Press Releases

NGP Plantation

As one of the government's priority programs to rehabilitate the country's denuded and degraded forestlands, NGP plantations established in 2018 achieved an average of 77% seedling survival rate – perceiving NGP's highest number of survived seedlings since 2011.

Towards Environmental Stability

This progress prompts an impact favorable to the country's environmental state – a more extensive forest cover. As the country faces deforestation, the number of survived seedlings serves as the first step towards achieving a more robust and sustainable forest cover. Subsequently, a more extensive forest cover will result in more carbon sinks, more fertile soils, renewable energy provision, a natural barrier against disasters, climate regulation, habitat to floral and faunal species, and more livelihood opportunities.

In NGP, each newly established plantation site undergoes three-year maintenance and protection (M&P) cycle to ensure that all areas are adequately surveyed, monitored, and maintained. Once a plantation site finishes its three-year M&P cycle, it is now categorized as a graduated NGP plantation site.

"From the average survival rate between 38% and 41% of the previous graduated NGP sites, last year's (2020) survival rate of 77% is reflected as the most remarkable and prominent improvement in DENR MIMAROPA's NGP implementation," Regional Executive Director (RED) Maria Lourdes G. Ferrer exclaimed.

For 2018 graduated NGP plantations, the MIMAROPA Region efficaciously maintained and protected 10,549.66 hectares out of 12,222.49 hectares of area with a 77% survival rate or 9,760,216 surviving seedlings. Among the five PENROs of MIMAROPA, Oriental Mindoro and Palawan attained 86% -- excellent progress in the survival rate for their NGP plantations. Furthermore, in 2018, graduated plantations of PENROs Marinduque, Romblon, and Occidental Mindoro acquired an average of 81%, 75%, and 50%, respectively.

Towards Poverty Alleviation

The COVID-19 pandemic started to create turmoil in the country's welfare and the economy last year (2020); it tremendously affected the marginalized community as they gradually lose their jobs and livelihood opportunities. Communities then grabbed the program as their opportunity to acquire extra income for their sustenance during a global pandemic.

As part of NGP's core objectives, the Region contributes to poverty reduction as it generated 27,299 jobs and employed 5,821 persons under the NGP-Community-Based Employment Program (NGP-CBEP) despite the pandemic last 2020.

Community-Based Employment Program (CBEP) is a labor-based activity program that includes all infrastructure or non-infrastructure government programs that give short or long-term jobs to skilled, semi-skilled, and low-skilled workers in a local community where the program will be implemented.

Most of NGP's local beneficiaries and partnered peoples' organization (POs) help plantation establishment, maintenance and protection of plantations, site preparation, and seedling production. The PENR and CENR Offices also hire Forestry Extension Officers (FEOs) and Technical Support Staff to monitor and evaluate the NGP sites.

Local contractors shared that NGP has always been able to provide opportunities to their communities, especially globally. Aside from this, Gloria Miguel, Chairman of Barangay San Manuel, Puerto Princesa City, also added that NGP helped their Sitio rehabilitate their bamboo plantation area that illegal cutting destroyed.

"It is worth highlighting that the NGP were able to help 5,821 persons to acquire jobs that would support them amidst the uncertainties brought by the pandemic last 2020," RED Ferrer shared.

Towards a Greener 2021

As the Region's most outstanding achievement, Regional NGP Coordinator Manuel T. Escasura expects all PENROs and CENROs to ponder their exhibited strengths and weaknesses in 2020 as their guide to continually improve and expand their NGP performance this year (2021).

Moreover, he believes that the National Greening Program will continue to act as a catalyst in providing hope to discourage citizens because of the pandemic. He also expressed his utmost gratitude to the community members who persistently participate in all NGP activities in their areas.

He added that "the NGP implementers, including its partners or contractors, must be focused, dedicated, committed, and determined to accomplish the plans and directions for 2021 continuously".

While the National Greening Program effectively fulfills its fundamental objectives for poverty reduction, food security, biodiversity conservation, environmental stability, and climate change mitigation and adaptation, the country also paves its way towards greener, more sustainable forests and natural resources. ###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources  - MIMAROPA Region welcomed Assistant Regional Director Donna Mayor- Gordove as the new head of Management Services pursuant to DENR Special Order No. 22, which was signed by Secretary Roy Cimatu on January 26, 2021.

In a simple turnover ceremony held via Zoom on February 9, 2021, Regional Executive Director Maria Lourdes G. Ferrer extended her greetings to the incoming director, who was in Region XII during the online meet.

“We are trying to do some changes now and we wish to continue that while working with you,” said RED Ferrer, who was at the MIMAROPA’s Regional Office in Manila on the other hand.

ARD Gordove hailed from Lipa City, Batangas. She finished Bachelor of Science in Commerce, major in Management of Financial Institutions at the De La Salle University in 1986, and completed her Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of the Philippines in 1997.

