SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union -The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Region- I (DENR- I) through the Regional Strategic Communication and Initiatives (RSCIG), the main communication unit of the department conducted the Virtual Orientation cum Workshop on the Creation of DENR- I Communication Plan (ComPlan) Calendar Year 2022- 2026 at DENR- I Regional Office, Government Center, Sevilla, San Fernando City, La Union on March 16- 17, 2021. RSCIG hosted the significant event headed by Chief, Renelita A. Santos together with the Sectoral Focal Persons from Environmental Management Bureau, Region- I (EMB-I) Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Region- I (MGB- I) and to ensure the health and well- being of all involved on said event because of the pandemic, designated information officers from DENR- I field offices attended via Zoom.

As the main communicationCOMPLAN 2 arm of DENR- I, RCSIG is mandated to lead and create public awareness and provide information on Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) programs and projects. Because of the pandemic, DENR adopted alternative measures to efficiently implement and strengthen information education and communication (IEC) drive to the public most particularly in the social media. The orientation/ workshop aims to capacitate designated Information Officers in DENR- I, EMB- I, MGB-I and field offices who also acts as Public Assistance Desk Officers (PADO) and Youth Desk Coordinators. They are as well be informed on the regions’ environmental issues and concerns, ENR laws, programs and projects of the department and shall form part of the creation of the DENR- I Com Plan for CY 2022- 2026. The ComPlan aims to guide and support activities for increasing stakeholder awareness and literacy on the ecological and economic values of the environment and natural resources and the designated information officers of PENROs, CENROs and sectoral focal persons are the front liners in the information campaign drive in the implementation of DENR programs, projects and other activities in llocos Region.

During the event, DENR- I Regional Executive Director Atty. Crizaldy M. Barcelo personally delivered his message and urged the new set of Information Officers to strengthen their mandated responsibilities to raise awareness on how to provide information on ENR programs and projects under the “new normal” situation most particularly in the social media – the foremost, loudest, and most visible medium today. He also reminded the participants regarding the Ten Point Priority Programs of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, “we must write, conceptualize, inform and empower the public based on these priority programs,” the DENCOMPLAN 1R- I head executive said. “I hope that you will help craft a creative, informative and innovative Communication Plan for CY 2022- 2026 for the public to be closer to our DENR IEC campaign awareness, you are the DENR bridge and voice to the public,” he added. Likewise, DENR Director of Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service (SCIS) Dr. Hiro Masuda, virtually delivered his inspirational message and stressed that “We act as legitimate information officers with end goal for culture and behavior change.” DENR National Youth Desk Officer, Joseph M. Villaflor also virtually discussed the components and important points of Environmental Education and Information, ENR laws, among others.

Participants were virtually formed into groups wherein they prepared and presented their respective work programs and communication plans regarding environmental issues based on the Ten Point Priority Programs during the workshop. The workshop and orientation not only focused on the creation of ComPlan but also aims to generate “consistent and uniformed messages about DENR Ilocos Region- I advocacies based on the DENR Roadmap crafted in 2016. This April 2021, a learning event on the results based Strategic Communication Plan will be hosted by the DENR-SCIS to formulate the medium term communication plan aligned with the ENR priority program. (GCG-RSCIG)