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DENR Sec visits RO2, orders strengthening of envi law enforcement

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu focused on the agency’s need to strengthen its enforcement of several laws as he visited the regional office here on Saturday, September 9.

“Ang pinakakulang ng DENR ay enforcement sa ating mga trabaho. Kung kulang tayo ng ngipin, dadagdagan natin ng ngipin,” said Secretary Cimatu.

Cimatu said the region must enforce the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999. “Kailangang maitupad ng DENR na malinis ang hangin na nilalanghap ng tao,” said Cimatu.

Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) reported earlier in the program that the region consistently got a ‘Good’ air quality index.

Cimatu also reminded the duty of the EMB in issuing discharge clearance on establishments’ wastewater to support the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004. He also praised EMB for maintaining Cagayan River’s cleanliness, hoping that the same could be done in Pasig River and Manila Bay.

He also mentioned the need for strict implementation of solid waste management in 93 municipalities. He urged cities to change their dumpsites into sanitary landfills. He ordered the regional office to give technical assistance to mayors and local government units in solid waste management.

Additional Personnel

Cimatu said that they are planning on adding additional personnel in Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENRO) and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENRO) in the region.

The secretary said that this is to strengthen these offices. Among the additional manpower are a lawyer and personnel for the Environment Management Bureau in every environment office.

He added that local legal problems may be settled immediately if there are lawyers in each of the 16 CENROs in the region. These lawyers will also be subjected to environmental enforcement training.

Other orders

Cimatu also gave reminders and orders to employees of the region in specific programs of the department. “Yung National Greening Program [ay] ipatupad natin nang walang kalokohan. Kung anong binigay na pondo para lang sa national greening program lang yan,” said Cimatu.

On land titling in CENROs and PENROs, Cimatu said, “Kailangang bilisan natin ang pagproseso ng mga dokumentong kailangan at ‘wag nating patagalin.”

He also mentioned the protection of Sierra Madre which “shields” the region from strong typhoons. He told officials that no illegal logging must occur in the area. Cimatu also urged local officials to stop those who engage in black sand mining, saying that the activity is “illegal.”

Manifesto of Support

Meanwhile, DENR RO2 issued a manifesto of support for the confirmation of Cimatu by the Commission of Appointments (CA). The manifesto was signed by all employees of the region. Cimatu expressed his appreciation to the region for issuing the manifesto, saying that he is fortunate to have been given support in his first four months in office.

The secretary visited the regional offices of EMB and Mines and Geosciences Bureau, and CENROs in Isabela later that day. On Sunday, September 10, Cimatu was guest speaker in Quirino Day.

The Ilocos-born former Armed Forces General and Chief of Staff was appointed as Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources in May 2017 after former Secretary Gina Lopez was rejected by the CA. Northernforum.net

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