Press Releases


AReleased Turtle   

 MAITUM, SARANGANI PROVINCE – A female Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) commonly known as"Pawikan" returned to its natural habitat after it was released recently in Sarangani Bay by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 12 and its partners.

    Kiamba Community ENR Officer Dr. Ali M. Hadjinasser together with Maitum Mayor Alexander Bryan Reganit, partner stakeholders,some personnel of the DENR and local government unit

of Maitum witnessed the releasing of the marine species at the coastal waters of Sitio Saub, Maitum town on February 3.

Marlon Rivera, a resident of Sitio Agoto in Brgy. Mabay said that he spotted the Pawikan around 5 o’clock in the morning of February 3.

The sea turtle has a curved carapace length (CCL) of 25.5cm, curved carapace width (CCW) of 24cm, estimated weight of 20 kilograms and a tag  on its right flipper before it was released in the bay.

CENRO Hadjinasser said that the releasing of the Pawikan is a manifestation that the coastal waters of Maitum is still abundant in marine wildlife and other resources.

“The marine resources in the area are still intact. We need to have a good conservation strategies and efforts to preserve the area,” CENRO Hadjinasser said.

Mayor Reganit expressed his gladness during the releasing of the species due to the richness of marine resources in his town.

The official said that everyone should do its part to maintain and preserve the resources of Maitum.

“We fully support the programs and projects of the DENR in protecting the environment and natural resources,” Mayor Reganit said.

DENR-12 Regional Executive Director Dr. Sabdullah C. Abubacar, CESO IV lauded the releasing of sea turtle and reminded the public to help the agency in protecting and preserving the marine resources.

“Everyone should be mindful in managing their wastes to minimize the incidents of injured and dead marine species caused by improper waste management and disposal,” Dr. Abubacar said.

He added that the protection of the environment is not the sole responsibility of the DENR but the obligation of all the stakeholders.  # # #


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(KIAMBA, SARANGANI PROVINCE) – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) XII through the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Kiamba and Municipality of Maitum inked Monday, February 03, the memorandum of agreements (MOAs) on “Multi-Sectoral Environmental Protection Enforcement Task Force and Establishing DENR-LGU Maitum Central Nursery”, held at municipal hall of Maitum.

