RED’s Mindanao Cluster gives priority on watershed and clean river

Butuan City, July 29, 2019 --The Regional Executive Directors Mindanao Cluster of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has resolved the development and protection of the watershed, clean rivers, air and efficient solid waste management in a meeting held at the Almont Resort and Convention Centre in Butuan City on July 24, 2019.

“The meeting was successful and everything was properly organized“, host Regional Executive Director for Caraga Region Atty. Felix S. Alicer said.

The Undersecretary for Field Operations Juan Miguel T. Cuna said in a remark that the gathering of five Regional Executive Directors of the DENR Regional Offices in Mindanao is important in tackling the issues and concerns on environment in their respective area and brings these challenges to Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

He said there are pressing issues on environment that are emerging and need to be addressed by the executive directors particularly about the top priority agenda of the Secretary.

He said the Boracay Clean Up and the Manila Bay Rehabilitation have been the center of environmental activities of the DENR which have drawn wide support from all sectors of the society to showcase the sincerity of the Administration on promoting a healthy environment for the people.   “What we did in these popular tourist-destination sites should be replicated in Mindanao where many beautiful beaches abound”, USec. Cuna said.

Secretary Cimatu has hinted in one of his recent appearances in Davao City that the watershed in the country must be harnessed and developed to ensure a steady supply of water contrary to what has happened in some areas in Luzon where people had experienced low water supply for several months resulting from a long drought.  Secretary Cimatu also suggested in his remarks during a press conference after the Pre-Sona 2019 Forum that “we have to plant more bamboo grass in the watershed because bamboos provide a steady supply of water”.

The DENR Mindanao Cluster Meeting was also attended by the Regional Directors of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) and the Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau.

USec. Cuna had a chance to visit the regional offices of the DENR and the EMB in Butuan City where he urged the employees to keep on performing their duties and responsibilities to the people with humility and willingness to serve. “This is what Sec. Cimatu wants us to deliver and perform at the front lines even if we walk an extra mile to serve the people in the countryside”, he said.

As a host of the event, RED Alicer toured USec. Cuna and the guests to the Agata Mining Ventures Inc. in Tubay, Agusan del Norte where they experienced the operation of a model mining operation in terms of community relations, social services, sustainable livelihood, coastal resource management, and community-based forest stewardship. Agata has planted trees of various species on its 300-hectare mining site. Agata mine productions are nickel laterites.

By: Herzon F. Gallego


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