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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) gave out the first-ever R.I.V.E.Rs (Recognizing Individuals/Institutions Towards Vibrant and Enhanced Rivers) for Life Award to the three cleanest rivers in the entire country.

The awards were handed by Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu on the occasion of DENR’s 32nd anniversary celebration held at the DENR Central Office in Quezon City on Friday (June 14, 2019).

Cimatusaid the award aims to raise public awareness on the need to protect and conserve the country’s rivers as the lifeblood of the earth.

“We aim to tap concerted action to protect the country’s rivers from degradation and pollution and ensure their suitability, sustainability, and further improvement,” Cimatu said.

The top prize went to Lamut River in Ifugao province, Cordillera Administrative Region. Second prize was given to Calbayog River in Samar province, Region 8, while the third place went to Manaba River in Bohol, Region 7.

Cash prizes of Php100,000, Php75,000 and Php50,000 were given to the 1st, 2nd and third placers, respectively.

According to Cimatu, the R.I.V.E.Rs for Life Award will greatly contribute to ensuring that the country’s rivers are kept clean.

“Rivers and creeks drain to bigger bodies of water and affect their condition. This is the case with Pasig River which drains to Manila Bay. Thus, ensuring the cleanliness of rivers is among our top priorities,” the environment chief added.

A total of sixteen (16) classified Class C rivers were submitted as entries by DENR regional offices. Nominees were selected by the DENR Regional Committee consisting of the DENR, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).

Entries were reviewed based on the list of activities/interventions undertaken by the concerned Provincial and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs/CENROs) on their nominated river. These include: Aesthetic Water Quality Improvement, Solid Waste Management, Partnership and Community Mobilization, Information and Education Campaign (IEC), and other activities, interventions and innovations.

According to Atty. Juan Miguel Cuna, DENR Undersecretary for Field Operations andSupervising Undersecretary for the EMB, the R.I.V.E.Rs for Life Award will be a continuing annual activity with winners recognized during the DENR anniversary.

“After we have awarded our very first batch of winners this year, I am sure our regional offices will work even harder to nominate their rivers to show how important our rivers are to us,” Cuna said. ###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has conferred on six of its top performing field officials the “Environmental Awards for Governance and Leadership Excellence” or EAGLE Award.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said that the awards, which were handed out during the agency’s 32nd anniversary celebration on Friday (June 14, 2019), were to recognize the officials who had contributed to the agency’s achievements in 2018.

“Through the EAGLE, we wish to honor our field officers, whom we consider our frontliners in delivering our services to the public and implementing our mandate, as well as promote a culture of excellence in the organization and its leadership,” said Cimatu.

He added: “The objective of the EAGLE is two-fold – to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of regional officials in delivering mandates, and to commend their performance and leadership.”

Arleigh Adorable of DENR-Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) was commended as top performing Regional Executive Director, which earned him a trophy and a cash award of P100,000. A forester by profession, Adorable is a Career Executive Service Officer who has served the government for almost 38 years.

Directors Roland de Jesus of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) -MIMAROPA Region and Ma. Victoria Abrera of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) -Region I received trophies and P75,000 as top contenders in the category for regional directors of the agency’s line bureaus, MGB and EMB.

Jose Elmer Bascos of Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) - Batangas, CALABARZON Region, received top honors in the category for Supervising PENRO, while Merlyn Dumalahay of PENRO - Camiguin Province in Region 10 topped the category for Implementing PENRO.

A Supervising PENRO heads a provincial office with sub-offices headed by Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers (CENROs), while an Implementing PENRO heads a lone DENR field office in an entire province.

Bascos and Dumalahay also received trophies and P75,000 in cash.

Named as top Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) was Francisco Arenas Jr. of CENRO - Bantay in Ilocos Sur, Region 1. He received a trophy and a cash award of P50,000.

Nominees were assessed and evaluated in two phases.

The first phase was to determine the efficiency or effectiveness of the office in the delivery of services and results, based on good governance indicators using the Performance-Based Bonus system. This would comprise 75 per cent of the nominees’ overall rating.

In the second phase, which would comprise the remaining 25 per cent of the rating, would determine the leadership abilities of an official.

Leadership would be based on the official’s integrity, service orientation, ability to build networks, strategic focus, and managerial acumen. ###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Friday celebrated its 32nd founding anniversary with Secretary Roy A. Cimatu giving the entire DENR workforce a pat on the back for contributing immensely to the agency’s recent major achievements—from the rehabilitation efforts in Boracay and Manila Bay to the return of illegal waste shipment to Canada.

“I am truly honored to receive kind words and praises from different sectors, my co-secretaries, industry partners and the public for what we have accomplished thus far,” Cimatu said in his speech during the anniversary celebration held at the DENR central office in Quezon City.

He added: “The honor is not mine alone, I share all the good words and praises with you my co-workers in the DENR. I am just your leader but the knowledge, the hard work and the perseverance are all from you. I draw my strength and confidence from all of you.”

According to Cimatu, this year is perhaps the most meaningful of the agency’s anniversaries since its creation in 1987 because “at no other time in our history has the DENR been entrusted with responsibilities as heavy as now.”