According to Dr. Ali M. Hadjinasser, Kiamba CENR Officer, the said undertaking was a directive coming from DENR Undersecretary for Enforcement and Muslim Affairs, Jim O. Sampulna, CESO III, in line with its effort to combat various environmental violations within the localities.
CENRO Hadjinasser said that the primary purpose of the task force, in which DENR chair and lead agency, is to synchronize the efforts of the government and civil society organizations to stop any environmental violations in the municipality which are commonly identified causing destruction of properties as well as the adverse impact of the climate change to the environment.
“This multi-sectoral environmental protection enforcement task force is created to ensure that the constituents of Maitum is being safe from any natural calamities like flash flood, typhoon, tsunami, earthquake and other related disasters,” he said.
“Basically, this program is a great move of the municipality headed by Mayor Alexander Bryan Reganit. It intends to enforce ENR Laws from ridge to reef in support to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu’s call to intensify anti-illegal logging task force and strict implementation of ENR Laws and Governor Steve Solon’s Task Force Sulong Kalikasan,” Hadjinasser added.
The said MOAs include the implementation of Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas Systems or ENIPAS Act of 2018 or Republic Act 11038, which will possibly consider the inclusion of Mount Busa as protected area of the Municipalities of Maitum, Kiamba and Maasim, Sarangani, emphasizing the importance of Forest Land Use Planning, and the establishing Dakeol Forest of Maitum as Critical Habitat of Philippines Eagle recognizing the supports and assistance from Philippine Eagle Foundation, ECPC and other Civil Society Organization like MASE headed by Ms. Beth Ramos.
Meantime, a separate MOA to establish the DENR-LGU Maitum Central Nursery was also inked by the officials.
The agreement will address the issues on social conflicts, environmental, and economic problems, thru establishing the DENR-LGU central nursery which shall provide livelihood to the upland dweller and other interested people’s organization of the town.
Reganit agreed that the covenant is a joint-effort for the people of Maitum, so that the generations to come, shall witness and enjoy the beauty of what environment can offer.
“We, the LGU of Maitum is ready to help on this program, anytime that you need us, we are just here to support, you may even call me anytime, especially on conserving coral reefs here in our coastal areas,” Mayor Reganit said.
Mayor Reganit believes that the people of Maitum cannot do it alone, that the assistance of DENR is a must for the betterment of the environment.
The said ceremonial signing of MOAs was also made possible by the partnership of Department of Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, Hukbong Katipan ng Pilipinas, Municipal Environment and the Maitum Natural Resources Office. 
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2Marine Turtle
CITY OF KORONADAL --- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) XII partnered with   
Protect Wildlife, a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded project, as part of its mission to safeguard marine turtles along Sarangani Bay.
DENR XII and Protect Wildlife -USAID conducted a joint assessment on Sarangani Marine Turtle Nesting Sites in Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape (SBPS), where an evaluation report was presented later during the 2nd Protected Area Management Board PAMB – SBPS En Banc meeting last January 24, 2019 held in General Santos City.
Rex Teves of Protect Wildlife -USAID along with the Biodiversity Management Bureau BMB central office officials, presented the result of the assessment together with the marine turtle hatchling training and protection management. The activity was held from October 14-16, 2019 in Kiamba, Sarangani.
Through mapping, the group identified the established nesting sites of marine turtles along the coastal areas of SBPS.
“The hatcheries can be found in Barangay Kiambing of Maitum, Barangay Lumasal of Maasim, and Barangay Burias in Glan,” Teves said.
Following this endeavor, the move aims to understand and document the situation on the ground in relation to marine turtles conservation initiatives in SBPS, enhance the capacity of local managers to properly implement marine turtle conservation measures in their respective locality, and identify gaps in conservation and possible solutions in the local marine turtle conservation scene.
Teves emphasized various issues and concerns have been observed during the assessment.
“There is a dire need to further strengthen information campaign on marine turtles since various concerns threaten these species. The communities’ indifference on the matter, degrading nesting habitat, poaching, low hatching success, lack of personnel to check on nesting sites, inadequate enforcement, and limited access of information on marine life conservation”, Teves stressed.
He added, female marine turtle prefers the place of temperature to where it will hatch its eggs, and “it affects the gender of hatchlings”.
In this regard, Regional Executive Director, Dr. Sabdullah C. Abubacar, CESO IV recommended for a separate study on the subject ‘to preserve the species’.
“We best recommend that we conduct another round of research. If we are convinced that there are more males in an area, and then females in another, then it is only impartial to adopt a certain hatchery that we have bid the environment”, Abubacar said.
Meanwhile, to ensure the species protection and conservation, the Protect Wildlife and DENR officials agreed to coordinate for a proper workshop on marine life management, particularly on marine turtles, amongst the residents near the nesting sites and personnel of Protected Area Superintendent – PASu-SBPS and tap the local government units LGUs within the protected area. 
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CITY OF TACURONG – Thousands of various waterbird species were sighted at Lake Buluan in Lutayan, Sultan Kudarat during the recently conducted annual Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) activity of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 12.

