Press Releases


Enforcement Summit

IN THE PHOTO: (L-R, bottom) SBPS-PASu Joy C. Ologuin, Kiamba CENRO Ali M. Hadjinasser, PhD, Protect Wildlife Chief of Party Rebecca Paz, DENR Assistant Secretary Metodio U. Turbella, DENR-12 RED Dr. Sabdullah C. Abubacar, CESO IV, (L-R, top) OCD-12’s Rommel C. Sinarimbo, SBPS Assistant PASu Elmer C. Oliveros and CDD Chief Rosalinda B. Cortez, PhD during the turn over of SBPS Management Plan and Enforcement Protocol to DENR.

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 12 together with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Protect Wildlife Project and partner stakeholders has stepped up efforts to protect the Sarangani Bay through the conduct of the two-day first enforcement summit on Tuesday, March 3, this city.

The event, which was hosted by Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape (SBPS) Protected Area Management Office (PAMO) and USAID Protect Wildlife Project, intended to strengthen the efforts in reducing environmental threats in the bay by launching the Law Enforcement Group (LEG), Management Plan and Enforcement Protocols of the SBPS.

DENR Assistant Secretary for Western Mindanao Metodio U. Turbella, who represented DENR Undersecretary for Field Operations, Enforcement and Muslim Affairs Jim O. Sampulna, CESO III, emphasized that sustainable development and biological conservation must go hand in hand in order to maintain the ecosystem and the goods and services being provided by the SBPS for the present and future generations.

“We only have one SBPS, and ultimately by protecting and conserving this area, we shall reap the bounty of its benefits and richness for years to come,” Asec. Turbella said.

Dr. Sabdullah C. Abubacar, CESO IV, regional executive director (RED) of DENR-12, said that everyone must work together to save and protect the Sarangani Bay.

“The area is very vital for the economy and ecotourism in this region. We should be proud because we have the Sarangani Bay,” RED Abubacar said.

“We have very good environmental laws that we need to implement in this region. But all of these will remain in papers, unless we can create a strong law enforcement group that will protect the environment, especially the Sarangani Bay,” RED Abubacar stressed.

Joy C. Ologuin, SBPS Protect Area Superintendent (PASu), underscored that the management plan and enforcement protocols, which were turned over to DENR-12, will serve as guides in complementing and harmonizing existing activities and efforts to protect the bay and effectively enforce laws on biodiversity conservation.

“We can now envision a healthy Sarangani Bay with well-conserved biodiversity and healthy environment since an institutionalized group can now execute the SBPS protocols and policies,” PASu Ologuin said.

PASu Ologuin also said that the USAID Protect Wildlife contributed a lot to the said milestones by supporting the creation of the LEG, institutionalizing bay-wide enforcement protocol, and training Sarangani Bay community law enforcers in 2019.

Rebecca Paz, USAID Protect Wildlife chief of party, shared that their team’s experience in the region has been rewarding.

“We saw how serious and committed our partners are in Region 12 which challenged the whole team of Protect Wildlife to provide the necessary support and technical assistance that the area needed,” she said.

In the same event, RED Abubacar, the concurrent SBPS Protected Area Management Board chairperson, spearheaded the oath taking of the SBPS-LEG members from DENR-12, partner local government units (LGUs), line agencies, men in uniform and stakeholders.

Asec. Turbella said that the creation of SBPS-LEG is a great stride in ensuring the sustainability of the bay.

“It is necessary that there must be a group, a body within the area that will regulate and monitor all the activities,” Asec. Turbella said.

The said law enforcers pledged to uphold and enforce the protection and conservation of SBPS and promote the participation and involvement of all protected area stakeholders to ensure the perpetuity of the bay for the benefit of the present and future generation.

“You are the answer to our prayers who will help us in protecting the bay,” RED Abubacar said to the SBPS-LEG members.

RED Abubacar also ensured that motorized boats and other necessary equipment will be provided to each town within the SBPS to aid them in their enforcement activities.

He added that additional personnel from each concerned LGU will also be capacitated in scuba diving to monitor the actual status of life below the bay.

On March 5, 1996, the Sarangani Bay was reserved and established as a Protected Seascape through the Presidential Proclamation No. 756.

Republic Act No. 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Area System Act of 2018 officially established the SBPS as one of the 107 legislated protected areas in the Philippines. 

