Press Releases

Alongside the annual celebration of the Philippine Environment Month, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here released six endangered female green sea turtles into the sea of Casiguran town in Aurora.

Merliza Torre, chief of the DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Casiguran, said these green sea turtles were accidentally trapped in a fish corral owned by a local resident in Ditinagyan coastal village.

"Upon rescue, we immediately examined the turtles and found no injury incurred among them," Torre said, addding that the rescued turtles have an average carapace length of 42 centimeters.

Since the turtles were in good condition, Torre, along with other DENR personnel, and partners from the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office of Casiguran, Aurora State College of Technology and Samahang Bantay Kalikasan ng Casiguran, immediately released the turtles into the sea.

Mary Jane Aragon, forest technician of CENRO Casiguran, explained that turtles were tagged to primarily identify them as "individuals."

She added that tagging sea turtles provided information on population trends, habitat residency, movement patterns, individual growth rates, and reproductive life history, which were vital factors in marine turtle conservation.

Since January of this year, Torre reported that the DENR here has released 53 green sea turtles in the waters of Casiguran. Forty-four of these were tagged, while the other nine turtles were untagged due to immaturity.

"Our green sea turtles are important to our ecosystem. Their existence is an important indicator of a balanced and healthy marine life," Torre said, urging local residents to help the DENR in protecting marine species and other wildlife.

She likewise appealed to the public to report activities, especially illegal trade of wildlife, to the DENR.

Of the seven species of marine turtles in the world, five of them are found nesting in the coastal towns of Morong in Bataan, San Antonio in Zambales and in the coastal areas of Aurora.

Section 27 of the Republic Act 9147, also known as the "Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act," prohibits collecting, hunting and possessing of wildlife and their by products and derivatives.

Anyone found guilty of violating the wildlife law shall be imprisoned to a maximum of two years and shall be fined of up to P200,000, if inflicted against endangered species. (-30-)

Intensified anti-illegal logging operation of environment authorities on Saturday resulted in the arrest of 17 illegal loggers and the seizure of 10,000 board feet of yakal lumber flitches worth P500,000 in the Sierra Madre forests boundary of Bulacan and Nueva Ecija.

Two of the suspects were minors and all are residents of Sitio Saudi in Pias village of Gen. Tinio town, Nueva Ecija, said Dennis Vergara, head of the Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) based in Baliwag.

In his report, Vergara stated that the combined operatives of the DENR-CENRO; First Scout Ranger Regiment (FSSR) of the Philippine Army; the 3rd Mobile Platoon, 2nd Bulacan Provincial Mobile Force Company and Doña Remedios Trinidad (DRT) Philippine National Police (PNP) caught the suspects in the act of cutting trees in the forest cover of Sierra Madre mountain range along the boundaries of DRT, Bulacan and Gen. Tinio, Nueva Ecija.

"The raiding team also recovered a chainsaw, two-piece improvised caliber 22 riflle, a shot gun and ammunitions from the suspects," he added.

The suspects were brought and temporarily detained at DRT police custodial facility while the minors were turned over to Municipal Social Welfare Office of the same town for proper disposition.

Paquito Moreno, Jr., executive director of DENR regional office commended the efforts of the team, especially the First Scout Regiment of PA and the PNP for their support in the government's campaign to curb illegal forest activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We need to intensify our forest protection efforts because some scrupulous groups are taking advantage of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the region," he stressed.

Earlier in Nueva, Ecija, the joint operation conducted by DENR provincial and community offices and the regional PNP yielded the seizure and apprehension of a total of 6,000 board feet of forest contraband worth P322,000.

In Tarlac, the DENR-CENRO and Philippine Airforce (PAF) based in Capas, Tarlac apprehended some 200 boardfeet of illegally source molave lumber flitches worth P15,000.

Moreno urged the public to be vigilant in reporting to the DENR any suspected illegal forest activities in their locality to save the remaining forest in the region.

The DENR and PNP are now preparing to file criminal charges against the 17 suspects in violation of the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines, Chainsaw Act or Republic Act (RA) 9175, Comprehensie Firearms and Ammunitions Regulation Act or RA 10591, Revised Penal Code, Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act or RA 11332 and the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act or RA 11469.

As the campaign on Manila Bay cleanup and rehabilitation went on full swing, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here staged the creativity and talents of students from 16 public elementary schools in Bataan in an on-the-spot watercolor painting contest that centered on upholding the importance of the environment and river systems, especially the Manila Bay.

Held on March 4 at Vista Mall in Balanga City, the competition dubbed as “Kulayan ang Manila Bay” aimed to solicit public support and to increase public awareness on ecological solid waste management and proper waste segregation, which were seen as key factors in bringing back the beauty of Manila Bay.

In his message, DENR provincial chief in Bataan Raul Mamac said youth participation played a significant role in conserving ecological integrity and making more people engaged in the mission towards a clean, healthy and garbage-free Manila Bay.