She has worked at the private sector for almost a decade before joining the government in 1993 through the Bondoc Development Project. She then worked as Supervising Project Development Officer at the Department of Transportation and Communication from January 1995 to April 2000.

She transferred to the Development Academy of the Philippines as Project Officer, and then served as Director I at the Housing and Urban Development Council from January 2002 to March of 2005.

Finally in April 2005, she was appointed Director III at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources where she got fully equipped with management and technical skills, and more experiences honed to be a good leader and decision maker. Prior to her transfer to DENR MIMAROPA, she was ARD for Management Services in  Region XII.

ARD Gordove hurdled the Career Executive Service eligibility process in 2011 and was conferred Career Executive Service Officer (CESO) IV in 2013. Born on December 14, 1966, ARD Gordove is a doting mother to Gabrielle Antonia and a loving wife to Atty. Gilbert.

Meanwhile, DENR MIMAROPA awarded a plaque of appreciation to outgoing ARD Bighani Manipula in recognition of his hard work and leadership as head of the of DENR MIMAROPA as head of its Management Services for the period July 2019 – February 2021.

ARD Manipula was reassigned in the same position at DENR Region XII.

Officials and employees from the field offices of MIMAROPA and Region XII were also present to witness the ceremonial turnover online. ###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources - MIMAROPA Region, through its El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area (ENTMRPA) Management Office, joined hands with partner agencies and community volunteers in collecting a total of 106 sacks of trash left behind by typhoons Quinta and Rolly in the islands of El Nido, Palawan, November 6.

The activity, which was the first leg of the office’s post typhoon cleanup efforts, has cleared the 150-meter coastline of North Guntao Island from the huge amount of wastes, mostly Styrofoam products, plastic bottles, lids and caps, and glass bottles. They were believed to have come from neighboring countries based on the labels of the plastic bottles, and were blown into the island by the strong tides and currents brought by the recent typhoons.

“We started at Guntao Island because it faces the West Philippine Sea, which usually makes it the first area to intercept marine debris,” Protected Area Superintendent Mildred Suza explained. She said the group would go back to the island at the soonest possible time to collect remaining trash.

“Marami pang naiwan kaya babalik pa kami para mahakot lahat ng basura,” Suza noted, adding that more teams would be dispatched to clean up the rest of the islands of El Nido.

Meanwhile, DENR MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Maria Lourdes Ferrer expressed her gratitude to the volunteers whose participation in the activity strengthened a long-time partnership and commitment to protect El Nido.

“While cleanup activities are more challenging to hold nowadays because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am very grateful that you all managed to support the cleanup while observing strict health protocol,” RED Ferrer expressed.

The Director and the rest of the DENR MIMAROPA would like to extend their sincerest gratitude to the Joint Task-Force Malampaya led by Capt. Donn Anthony Miraflor; Naval Special Operations Unit 10 led by Lt. Noel Aurellano; Explosives Ordinance Disposal/Provincial Explosives Ordinance Disposal and Canine Unit –Northern Palawan led by PLt Lorevie Canja; El Nido Municipal Police Station led by PMaj. Salvador Tabi; 23rd Marine Corps led by 1Lt Dwight Kent Payosalan; Philippine Coast Guard led by Lt. April Bernal and PO2 Bernard Venar Hermano; and volunteers from The Pavillions El Nido Resort headed by its President, Gemmalyn Crosby.

The collected wastes were segregated by the Protected Area Management Office and were turned over to the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office for proper disposal. (With reports and photos from ENTMRPA Management Office) ###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in MIMAROPA Region is set to conduct further investigation to determine if sewage water from nearby establishments also drain to an outfall that recently discharged black water into Bacuit Bay in El Nido, Palawan.

From an initial joint report by the region’s Environmental Management Bureau and El Nido Protected Area Management Office, Brgy. Masagana Chairman Edilberto Templado confirmed that the discharged water was due to his directive to clear the outfall so that rainwater would drain into the sea and prevent flooding in the village.

He explained that the outfall drains the water coming from the nearby mountains and those that pass through the national highway, Tabanca Road and some portions of Brgy. Maligaya.  During high tide, however, sands build up and block the outfall, causing water to settle and eventually flood the village especially during typhoons.

Templado said he ordered the waterway to be cleared to prevent the town from being inundated by the other night’s rainfall. The channel opened and eventually flushed out the stagnant, black water seen in Bacuit Bay on October 22.  He maintained that what flowed from the outfall was not sewage water as most establishments in the area are still not operational.

Nevertheless, the DENR is already taking actions to make sure that the said waterway does not release dirty water into the bay.

“We have taken water samples for testing and we will also conduct tracing to determine if there are commercial establishments that drain their wastewater into that outfall,” said EMB MIMAROPA Regional Director Michael Drake Matias.

The water samples are tested for Fecal Coliform, Total Suspended Solids, Dissolved Oxygen, Nitrate, Phosphate, pH, Color and Temperature. As of press time, the DENR and EMB are still waiting for the results of the tests.

