Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife, Quezon City
July 4, 2018

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte graced the 31st founding anniversary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) at the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) Amphitheater, Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife in Quezon City.

The President, together with DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu, led the ceremonial awarding of land titles under the Handog Titulo Program to the representatives of 75 beneficiaries in Metro Manila.

The celebration had the theme, ‘Ikaw, Ako, Tayo ang Kalikasan’, putting emphasis on everyone’s responsibility to prevent and protect the environment from damage.

In his speech, the Chief Executive sent a strong warning against open-pit mining operations.

“There will be a time, I still have time left, that I will have to ban open-pit mining,” said the President, further stressing that the practice is destroying the lands and creating landslides near the area of open-pit mining operations.

DENR Secretary Cimatu, in his welcome remarks, praised the lawmakers who authored Republic Act 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (E-NIPAS) Act that seeks to strengthen the government’s goal to protect the environment by providing mobilization of resources and the preservation and sustainability of the ecosystem by allowing more room for technical and scientific support.

“The E-NIPAS Law has added 94 additional legislated protected areas all over the Philippines, and in short, better conservation and protection measures in our protected areas,” Secretary Cimatu said.

To further demonstrate the DENR’s thrust, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by Secretary Cimatu turning over the 871,453 board feet of confiscated lumber to Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Head, Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario, for the rehabilitation of Marawi City.

Former DENR Secretaries also attended the ceremony, commemorating the agency’s major milestones since its reorganization into a Department in 1987.

Nearing the end of the program, President Duterte led the celebratory singing for Secretary Roy Cimatu’s birthday.