Provincial Releases

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Western Visayas recently hosted the “9th Training of Trainers (ToT9) on the Application of the Wildlife Law Enforcement Manual of Operations” among national government agencies.

In collaboration with the region’s Enforcement Division, the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Protect Wildlife Project, the ToT9 was conducted with participants coming from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP), PNP-Aviation Security Group (PNP-AVSEGROUP), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Philippine Navy (PN), Local Government Units (LGUs), Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Customs (BoC) and the DENR’s provincial and community offices.

ToT9 aims to strengthen the knowledge and understanding of the participants of Republic Act 9147 also known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001. They are also expected to disseminate the new rules and procedures for environmental cases and the application of the Manual of Operations in the enforcement of Wildlife Act.

“This training came timely since we are strengthening the enforcement of environmental laws. Thus, it is necessary to empower our field personnel with the knowledge and skills they need to enforce the provisions of the Wildlife Act. This will result to a more conserved and protected wildlife resources in the region,” said DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.

During the ToT9, the participants were taught how to explain the important provisions of Wildlife Act and how to conduct wildlife species identification and proper handling. They were also taught how to identify and explain the steps to be taken by an enforcer in effecting detection of wildlife crime, the arrest of offenders and seizure of items and effects of wildlife crimes. The Fisheries Code as amended and Fisheries Enforcement Protocol were also explained to the participants, with emphasis on penalties and rules on endangered marine wildlife.

In strengthening the enforcement of the law, the participants learned the basic steps in monitoring and investigating wildlife cybercrime, and gained knowledge and skills on proper documentation of wildlife crime scene, including collection, handling and preservation of evidence. A mock trial was conducted for the participants to experience how to testify in court. They were also briefed on the issuance of a search warrant.

Atty. Edward Lorenzo, a USAID Representative, underscored the threat of wildlife trafficking in the country during the training. “The Philippines plays a very important role when it comes to wildlife trafficking in the region. It is both a poaching area and a major transhipment point,” he said.

The training is seen to boost the DENR’s efforts in the region to curb illegal wildlife activities such as poaching and wildlife trade to promote sustainable biodiversity management. It is also in strong support to Secretary Roy A. Cimatu’s Enhanced Biodiversity Conservation, which is one of his ten priority programs./DENR 6

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Central Luzon recently conducted an anti-illegal logging operation in Bulacan that resulted in the confiscation of 22,000 board feet of illegally sourced lumber in a lumberyard in the town of Baliuag. The seized lumber worth Php 1.2 million consisted of premium species mostly Dipterocarps.

In a separate operation, combined operatives of the National Bureau (NBI) environmental crime division and the DENR, confiscated 56,000 board feet of illegally sourced lumber of premium hardwood species worth Php3.2 million in a warehouse allegedly owned by a certain Ricky Yu. The wood species include narra, kamagong, tindalo, tanguile, yakal, mayapis and Benguet pine.

The DENR and NBI are now filing charges against Yu and his four Filipino accomplices identified as Andy Binos, Roberto Bonaobra, Ernesto Vasquez Jr., and Jerry Belgica for violating forestry laws. If found guilty, they may face a maximum of 20 years imprisonment.

The crackdown on illegal logging activities also led to a series of raids on establishments selling hot lumber including those located in a village in Guagua town in Pampanga. ###


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) seizes about 6,000 board feet of illegally sourced lumber of premium hardwood species worth more than a million pesos in Nueva Ecija. DENR, along with the Philippine Army (PA) and Philippine National Police (PNP), raided a one-hectare compound in Barangay Langla in Jaen town through a search warrant issued by Judge Celso Baguio of Gapan City. According to DENR Central Luzon Regional Executive Director Paquito Moreno, Jr., premium species of yakal, lauan, and molave were found inside the compound without necessary documents. These species, which are included in the logging ban, were illegally sourced from the remaining natural forest in the Sierra Madre mountain range.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu ordered the donation of assorted pieces of hardwood to the 22 crewmen of F/V GEM VER for the repair of their fishing boats damaged in the collision incident in Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea on June 9.

In his directive to Department of Environment and Natural Resources MIMAROPA (Region 4B) Regional Executive Director (RED) Henry Adornado, Cimatu instructed the donation of 379 pieces or 3,084 board feet of confiscated lumber to the fishermen involved in the incident. Felix Dela Torre and Junel Insigne received the lumber on behalf of the affected fishermen. The men are all residents of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.

DENR Region 4B, through its regular forest patrol and monitoring, has collected confiscated lumber that may be used for construction purposes.

“We are glad that we are able to make use of confiscated forest products to help our fellowmen,” said RED Adornado. “Nature indeed has its way of helping people start anew,” he added.

 The donation of confiscated lumber to the F/V GEM VER crewmen was facilitated by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office in Occidental Mindoro and the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office in San Jose. ###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has given its green signal to the forest land use plans or FLUPs of four municipalities in Western Visayas.

DENR Region 6 Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr. identified the local government units that have successfully completed their FLUPs as the municipalities of Dingle and Balasan in Iloilo province, and Cuartero and Jamindan in Capiz.

“The FLUP will serve as your guide in your decision making.  It should nowbe a part of your Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP),”Milla said during the signing of the FLUP Implementation Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) held June 3, 2019 at the DENR regional office in Iloilo City.

FLUP is a planning tool that equips LGUs, DENR and other stakeholders to comprehensively map out future economic progress of an area in the context of sustainable forest management, biodiversity management, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and management and forest degradation.

The Implementation MOA is the final document to complete the process of FLUP preparation prior to its implementation.   It also serves as a symbol of partnership between the DENR and the local government units to co-manage the forest and forestland resources of the town to ensure sustainable development for the benefit of the people.

“There has to be a balance between economic development and environmental protection,” Milla told the LGUs, as he reminded them to take a lesson from Boracayisland which suffered massive environmental degeneration as a consequence of imbalanced priorities and unplanned development.

“Because of imbalance of priorities, many things were not planned. On the beach easement, there are structures that were taken out. Permanent structures were also built on forestlands and wetlands because many workers stay in boarding houses and no longer return to their homes,” he said.

For their part, the chief executives of the four LGUs, namely:  Dingle Mayor Jimmy C. Quicoy, BalasanMayor Manuel Ganzon, JamindanMayor Mac Arthur Valdemar and Cuartero,Mayor Tito Mayo expressed their heartfelt gratitude to DENR- 6 for providing technical support in thecrafting of their respective FLUPs. ###