What is DENR? A Comprehensive Overview to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources

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What is DENR

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is a government agency in the Philippines responsible for the management and conservation of the country’s environment and natural resources. 

In the face of mounting environmental crises—deforestation, pollution, and the depletion of natural resources—the demand for a robust defender of our planet has never been more urgent.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)was established in 1987 under the Philippine Constitution, DENR is not just an institution; it’s a dedicated powerhouse committed to tackling environmental challenges and to safeguard and sustainably manage the Philippines’ environment and natural resources.

This comprehensive introduction pulls back the curtain on DENR’s journey, from its roots managing forests to its current role as a dynamic force shaping integrated environmental policies. 

Get ready to dive into the milestones, programs, and impactful initiatives that solidify DENR’s position as a crucial player in the ongoing battle for a balanced and thriving coexistence between humanity and nature.

History and Founding

  • 1837: The origins of DENR can be traced back to the establishment of the Forest Service during Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines, marking the initial efforts in organized forestry management.
  • 1910: The Bureau of Forestry is officially established during the American colonial period, solidifying the commitment to forestry practices and the preservation of natural resources.
  • 1932: The Bureau of Mines and the Bureau of Forestry merge, forming the Bureau of Mines and Natural Resources, a pivotal step towards a more integrated approach to resource management.
  • 1987: With the promulgation of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, the Department of Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (DENR) is created, absorbing and consolidating various agencies to streamline environmental governance.
  • 1987-1992: DENR plays a key role in implementing groundbreaking policies and programs, including the issuance of Integrated Forest Management Agreements (IFMAs) and the establishment of the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS).
  • 1995: The Philippine Mining Act is enacted, providing a legal framework for the mining industry. DENR takes a central role in regulating and overseeing mining activities, aiming for sustainable and responsible practices.
  • 2000: DENR continues its commitment to environmental protection with the enactment of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, addressing air and water pollution issues across the country.
  • 2010: In response to environmental challenges, DENR launches the National Greening Program (NGP), a massive reforestation initiative aimed at rehabilitating degraded areas and promoting sustainable land management practices.
  • 2018: Secretary Roy Cimatu assumes leadership of DENR, emphasizing a balanced approach to environmental conservation, responsible mining, and the strict enforcement of environmental laws.
  • 2019: DENR remains at the forefront of environmental governance, tackling issues such as deforestation, biodiversity loss, and climate change. The department continues to work towards achieving sustainable development and ecological balance in the Philippines.

Mission, Vision and Mandate

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is mandated (E.O. 192, s. 1987) to take charge of the conservation, management, development, and proper use of the Philippines’ environment and natural resources. 

This includes forest and grazing lands, mineral resources, reserved and watershed areas, and public domain lands. DENR is responsible for licensing and regulating all natural resources to ensure fair distribution of benefits for the well-being of current and future generations of Filipinos.

Objectives:

  • Ensure the availability and sustainability of the country’s natural resources through judicious use and systematic restoration or replacement whenever possible.
  • Increase the productivity of natural resources to meet the demands for forest, mineral, and land resources due to a growing population.
  • Enhance the contribution of natural resources to achieve national economic and social development.
  • Promote equitable access to natural resources among different sectors of the population.
  • Conserve specific terrestrial and marine areas that represent the Philippine natural and cultural heritage for present and future generations.

DENR’s envision a nation enjoying and sustaining its natural resources and maintaining a clean and healthy environment.

DENR’s mission is to mobilize the citizenry in protecting, conserving, and managing the environment and natural resources for the present and future generations.

Officers

  • Secretary: Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga
  • Head Executive Assistant: Jose Joaquin Y. Loyzaga
  • Chief of Staff and Supervising Undersecretary for Strategic Communications: Marilou G. Erni
  • Undersecretary for Legal and Administration: Atty. Ernesto D. Adobo Jr.
  • Undersecretary for Finance, Information Systems, and Climate Change: Atty. Analiza Rebuelta-Teh
  • Undersecretary for Policy, Planning, and International Affairs: Atty. Jonas R. Leones
  • Undersecretary for Field Operations – Luzon, Visayas, and Environment: Atty. Juan Miguel T. Cuna
  • Undersecretary for Field Operations – Mindanao: Joselin Marcus E. Fragada
  • Undersecretary for Organizational Transformation and Human Resources: Augusto D. Dela Peña
  • Undersecretary for Special Concerns and Legislative Affairs: Atty. Ignatius Loyola A. Rodriguez
  • Undersecretary for Integrated Environmental Science: Dr. Carlos Primo C. David

Assistant Secretaries

  • Enforcement, Solid Waste Management, and Local Government Units Concerns: Atty. Daniel Darius M. Nicer
  • International Affairs: Marcial C. Amaro Jr.
  • Legal Affairs: Atty. Michelle Angelica D. Go
  • Field Operations – Eastern Mindanao: Ruth M. Tawantawan
  • Human Resources, Strategic Communication, and Sectoral Initiatives: Hiro V. Masuda
  • Policy, Planning, and Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects: Noralene M. Uy

OICs:

  • Field Operations – Luzon and Visayas: Gilbert C. Gonzales
  • Field Operations – Western Mindanao: Arleigh J. Adorable

Career Opportunities

DENR offers a variety of jobs for different professionals, such as lawyers and scientists, in fields like operations and communications. 

These roles give you the opportunity to contribute to a future that is sustainable and successful.

At DENR, you will find a workplace where your passion and purpose align. Your skills will be valued, and your hard work will bring about positive change. 

