The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol together with its line bureaus, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) spearheaded the annual celebration of the Philippine Environment Month through various activities.
DENR Bicol headed by OIC, Regional Executive Director Atty. Antonio A. Abawag, in his message said that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the celebration of the Environment Month should be significant as our Department calls for greater commitment in protecting our environment, which serves as a critical source not only of biodiversity but also of sustainable livelihood for local communities.
Likewise, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Atty. Ronnel C. Sopsop said that one of the major programs of DENR is the intensification of forest and anti-illegal logging activities, which may be hazardous to the life and limb of our Forest Rangers and our partner stakeholders from Law Enforcement Agencies, therefore, due commendation must be given to them for helping our Office accomplish an apprehension volume of 41,000 board feet for the past six (6) months.
RED Abawag led the Awarding of Certificate of Commendation to its Law Enforcement Partners namely: Bravo (Bushmaster) Company, 9IB, 9ID, PA represented by 1 LT Gheppe C. Gonzales (INF) PA; Ligao City Police Station represented by PMAJ Larry N. Prepotente, Sorsogon City Police Station represented by PLTCOL Benito Dipad, Jr.; Castilla Municipal Police Station represented by PCT Rymar H. Hermida; Naval Forces Southern Luzon represented by LT Florimond A. Rimando PN; Naval Forces Southern Luzon represented by COMMO Jose Ma Ambrosio Q. Ezpeleta PN; Balatan Municipal Police Station; Alpha (Adamant Company, 9th Infantry “Sandigan” Battalion, 9th Infantry “Spear” Division, Philippine Army headed by 1LT Mark Leo B. Margatee (SC) PA; Bravo Company, 96th IB, Tigbinan, Labo, Camarines Norte headed by SSgt. Ryan D. Calayo; Alpha Company, 96th IB, Lukbanan, Capalonga, Camarines Norte headed by SSgt. Renato E. Enteria; and Camarines Norte Provincial Police Office, Camp Wenceslao Q. Vinzons, Daet headed by Provincial Director Col. Marlon C. Tejada.
Furthermore, three (3) local government units (LGUs) received the Best Mangrove Award, namely: Mercedes Critical Habitat bagging the 3rd place; Camarines Sur Siruma Mangrove Area bagging the 2nd place; and Prieto Diaz Mangrove Ecosystem of Sorsogon bagging the 1st place.
“DENR launched the Best Mangrove Award to showcase the region’s best mangrove conservation area to serve as a model for existing and soon to be established conservation areas; to give recognition to Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), LGUs, and communities in the region; and to provide incentives for best practices for mangrove rehabilitation and protection, which will strengthen and sustain effort towards the management of these valuable ecosystem”, Conservation and Development Division (CDD) OIC Chief, For. Marlene M. Francia said.
Also, 46 individuals regionwide took their Oath of Office after successfully hurdling the vigorous screening process as new and promoted public servants. Newly appointed and promoted employees from the province of Masbate and Catanduanes took their virtual Oath via zoom due to existing travel restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) launched its Bike and BeCool: "Give a Bike, protect the Nature and sustain the Future Program". According to EMB Regional Director Maria Socorro A. Abu, biking and cycling is an efficient, environment-friendly and healthy mode of transportation. Also, it is one way of helping those residing in remote areas to cope up with their means of transportation.
The MGB, on the otherhand, recognized the Masbate Gold Project for having conducted progressive mine rehabilitation over and above the targets set forth by the Department.
In the said celebration, DENR Bicol ensured that the venue was properly disinfected, ventilated and maintained. Employees and guests also wore protective gears such as surgical face masks, glasses and exercised proper social distancing.