 Besides these initiatives, RD Matias said the subject outfall shall likewise be included in stations regularly monitored, such as Cabugao, El Nido Estero, Masagana and Corong-corong.

These outfalls from four priority barangays, namely Buena Suerte, Maligaya, Masagana and Corong-corong are under strict monitoring as part of the government's efforts to rehabilitate El Nido's Bacuit Bay, portions of which were found polluted due to the discharge of untreated wastewater by several commercial establishments.

“We cannot afford to have another outfall that would degrade the water quality of Bacuit Bay, especially now that El Nido is slowly re-opening for tourism,” expressed DENR MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Maria Lourdes Ferrer.

“Just like before, we bank on our partnership with the LGU, the business sector, and the community, to prevent any form of destruction in our environment, and completely restore the beautiful island of El Nido,” the director concluded. ###


Just like the bamboo which resists breaking when placed under stress, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) in Marinduque maintained its grace under pressure and emerged as the champion of DENR MIMAROPA’s first online bamboo quiz bee held via Zoom on September 29.

Organized by the Region's National Greening Program, the virtual contest was anchored on the theme of this year's World Bamboo Day Celebration, "Pamanang Kawayan: Luntiang Ginto ng Kagubatan."

Team Rhizome from PENRO Marinduque bested 14 other groups which represented the field offices in MIMAROPA, namely Team Bamboolicious (PENRO Occidental Mindoro), Team Bam n’ Boo  (CENRO Sablayan), Team Bambusa (CENRO San Jose), Team Bamboohay (PENRO Oriental Mindoro), Team Bamboostic (CENRO Socorro), Team Camp Kawayan Babies (CENRO Roxas), Team Bamboomtaratarat (PENRO Romblon), Team Bamboorikit (PENRO Palawan), Team Sitio Bayog (CENRO Brooke’s Point), Team Corona Bamboos (CENRO Coron), Team Princesang Kawayan (CENRO Puerto Princesa),  Team Vulgaries Beauties (CENRO Quezon), Team Lucky Bamboo (CENRO Taytay), and Team Camp Patong Matinik (CENRO Roxas).

Competing with the best of the best was not easy and Team Rhizome admitted they had barely enough time to review because they also needed to meet deadlines on accomplishing office targets. Nonetheless, the quiz bee champ said they counted on teamwork and a relaxed mindset to win the contest.

“We’re not able to hold a group review. I just handed out old reference materials to my teammates perhaps a day or two before the contest,” Forester Ellen Paranaque, leader of Team Rhizome shared.

“But we made it probably because we also got a good combination of team members; we have Foresters and a technician and we’re all familiar with the NGP process. We trusted each other and tried to stay calm so we can think of the correct answer,” she added.

Team Vulgaris Beauties (CENRO Quezon) bagged the second place, and Team Corona Bamboos (CENRO Coron) went home as a third placer after breaking a tie with Team Princesang Kawayan (CENRO Puerto Princesa).

The quiz bee was composed of three rounds, namely easy, average and difficult. Questions included bamboo terminology, growth habit, genera and species, propagation methods, and other interesting facts and trivia. The quiz also covered general information on the National Greening Program (NGP), such as its implementing guidelines and activities.

“This is our way to enhance the knowledge of our field personnel and at the same time, educate our stakeholders on the ecological and economic benefits of bamboo,” Regional Executive Director Maria Lourdes G. Ferrer noted.

Referred to as the “green gold,” bamboo is gaining recognition as a sustainable alternative to wood and an effective instrument to combat climate change. It is for these reasons that the government is geared towards planting more bamboo trees. In a statement at the budget hearing in the House of Representatives, Secretary Roy Cimatu imparted that the DENR “intends to make amendments in the ENGP to increase the country’s production of bamboo.”

The Secretary said that for 2020, the DENR targets to plant bamboo trees to 16, 867 hectares of land nationwide. In MIMAROPA Region, bamboo trees have already been planted to 60% of the targeted 81 hectares of land as of September 2020.

The DENR MIMAROPA online bamboo quiz bee was the region’s first virtual battle of the brains, and among its efforts to continue performing its mandates while adapting to the new normal.

Getting a reliable internet connection remained as one of the challenges noted in the activity, but the participants took it from the distinct trait of the bamboo, and did not allow wobbly network access to wear them down.

“We admire the participants’ enthusiasm and display of sportsmanship. And we hope they maintain these traits not only in competitions like this, but more importantly in performing their duties,” DENR MIMAROPA NGP Coordinator Manuel Escasura remarked.

The DENR MIMAROPA and its regional NGP wish to extend their gratitude to all those who supported the program, most especially the judges who made time to join the event, namely Assistant Regional Director Bighani Manipula, Ms. Marilyn Limpiada, Chief of Planning and Management Division, Ms. Ruby Bautista, Chief of Finance Division, and Forester Gregorio Santos, Jr., Head of Urban and Biodiversity Research, Development and Extension Center of the  Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB). ###