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ISULAN, SULTAN KUDARAT – The Department of Environment and    Natural Resources (DENR) Region 12 has distributed 397 land titles

to  beneficiaries here on Friday morning,September

27, 2019.  The land  titles were distributed through the DENR’s "Handog Titulo" program,

in   partnership with the Provincial Government of Sultan Kudarat (SK) 

and the Land Registration Authority (LRA).

SK Governor Suharto  “Teng” T. Mangudadatu, Ph.D., together with DENR 12 Assistant    Regional Director (ARD) for Technical Services Ma. Socorro C. Lanto, SK Provincial ENR
Officer Renato C. Domingo, Tacurong City   Community ENR Officer Saga A. Akmad, SK Provincial Assessor  Glecerio L. Comprendio and Mary Grace L. Franco of LRA handed   
over the  agricultural and special patents to the beneficiaries from the    several barangays and schools in the province. Gov. Mangudadatu  said that the government is doing everything to
ensure the welfare of    the public. He said that the “Handog Titulo” program is one of the    examples that the government assures the public’s rights and well-   being. ARD Lanto said that the
program is one of the 10-point socio-   economic agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte to ensure the security    of land tenure and to encourage investments and address bottlenecks    in the
land management and titling agencies.
“The very essence of    this program is to uplift the socio-economic status of the    beneficiaries,”  ARD Lanto said. “Based on DENR’s mandate, we are    in charge in the management and
disposal of public lands,” she said.  With the aim to fast track the processing and issuance of public land    patents to qualified beneficiaries, DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu    issued on August
1, 2019 the DENR Memorandum Circular No. 2019-   04 to conduct a nationwide Handog Titulo program every September    in celebration of the Lands Anniversary. 
“We will be having a Handog  Titulo program in the region every September annually,” ARD Lanto  said. Recently, the DENR together with the local government unit of  Matalam in North
Cotabato and Registry of Deeds awarded a total of 300 land titles to qualified beneficiaries in the said town.  Gov. Mangudadatu reminded the title recipients to take care of their land   
properties since these are already under their names. 
“Your children    and future generations will inherit these lands, so you should take care   of those titles,” the governor said.Aside from its objective to speed up    the procedure and distribution
of public land patents, the Handog  Titulo program is also an initiative to enhance the allocation of land    titles to alleviate poverty and promote growth and advancement. ###
Koronadal City In a bid to protect the remaining population of the large flying fox (Pteropus vampyrus) from hunting, loss of habitat and other threats, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is taking some steps for the declaration of an estimated 25-hectare site in Barangay Mabuhay, General Santos City as a critical habitat for this largest bat in the world.
A DENR composite team conducted a rapid habitat assessment of large flying fox roosting on trees in Nopol Hills located in Barangay Mabuhay. The team was assisted by the representatives of Mabuhay Barangay LGU and the tenure holder of the Forest Land Grazing Management Agreement (FLGMA) No. 20-2007 where Nopol Hills is situated.
This is pursuant to Republic Act No. 9147 or the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act of 2001 and Joint DENR-DA-PCSD Administrative Order No. 01, its implementing rules and regulations. The team estimated the bat population at 7,000.
“Critical habitats refer to areas outside protected areas under Republic Act No. 7586 that are known habitats of threatened species and designated as such based on scientific data …” as defined under DENR Memorandum Circular No. 2007 – 02, dated February 28, 2007.
Forester Shalimar A. Disomangcop, the outgoing Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer of the DENR for South Cotabato, bared that the large flying fox feeds on fruits, nectar and flowers, hence these mammals are also called “large fruit bat”, Disomangcop said. “They play a biological role in the ecosystem by dispersing seeds and by serving as pollinators of forest trees. Large fruit bats are vital when it comes to pollinating food crops locally, like durian, ” PENRO Disomangcop added.
The Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), a DENR sub-office in General Santos City earlier reported that Nopol Hills is the roosting site of the bats owing to the presence of a forest in the locality.
Results of the rapid site assessment show that there are man-made pressures or threats occurring in the area such as cutting of trees and hunting that might affect the survival of the large flying foxes. These observations were reported to the Barangay LGU for appropriate action. The presence of other natural resources that have economic and social impacts in the area were also observed by the team. The remaining activities that have to be undertaken are the conduct of perimeter survey, community consultation and write shop on the draft order declaring the designated area as critical habitat by the DENR Secretary.
Large Flying Fox is classified under Other Threatened Species under the List of Threatened Species as provided for under DENR Administrative Order No. 2004-15 and Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species or CITES (List of Threatened Species) as of 2017. (PKAFarrol/MCLocsin/DENR South Cotabato) ###

MATALAM, COTABATO - Three hundred beneficiaries from Matalam, Cotabato Province on Friday, September 13, were awarded ownership over the agricultural lands they occupied for years through the "Handog Titulo" program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 12 in partnership with the local government unit (LGU) of Matalam and Registry of Deeds (ROD).