“The trust and confidence reposed in our competence by our President and nation is at an all-time high,” said Cimatu, who had been personally picked by President Rodrigo RoaDuterte to head the inter-agency task forces created to bring Boracay and Manila Bay back to their former glory.

The DENR, along with the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force and the Duterte administration in general, earned praises for turning Boracay from a cesspool to a model for sustainable ecotourism in just six months of rehabilitation.

The DENR did well in Boracay that the President gave it a much bigger challenge: the restoration of Manila Bay and its heavily polluted waters to a quality suitable for bathing, swimming, boating, fishing and other forms of contact recreation.

Cimatu said the so-called “Battle for Manila Bay” will probably take years to win but the DENR is up for the challenge, “deeming it a great honor to be entrusted with such a mission.”

Although the government is not even on a quarter mark in terms of its plan for Manila Bay, Cimatu said the public could already see visible results of the initial efforts.

“I firmly believe that the Battle for Manila Bay is indeed a winnable battle. We are on the right track,” Cimatu said, as he noted how the government gained the trust of major corporations to support the cleanup and rehabilitation efforts.

Among these corporations that signed up for the DENR’s Adopt-An-Estero program and committed to rehabilitate the filthy creeks and other water bodies draining into Manila Bay were San Miguel Corp., SM Prime Holdings, and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

Just recently, the DENR was tasked to coordinate with the Canadian government to solve a problem that had persisted for six years, which is the return to Canada of 69 international container units of solid waste illegally imported into the Philippines by being misdeclared as waste plastics for recycling.

Cimatu said the Philippines did not accede to the Canadian government’s request to further delay the shipment of the waste back to their country.

“The expenses for the shipping of the wastes were shouldered by the Canadian government. So that’s another feather in our cap,” Cimatu said.

Cimatu said the Philippines also started a new chapter in biodiversity conservation by entering into an agreement with Wildlife Reserves Singapore for the loan of a pair of the majestic Philippine eagle—Geothermica and Sambisig—for conservation breeding and public education and other conservation-related purposes.

The loan agreement should also serve as a biosecurity measure to ensure the survival of the critically endangered raptor in case of catastrophic events like disease outbreaks or extreme calamities taking place in their Philippine habitats.

Cimatu said these achievements would have not been possible without the “determined, qualified and competent persons” that make up the DENR family, from the undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, directors and division chiefs, down to ordinary employees.

“I congratulate and commend each and every one of you, for a job well done, and more jobs that will be done better. Let us take pride in being members of the DENR family,” Cimatu said.

The environment chief also rallied the DENR officials and employees to “level up to the expectations of the President and nation” given the formidable tasks ahead, particularly the protection of biodiversity and marine ecosystems in the West Philippine Sea and Philippine Rise.

Cimatu underscored the need to produce effective and science-based strategies and policies for managing the environment and natural resources in the West Philippine Sea and the Philippine Rise in the face of climate change. ###


3 cleanest rivers in PH web

  1. Introduction
  • The guidelines on Recognizing Individuals/Institutions TowardsVibrant and Enhanced Rivers (R.I.V.E.Rs) are provided under the DENR Memorandum, dated October 29, 2018.
  • Its main objectives are: to raise awareness on the need to protect and conserve the country’s rivers as the lifeblood of the Earth and human civilization, and to tap concerted action to protect the country’s rivers from degradation and pollution, and assure their suitability, sustainability, and further improvement for their designated use or classification
  • The creation of the National Committee on the Search for Recognizing Individuals/Institutions towards Vibrant and Enhanced Rivers (R.I.V.E.Rs) for Life Award is in pursuant to DENR Special Order No. 2019-314.
  1. Scope and Coverage

                  The contest is open to all incumbent Supervising and Implementing Provincial Environmental and Natural Resources Officers (PENROs) together with their respective Community Environmental and Natural Resources Officers (CENROs).

                  Period of participation is for one (1) year (July-May) and every year thereafter. For 2019, participation is continuing from the launch of the Awards in July 2018. All reports from the Regional Committees shall be submitted to Central Office/Undersecretary for Field Operations not later than April 30, 2019.

                  Award shall be given during the DENR Anniversary celebrations.

III. Criteria

  • The PENRO/CENRO shall submit the complete inventory of all the rivers (qualifying criterion) within their respective areas of responsibility using the prescribe format. The consolidated inventory will be submitted by the respective Regional Offices to the DENR Central Office, through the Undersecretary for Field Operations, for review and consolidation.
  • The DENR Regional Committee, consisting of the DENR, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), shall select one (1) nominee from the list of officially classified Class C rivers.
  • The list of activities/interventions undertaken by the concerned PENRO/CENRO on their nominated river shall include, among others, the following:
  • Aesthetic Water Quality Improvement (35%) - which concerns baseline data indicating the actual conduct of monthly water quality sampling for one (1) year should be available as reference to validate improvement.
  • Solid Waste Management (25%) - which pertains to baseline data indicating the monthly volume of waste collected for one (1) year.
  • Partnership and Community Mobilization (25%) - which pertains to the list of memorandum of agreements, partnerships, and other document engagements.
  • Information and Education Campaign (IEC) (15%) - which is a list of conducted activities with complete documentation, and copies of the IEC materials produced.
  • Other activities, interventions, and innovations.