“Young as you are, we believe that you can ignite the spark towards ecological stewardship, and that your talents may encourage more youth to take part in winning our battle for a cleaner Manila Bay”, Mamac added.

Allen Buenvinida of Antonio G. Llamas Elementary School bested other participants, as he topped the competition, while Carl Eurie Buensuceso of Orani South Elementary School and Yuann Joshua Cabanilla of Mambog Elementary School won the second and third spots respectively.

Winners received cash prize and handmade trophies designed and created by Kapampangan local artist Jude Pangilinan, while other participating schools received certificates of appreciation from the DENR.

Aside from regular cleanup and social mobilization activities, said competition is among the lined-up events of the DENR in support to the Manila Bay cleanup and rehabilitation program.

A group of barangay tanod in Barangay Claro M. Recto in Angeles City opted to surrender a threatened Northern Philippine cobra, scientific Naja philippinensis to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here yesterday rather than killing it when they accidentally found the wildlife lurking in a vacant lot in the said village.

Ronaldo Sese, 58, who worked in the Veterinary office of Angeles City, said this group of tanod reported to him about the snake they have encountered.

“At first, we thought it was just an ordinary snake, but when I grabbed the head, it started to expand and then we concluded that it was a Philippine cobra,” he explained.

He said after they caught the snake, they placed it in a five-liter plastic water container and then brought it to the Veterinary office for temporary safekeeping.

But upon the advice of Dr. Christian Arcilla, city veterinarian, they immediately called the DENR regional office in Pampanga for the proper turnover of the wildlife, said Rodolfo Cruz, 62, who also worked in the city veterinary office.

Jenny Raissa Lico, chief of the Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section of the DENR regional office, confirmed that the snake is a Northern Philippine cobra.

“Upon examination, we found out that the adult cobra measures one meter long and weighs about a kilo. It was healthy and fit for release to the wild after the diagnosis made by our staff,” she said.

According to the International Union on the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Northern Philippine Cobra is listed as threatened species. The species thrive in lowland and up to 800 meters above sea level (asl) and is endemic to the Philippines which can be found in Luzon islands, Mindoro, Masbate and Marinduque, the report added.

The DENR appealed to the public to report to authorities any suspicious wildlife trading activity including illegal hunting.

Collecting, hunting and possessing wildlife without permission is a violation of section 27 of Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act that carries a penalty of maximum six months of imprisonment and a fine of up to P50,000, if inflicted or undertaken against species listed as other threatened species.

Intensified wildlife information campaign of the DENR last year resulted in the surrender of 37 species of reptiles, birds and mammals. (30)

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here recently conferred awards to outstanding land officers and investigators, whose efforts resulted in the 110% accomplishments of the “Handog Titulo” program of the government.

Aurora Aquino of Bulacan and Amalia Fajardo of Tarlac were named as the most outstanding provincial land management officers (LMO), while Jayson Agbisit of Guiguinto and Jude Villa of Capas were 2019's outstanding LMOs in the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) level.

Among the outstanding deputized public land investigators (DPLI) were Rolly Sura (Aurora); Marie Josephine Lauchengco (Bulacan); Rolando Canuto (Pampanga); Ruel Rodriguez (Bataan); Francis Guiller Paragas (Nueva Ecija); Don Christian Puntilar (Tarlac); and Amelia Servidad (Zambales).

Abelardo Manio, Jr. of PENRO Bulacan was recognized for his outstanding land records management and administration of organizational archives.

Aside from these individual awards, special citations were also given to DENR provincial offices.

While all regions exceeded their targets on 2019 in land title distribution, PENRO Tarlac and CENRO Capas were named as the first field offices in the region to accomplish 100% of its target under the residential free patent.

DENR offices in Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and Pampanga were recognized for accomplishing more than 100% of their targets in titling government lands through special patents, while provincial offices in Bataan, Zambales and Aurora were distinguished for exceeding their targets in the management and appraisal of foreshores and issuance of notice of bills and demand letters in their respective jurisdiction.

Provincial offices in Tarlac and Zambales excelled In distributing miscellaneous sales patents, while Bataan and Nueva Ecija topped in the management and appraisal of patrimonial properties.

In his message, Paquito Moreno, executive director of the DENR here, expressed his salutations to the awardees and lauded their hard work, saying that their sacrifices and commitment resulted in upholding the general welfare of the public.

“Bringing social justice in land titling is one of the priority thrusts of our government. Aside from improving the socio-economic conditions of the Filipino and enhancing agricultural productivity in rural areas, our Handog Titulo program will likewise fuel progress in local communities,” Moreno said.

Ricky Hernandez, chief of the Licenses, Patents and Deeds Division, reported that the DENR here distributed last year a total of 503 agricultural land titles covering more than 548 hectares and another 2,754 residential titles covering more than 70 hectares, benefiting an estimated 1,500 farmers and their families.

Since 2011 a total of 31,743 residential land titles covering 629 hectares have already been distributed in Central Luzon benefiting well over 158,000 residents.

The DENR is set to distribute another 2,100 residential free patents in 2020.