No less than DENR 12 Regional Executive Director Dr. Sabdullah C. Abubacar, CESO IV together with Matalam Mayor Oscar M. Valdevieso, Atty. Ma. Theresa Biongan Pescadera of the ROD, Matalam Community ENR Officer Larry P. Curias, Licenses, Patents and Deeds Division (LPDD) Chief Emily B. Ampatuan and PENRO Cotabato Technical Services Division Chief Dr. Cesar Guevarra handed over the titles to the beneficiaries from the barangays of Sarayan, Tamped, Pinamaton and Taguranao.

Dr. Abubacar said that the program is one of the 10-Point Socio-Economic Agenda of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to ensure security of land tenure to encourage investments and address bottlenecks in the land management and titling agencies.

The program started in 1990 and enhanced by DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu when he issued the DENR Memorandum Circular No. 2019-04 on August 1, 2019 to conduct a nationwide Handog Titulo program every September in celebration of the Lands Anniversary.

"It is expected that there will be a distribution of land titles here in Region 12 every September," Dr. Abubacar said.

In a statement, Dr. Abubacar emphasized that lands should have titles in order to have a security of ownership.

"Titles will serve also as a basis in creating future investments in your lands since you are the legitimate owner," Dr. Abubacar said to the beneficiaries.

He also encouraged those who don't have the land titles to visit the nearest DENR offices like the CENRO for assistance.

According to LPDD Chief Ampatuan, the agency released the DENR Administrative Order 2011-06 entitled "Prescribing the Guidelines for the Implementation of Public Land Titling in Partnership with Local Government Units" which was supported by the Department of Interior and Local Government by releasing the DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2011-111 to speed up the processing of public land titling.

“This is one way to bring the public service closer to the people,” Chief Ampatuan said.

On his part, Mayor Valdevieso expressed his gratitude to the DENR 12 headed by Dr. Abubacar for all the support they have given to his municipality.

Meanwhile, Atty. Pescadera shared their desire to immediately distribute the land titles to the beneficiaries.

"We don't want the titles to remain in our vaults. We want you to hold those titles," said Atty. Pescadera in her message.

She also reminded the recipients not to forget their obligations by paying taxes in the LGU.

The government's Handog Titulo program aims to further the processing and issuance of public land patents to qualified beneficiaries.

It is also an initiative to enhance the allocation of land titles to alleviate poverty and promote growth and advancement. ###


 CITY OF KORONADAL - Fourteen barangay local government units (BLGUs) in Region 12 will receive a financial assistance from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) for the establishment of Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in their respective areas.

This was disclosed during the signing of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the DENR, EMB and BLGUs together with their respective Municipal/City ENR Officers on September 12 in Koronadal City.

Donna Mayor-Gordove, CESO IV, DENR 12 Assistant Regional Director for Management Services said that the solid waste management (SWM) is one of the priority programs of the DENR under the leadership of Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

"The implementation of SWM is not easy. The DENR and EMB are here to provide technical assistance to LGUs and barangays who are the primary responsible in sanitation and solid waste matters," ARD Gordove said.

According to Engr. Ronnie L. Salmon, EMB 12 Chief of Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement Division, the project is part of the ongoing technical and financial assistance being extended by the DENR through the EMB 12 in support to Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

The MRF is required to every barangay or cluster of barangays to recover recyclable materials and process biodegradable wastes as required by the RA 9003.

The recipients of the financial assistance were Sangay and Sta. Clara in Kalamansig, Matiompong in Lambayong, San Pablo in Tacurong CIty, Cabaruyan and Poblacion of Libungan, Bagontapay and Bialong in Mlang, Mahongkog in Magpet, New Cebu in President Roxas, Lamdalag of Lake Sebu, Kabican in Maasim, Gumasa of Glan and Maguling in Maitum. ###