DENR MIMAROPA execs commit to uplift region’s performance ranking

by Dona P. Corado

 

Officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-MIMAORPA Region concluded a three-day management conference last April 26, 2017 with a clear road map to level up the agency’s performance ranking by ensuring timely and excellent accomplishment of its targets.

Regional Director Natividad Y. Bernardino, together with Assistant Regional Director (ARD) for Technical Services Vicente B. Tuddao, Jr., In-charge of the Office of the ARD for Management Services, Manuel T. Escasura, Provincial and Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PENROs and CENROs), Division Chiefs and Park Area Superintendents agreed to complete various commitments in a given timetable to catch up with the agency targets and improve its overall ranking, which slid down in the first quarter of 2017 due to its low budget utilization rate (BUR).

In her opening message, RD Bernardino stated that the conference would serve as a venue to “troubleshoot the low BUR” by identifying the cause and extent of the problem and from there draw up strategic measures to address the issue.

RD Bernardino, together with the PENROs and CENROs noted that the low BUR attributed to the implementation of the National Greening Program (NGP), which was adversely affected due to the result of the validation done in some of the provinces; the low survival rate of seedlings planted in 2016; and the reorganization and reassignment of some personnel in the region.

Prior to the issuance of Special Orders that designated OIC-PENROs and CENROs, the officials were reassigned only as In-Charge of the PENR and CENR offices. This afforded them limited capacities to act on official transactions, such as the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with people’s organization (POs) that directly carry out the NGP. Such delay caused the accomplishment of the NGP to lag behind schedule, hence the deferred obligation of funds allotted to the program, which reflected the low BUR for the period of January to March 2017.

With the issuance of SOs confirming the authority of the OIC-PENROs and CENROs to enter into and sign contracts now in force, the provincial and community officers committed to double up their efforts to ensure obligated funds by June 2017.

RD Bernardino stressed that besides the low BUR, there are remaining targets and commitments that the Region must meet in order to improve its overall performance ranking. She pointed out that each office/unit plays a vital role in the achievement of goals of the Region, hence, she proposed for a creation of performance rating schemes that will recognize top performing offices/units and call the attention of underperforming groups. She also instructed the officials to report monthly monitoring of issues and complaints in a unified matrix, which shall be submitted to the Office of the Secretary.

RD Bernardino expressed that with the officials as well as the employees’ concerted efforts, DENR MIMAROPA will not only advance in rank, but also excel in the way it delivers its service to the public.

 

SIAD

Among the 29 identified priority areas for the Sustainable Integrated Area Development (SIAD) framework, three areas are located in the MIMAROPA Region-Mindoro Islands (Oriental and Occidental), Palawan, and Sibuyan Island in Romblon.

The SIAD approach covers current programs with partner LGUs and POs, such as tour guiding eco-tourism, forest protection, NGP, planting of beach forest trees, and mangrove rehabilitation.

The MIMAROPA Region has already conducted site assessments for bamboo and mangrove rehabilitation. The assessment was piloted in CENRO San Jose, Occidental Mindoro with 15 households as Community Based Service Providers (CBSP). The areas in Mag-asawang Tubig Watershed in Oriental Mindoro, and the abandoned mine site of Consolidated Mining Inc. in Marinduque shall also be validated for bamboo plantation.

During the meeting it was also agreed that PENROs and CENROs in the identified sites should determine their respective WOW projects that would boost additional social enterprise and alternative livelihood using the Green Economy Model (GEM).Proposal for identified SIAD sites in Marinduque must also be submitted. It was also discussed that NGP extension officers must be trained and undergo a coaching program on Community Organizing to reinforce the use of SIAD as an approach in implementing NGP in the region.

 

Technical Services

The DENR collects revenue from different ENR activities, such as rentals on the use of resources; fees from the use of Protected Area (Pas), wildlife conservation facilities, and wildlife collection; proceeds from the disposition of confiscated forest products and forest charges. To increase the collection, ARD Tuddao proposed a number of strategies starting from the creation of an integrated database/updated inventory of the source of revenue and their corresponding status of payments.

He also proposed to develop clear policies and guidelines in the collection of fees integrating the role of law enforcement in the monitoring process. As such, a workshop on revenue collection and disposition of confiscated forest products was scheduled to be participated by all PENROs, PASus and personnel from concerned divisions under Technical Services.

RD Bernardino approved of the strategies and reiterated the use of technology in the implementation and monitoring of the region’s programs and projects. She further stressed that the status report of programs should reflect the details of actions taken in addressing certain issues and/or in responding to the stakeholders concerned.

The use of technology strengthens transparency and efficiency in transactions as shown in the application of the Land Administration and Management System. The combined systems of LAMS, such as the Inspection, Verification and Approval Surveys, the Public Land Application and the Client Transaction Monitoring, allow automated tracking of the verification and approval process of land surveys and enable the clients to know the status of their transactions online.

 

Management Services

With the recent reorganization and reassignment of personnel in the Region, ARD Escasura presented the operational structure of the Supervising and Implementing PENROs and CENROs. He also proposed policies to ensure productive and organized conduct of conferences and meetings held in the regional and field offices; and the policies on the hiring of Contract of Service/Job Order Personnel.

Also discussed under the management services were the options in procuring IT and technical equipment and vehicles; the conduct of Annual Work Planning and Key Performance Indicator Setting; the schedule of Learning and Development workshops/seminars for 2017; manpower strength and the status of vacant positions and pending applications in the Region. It was noted that RD Bernardino will sign appointments for qualified personnel whose applications were deliberated upon by the Regional Selection and Promotion Board.

 

Partner agencies

Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) – MIMAROPA Regional Director Roland De Jesus reported that copies of geohazard maps in the Region are now ready for distribution as technical reference to concerned PENROs and CENROs. On the other hand, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) – MIMAROPA Regional Director Ma. Socorro Abu reported that the provincial EMB coordinators had coordinated with LGUs and had come up with solid waste management plans relative to the implementation of SIAD in the identified sites.

 

Busy months ahead

The month of May stars the usual loaded schedule of DENR MIMAROPA as it gets ready for the hosting of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) International Environment Cluster Meeting on July 10-14, 2017, and the P-EAGA in June 2017, which will all be held in Palawan.

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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