February 3, 2023

Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera Director Ralph Pablo asked the different divisions of the agency to work together to achieve the agency’s targets as envisioned by the central office.
Pablo relayed to different offices Sec. Roy Cimatu’s desire for a unified effort among the different offices in addressing air, water, and solid waste issues and concerns.
“We must continue working as one DENR unit now and do away with the sectoral mentality we have espoused in the past years,” he said.
Pablo also relayed Cimatu’s order that species planted in National Greening Program plantation sites should be those that are suitable in the areas.
He said the Modified NGP (MNGP) provides for site development by administration, civil society organizations, or through families, in addition to the peoples’ organizations contracted to manage the NGP sites.
With the reduced target in the implementation of MNGP in the Cordillera, Pablo expressed his desire for site managers to shift to restoration and maintenance of NGP plantation areas that were turned over to them.
A total of P40 million has been allocated for the maintenance of NGP plantation sites from 2011 to 2017 shared by Kalinga, Abra, Benguet, and Apayao.
Ifugao and Mountain Province are expected to each target 100 hectares of bamboo plantation and 150 hectares of mixed forest commodities for Mountain Province this year.
Pablo challenged the field offices in the region to complete all patent issuances within the Duterte administration considering that alienable and disposable lands in the region are only 15.05 percent of the region’s 1,866,037 hectares land area.
For agricultural lands, 4,000 titles are expected to be issued in the region this year of which 1,000 are expected to be issued in Cenro Buguias and 1,000 in Baguio. The remaining target was lodged with the 10 Cenros.
Pablo also relayed Cimatu’s orders for regional offices to have their protected areas in their jurisdiction be integrated in the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas Systems Act (E-NIPAS).
He said it is unfortunate that out of the seven protected areas in the Cordillera – Banao Protected Area in Kalinga; Casamata Hill National Park in Abra, Lower Agno Watershed Forest Reserve, Upper Agno River Basin Resource Reserve, Marcos Highway Forest Reserve, Mount Pulag National Park and Mount Data National Park in Benguet – not one was integrated in the E-NIPAS, which will enhance management and protection of these areas.
Pablo instructed field offices to ensure the protection of the remaining forests. He said illegal logging should be stopped and the trees should be protected.
He assured personnel in the field of the continuing efforts of the DENR central office to establish an Enforcement Bureau that will provide an “armed” unit to the DENR in the enforcement of environmental laws. – Alaska J. Turaray