The AWC activity was spearheaded by Tacurong City Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) last January 22 to 23 to provide basis for estimates of waterbird population, determine changes in their numbers and improve knowledge of little-known waterbird species and wetland sites.
Mama Mulimpay, CENRO Tacurong City Protected Area and Wildlife Section Chief said that the DENR annually conducts the AWC to determine the current number of waterbird species in the area.
“We are conducting this activity every year so that we can compare the current condition and population of various waterbirds to our data in the previous years,” Chief Mulimpay said.
Forester Sainoding Hadjimanan of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Sultan Kudarat said that aside from bird counting, the AWC also helps the DENR to monitor the possible illegal activities like bird hunting.
“The DENR, in cooperation with the local government units of Lutayan and Buluan, Maguindanao conducts a regular monitoring in the area not only during the celebration of AWC. We are doing this to protect and preserve the various species of waterbirds in the lake,” Forester Hadjimanan said.
According to the Municipal ENRO of Lutayan, the Lake Buluan has an estimated area of 6,300 hectares. The area which covers the Lutayan side is around 3,600 hectares.
During the bird counting, some 8,000 waterbirds were counted using direct counting and unit-sampling estimates.
The species sighted by the team composed of personnel from DENR-12 Regional Office, Sultan Kudarat Provincial ENRO and Tacurong City CENRO were Great Bittern, Cinnamon Bittern, Black Crown Night Heron, Rufous NH, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Intermediate Egret, Great Egret, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Javan Pond Heron, White-breasted Waterhen, Barred Rail, Banded Rail, Water Rail, Common Crane, Philippine Duck, Lesser Whisling Duck, Serpent Eagle, Brahminy Kite and Wanderin Duck.
According to the DENR, the number of waterbirds in Lake Buluan, specifically in Lutayan side, is quite big compared to other areas due to the abundance of food and serenity.
“There is a decrease in the population of waterbird species in the area especially the Brahminy Kite, compared to our previous sightings. The possible reasons are disturbance, climate change and other birds are migratory,” Chief Mulimpay said.
“We will conduct an information drive in the area to increase public awareness on the importance of these waterbirds especially to the people living near the area,” Chief Mulimpay added.
The DENR also reminds the public not to harm and capture these birds because they contribute a lot to a balanced ecosystem.
The AWC is an annual event and takes place once a year, during the second and third weeks of January.
The census was initiated in 1987 in the Indian subcontinent, and has grown rapidly to cover 26 countries of South Asia, East Asia, South East Asia, Pacific, as well as Russia Far East.
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CITY OF KORONADAL – A male adult tarsier was turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 12 on Thursday, January 23, after it was rescued by a concerned citizen from Barangay Assumption, this town.
Arnel Alvarez, a resident of Brgy. Assumption said that he saw a group of kids on Wednesday in Sitio Elalam holding the species.
He checked, secured and brought the species to Brigada News FM Station in Koronadal City for a proper and prompt action.
Dr. Sabdullah C. Abubacar, CESO IV, Regional Executive Director of the DENR-12 commended the action of Alvarez and the immediate response of DENR-12 personnel on the incident.
“The protection and conservation of wildlife species is one of the main mandates of the DENR,” Dr. Abubacar said.
Forester Mangayao Macapodi, Chief of the DENR-12 Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section (PAMBCS) said that his staff heard the issue in the radio program and
immediately went to the station to secure the tarsier.
Chief Macapodi said that the tarsier is listed in the vulnerable and threatened wildlife species.
In a statement, Alvarez said that in his 13 years of stay in the area, it was his first time to see a tarsier.
Chief Macapodi stressed that the incident is a manifestation that the tarsiers in South Cotabato are not only present in Brgy. Linan of Tupi but also in Brgy. Assumption of Koronadal City.
“We will conduct an Information, Education and Communication activity in the area to inform and strengthen the awareness of the community on the importance of biodiversity,” the official said.
He also advised the public not to capture any wildlife species if they are in good condition.
“Let the wildlife live in their natural habitat. If they are harmed or injured, immediately turn them over to the nearest DENR office to ensure their well-being,” Chief Macapodi said.
Based on the inspection conducted by the agency, the turned over species has an estimated height of 12 centimeters and weighs around 80 to 160 grams.
Since the tarsier appeared to be in a good health condition, the DENR-12 PAMBCS personnel together with Alvarez and brgy. officials immediately released the species back to its natural
habitat in Brgy. Assumption.    # # #