turnover Ceremony held at the Conference Room of the L&S Building, Ermita, Manila. RD Bernardino replaced RD Carlito M. Tuballa.

RD Bernardino worked extensively in various development NGOs and has admitted to be an activist during her student days. She has a Master’s Degree in Development Economics from the University of the Philippines Diliman and was a senior lecturer at the Miriam College. Prior to her appointment as PENRO on February 3, 2017, RD Bernardino served as the Director III of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), Office of the President.

One of the highlights of the event was the ceremonial turnover of the Key of Responsibility, and the DENR Banner from outgoing RD Tuballa to RD Bernardino. RD Tuballa also handed the list of 1,451 employees who will be working hand in hand with RD Bernardino in fulfilling the agency’s mandate.

In her speech, RD Bernardino stressed that the new administration expects the employees’ trust and cooperation in order for the agency to fulfill its commitments to the public. She also emphasized her commitment for transparency, dedication, and willingness to pursue change to attain the Department’s mission and vision.

Meanwhile, RD Carlito M. Tuballa was awarded with a Plaque of Appreciation for his leadership and dedicated service in spite his short stint in the Region. After accepting the plaque, RD Tuballa expressed his gratitude and asked the employees to support the new Regional Director, as he stressed that “the loyalty of a person should not rest on the leader but on the Department.”

The event was graced by the key officials of the Region, including Assistant Regional Director (ARD) for Technical Services Vicente B. Tuddao, Jr., Ph.D., CESO IV who delivered the opening remarks, ARD for Management Services Nelson V. Gorospe, CESE who did the introduction of the new Regional Director, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Regional Director Ma. Socorro A. Abu, the DENR MIMAROPA Division Chiefs, and the rest of the personnel of DENR MIMAROPA Region.

News

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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