To address the numerous environmental issues on each local government unit, the nation’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR) addressed the need for the mandatory creation of Environmental and Natural Resources Office (ENRO) among LGUs during his speech on the third day of the 9th PLLENRO National Convention held at The Ritz Hotel on April 13, 2018.
“I think we will be having a better Philippines if we have a mandatory environmental office for each local government unit,” DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu emphasized on his speech.
With the given number of LGUs that lack the presence of any government body that focuses on the various environmental issues in the locality, Sec. Cimatu stated his concerns in lieu of the aforementioned proposal.
“And almost always, politicians are asking why there are still environmental problems in our municipalities. It is because we don’t have environmental officers in these towns the reason why I will really emphasize this, I will tell them that if they want to have a better environment, amend the law and make this mandatory,” he said.
He also raised the concern in line with the declining number of government staff who are qualified to take the position within the proposed government office on environmental factors.
“Although we are all over the country, we do lack manpower in our provincial offices. Half of our CENRO employees are working on the processing of land titles while the other half are working in the field being foresters and forest rangers. Good thing environmental officers from
LGUs are there to help us. They are our ally when it comes to implementing
environmental laws specifically on clean air, clean water and solid
waste management,” he said.
It is worth mentioning also that upon his assignment as DENR Secretary, he vowed to reinforce the authority of existing ENROs and also revealed that he had hired numerous lawyers and supporting staff who possess the adequate knowledge and experience when it comes to the prevalence of current environmental laws and issues.
On the other hand, the PLLENRO President, Mr. Oliver C. Gonzales, acknowledged the said proposal of the DENR Secretary, stating that this move is considered a milestone to further protect and conserve the environment and natural resources locally.
“The local government units of each locality are the front runners and partners of the DENR in the local level in the implementation of existing environmental policies, laws and procedures, especially those mandated and devolved function under R.A. 7160 or otherwise known as the Local Government Code, to its constituents. Hence, it is necessary among LGUs the much-needed mandatory creation of the ENRO,” Pres. Oliver stated.
The 9th PLLENRO National Convention is a major installment of the Philippine League of Local Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PLLENRO) Inc., and is attended by more than 500 delegates from various local government units across the country, and by partner agencies and companies.