Explore the career opportunities at DENR, where every role is important in the department’s  commitment to good governance and the sustainable management of our country’s valuable resources. 

Working at DENR is not just a job; it is a chance to protect nature and shape the environment in the Philippines.

Main Office

If you have any inquiries or need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to the DENR Building at Visayas Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila, 1100, Philippines

For direct communication, you can call at (02) 89200689 or reach the hotline at 0917-868-3367

Regional Field Offices

  • National Capital Region (NCR)

Location: 927 Nicanor Reyes St., Quezon City, Metro Manila

  • Region I (Ilocos Region)

Location: San Fernando City, La Union

  • Region II (Cagayan Valley)

Location: Tuguegarao City, Cagayan

  • Region III (Central Luzon)

Location: Government Center, Maimpis, San Fernando, Pampanga

  • Region IV-A (CALABARZON)

Location: DENR IV-A Regional Office Compound, Mayapa, Calamba City, Laguna

  • Region IV-B (MIMAROPA)

Location: DENR MIMAROPA Regional Office Compound, Ermita, Batangas City

  • Region V (Bicol Region)

Location: Rawis, Legazpi City, Albay

  • Region VI (Western Visayas)

Location: Fort San Pedro, Iloilo City

  • Region VII (Central Visayas)

Location: Sudlon, Lahug, Cebu City

  • Region VIII (Eastern Visayas)

Location: Government Center, Palo, Leyte

  • Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula)

Location: DENR IX Regional Office Compound, Zamboanga City

  • Region X (Northern Mindanao)

Location: Macabalan, Cagayan de Oro City

  • Region XI (Davao Region)

Location: Quimpo Blvd., Ecoland, Davao City

  • Region XII (SOCCSKSARGEN)

Location: DENR XII Regional Office Compound, Koronadal City

  • Region XIII (Caraga)

Location: Km. 3, Surigao City

  • Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)

Location: Baguio City

Bureaus & Attached Agencies

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is composed of several bureaus, each with its own specific function. 

Here are some of them:

1. Environmental Management Bureau: This bureau is responsible for the effective protection, development, occupancy management, and conservation of forest lands and watersheds².

2. Mines & Geo-Sciences Bureau: This bureau regulates the utilization and exploitation of forest resources including wildlife, to ensure continued supply of forest goods and services².

3. Forest Management Bureau: This bureau provides support for the effective protection, development, occupancy management, and conservation of forest lands and watersheds².

4. Land Management Bureau: This bureau is responsible for the conservation, management, development, and proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources, specifically forest and grazing lands, mineral resources, including those in reservation and watershed areas, and lands of the public domain¹.

5. Biodiversity Management Bureau: This bureau is responsible for ensuring the sustainability of the country’s natural resources through judicious use and systematic restoration or replacement¹.

6. Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau: This bureau is responsible for enhancing the contribution of natural resources for achieving national economic and social development¹.

Each bureau plays a crucial role in ensuring the sustainable management and conservation of the Philippines’ rich natural resources.

Here are the attached agencies to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) along with their functions:

  • Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA): LLDA is responsible for the sustainable development of Laguna Lake. It implements programs and projects related to water quality management, lake preservation, and environmental protection within the Laguna Lake Basin.
  • National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA): NAMRIA is the central mapping agency of the government. It provides accurate and up-to-date mapping and resource information essential for effective decision-making, sustainable development, and environmental management.
  • National Water Resources Board (NWRB): NWRB is tasked with the integrated and optimal development, management, and allocation of the country’s water resources. It ensures sustainable water use and equitable distribution.
  • Natural Resources Development Corporation (NRDC): NRDC is involved in the development and management of natural resources. It engages in projects and activities that contribute to the sustainable utilization of resources for economic development.
  • Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD): PCSD is responsible for promoting and ensuring sustainable development in Palawan. It formulates policies and implements programs for the conservation of biodiversity, natural resources, and cultural heritage.
  • Philippine Mining Development Corporation (PMDC): PMDC is involved in the responsible development of the mining industry in the Philippines. It undertakes mining projects that adhere to environmental standards and contribute to the country’s economic growth.

These attached agencies work collaboratively with DENR to achieve the department’s overall goals of environmental protection, sustainable development, and natural resource management.

Conclusion

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) stands as a formidable force committed to the conservation and sustainable management of the Philippines’ environment and natural resources. 

From its historical roots in organized forestry management to its current dynamic role, DENR has been at the forefront of environmental governance, addressing issues such as deforestation, pollution, and climate change.

For aspiring applicants looking to be a part of this crucial mission, here are some valuable tips:

  • Understand the Mission: Familiarize yourself with DENR’s mission, vision, and mandate. Align your passion for environmental conservation with the department’s commitment to protecting nature and ensuring a clean and healthy environment.
  • Explore Career Opportunities: DENR offers diverse job opportunities for professionals in fields like law, science, operations, and communications. Explore these roles to contribute to a sustainable and successful future.
  • Contribute to Positive Change: Working at DENR is not just a job; it’s an opportunity to contribute to positive change. Your skills will be valued, and your efforts will play a crucial role in the sustainable management of the country’s valuable resources.
  • Stay Informed: Keep yourself informed about DENR’s programs, milestones, and initiatives. Stay abreast of environmental issues and be prepared to contribute to innovative solutions.
  • Be Passionate: Bring your passion for environmental protection to the forefront. DENR is looking for individuals who are dedicated to the cause of safeguarding nature and shaping the environment in the Philippines.

Your involvement can make a significant impact on the ongoing battle for a balanced and thriving coexistence between humanity and nature.

References