DENR Region IVB conducts Seminar-Orientation on National Greening Program (NGP)
and other related Environmental Laws
by: Michaela T. Rongavilla / Loreen M. Belza
DENR Region IVB through the Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Service (PAWCZMS) has conducted a three-day seminar-orientation on National Greening Program and other related environmental laws last August 4-6, 2014 at Sikatuna Beach Hotel, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. The said seminar primarily aimed to provide avenue for local law implementing/ enforcement officers and employees to be oriented on new and existing environmental laws related to National Greening Program, foreshore management, mangrove management, solid waste management and coastal management as well as laws on forestry, wildlife, cave and rules of procedure on environmental cases; strengthen environmental law enforcement and; implementation by the said stakeholders and generate knowledge and strategies on how to best implement/ enforce environmental laws. It was attended by a total of seventy seven (77) participants from PAWCZMS Regional and CENRO – San Jose officials and staff, local officials, law enforcement officers and local stakeholders from Calintaan, Rizal, Magsaysay and San Jose.
The first day of the event was formally started by the welcome remarks of CENRO Nestor Bambalan where he shared the importance of conserving the environment not just for us but more importantly for the next generations. It was followed by the message of Councilor Philip Lim of San Jose. He emphasized his support to the NGP, however, he stressed that the responsibility does not end after planting. Responsibility goes well beyond planting. Forester Carmen Ramina Tubal gave the overview of the activity. The first day is devoted primarily to different discussions on environmental programs and laws. The first presentation was discussed by Forester Ernie Tañada, FMS Chief of PENRO Mamburao, who presented the National Greening Program through the official video presentation on the project as mandated by EO 23. The activities of the NGP from the establishment up to maintenance and protection were also discussed. He shared how the lack of volunteerism in 2011 and 2012 resulted in a not very impressive performance for those years. Next, Mr. Lino M. Dimapilis discussed the salient provisions of RA 7586 or the National Integrated Protected Area Management Act of 1992. Subsequently, Mr. Arnold Villanueva of Mines and Geosciences Bureau presented the Geohazard areas in the municipalities of Calintaan, Magsaysay, Rizal and San Jose. It was followed by the presentation of Forester Carmen Ramina S. Tubal on the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. Forester Abe R. Francisco discussed the last topic for the day on National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act of 2001.
The second day is a continuation of the lecture presentations on environmental laws by different government agencies. The first presentation for the day was on Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 by Alexander M. Coden of the Environmental Management Bureau. He presented the current situation of the waste generation and composition and storage and collection in general, and the current situation of processing and recovery and other solid waste processes in the community and in the barangays as well. He presented a detailed report on the current situation concerning eco-labeling, recycling and the use of open dumps. Next, Mr. Bayani V. Mantubig of the Land Management Service-Regional Office discussed Laws, Rules and Regulations on Foreshore Management. He introduced the topic by presenting the history on land management in the Philippines. The laws and policies on the management and disposition of foreshore areas were also discussed. The laws, rules and regulations on Forestry were covered by the presentation of Mr. Mark de Claro of Forest Management Bureau. The offenses punishable under PD 705 or the Revised Forestry Code and the Chainsaw Act of 2002 were discussed. The participants were reminded that the complaint for violation of the law should read as violation of Section 77 of PD 705 as amended by RA 7161. It was also emphasized that illegal logging does not exist under the law, it is illegal cutting. He also underscored the total ban on cutting of mangroves.
The last day was a discussion on The Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases as provided for by A.M. No. 09-6-8-SC was discussed by Atty. Ronley D. Bisquera-Sheen of the US Department of Interior – International Assistance Program, United States Agency for International Development. She first presented the Protocol on Wildlife Law Enforcement. Other important topics discussed by Atty. Sheen were the general procedure for conducting search with warrant, tips on arrest, arrest without warrant as well as custody and turnover of apprehended persons. After all the presentations, some of the participants had expressed their appreciation for the conduct of the activity. The seminar-orientation was the first of its kind to be conducted in the jurisdiction of CENRO – San Jose. Most of the participants were truly grateful for the information and insights gained during the activity.
Regional Technical Director for PAWCZMS Gwendolyn Bambalan officially concluded the seminar-orientation. She emphasized that the enforcement of policies ism primarily influenced by our personal commitment and values. She reminded everyone to do our part so that the next generation will not to blame us. In behalf of the regional office, she thanked the participants especially those from the LGUs for the support and cooperation.