Press Releases

Mahayag, Zamboanga del Sur. . . . Personnel from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region IX through its Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Ramon Magsaysay in said province rescues and retrieves on July 9 a Philippine Serpent Eagle (Spilornis holospilus) locally known as Banog at Barangay Kaangayan, Mahayag.

Based on the investigation made by the DENR team, a certain Mr. John Magbanua caught the said bird in their rice field near their house last July 9, 2020. He took custody of it as he requested his neighbor to inform DENR through text about the captive wildlife.

An initial examination made by the team when they saw the Serpent Eagle revealed that the bird was not in good shape. Its inner right wing was bent and had a trace of old injury. It was also wounded on its left tarsus and the right eye was observed to be partially blind.

Since Mr. Magbanua was not around during the retrieval, his mother, Mrs. Susana Magbanua, voluntarily handed over the bird.

The team informed Mrs. Magbanua and nearby residents about the existence of a law known as Republic Act 9147 also known as the "Wildlife Resource Conservation and Protection Act" emphasizing that keeping a wildlife without a permit is illegal and it was only right for them to immediately report it to the DENR.

The Serpent Eagle was then brought to Pagadian City Veterinary Clinic for final examination and treatment by a veterinarian.

The said Philippine Serpent Eagle is now temporarily kept at the Wildlife Rescue Center of PENRO Zamboanga del Sur in Barangay Lacupayan, Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur for its recuperation and proper care.

Philippine Serpent Eagles are relatively small raptors and are colored brown from above and have a short bushy crest, black crown and throat. As their name would suggest, they eat snakes and lizards.

They are endemic in our country and are mostly found in Luzon and Mindanao. They are common within their range but threatened by habitat loss despite the fact they are capable of adapting to changing environments than some eagle species. They are currently listed as Least Concerned by Bird Life International.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region IX supports women-led organizations under its gender and development program who share the same passion for conservation and planting trees.

This as people organizations from Salaan Buffer Zone Association Inc. and Tolosa Buffer Zone Association Inc. all from Zamboanga City and both National Green Program (NGP) beneficiaries led by women leaders, last Thursday June 9 recieved thousands of forest trees and vegetable seedlings from DENR IX under its Alay Gulay and Binhi ng Buhay project.

Regional Executive Director Crisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez who visited the area said that her office chose to provide free vegetables and forest trees seedlings to these POs led by women who, despite challenges in the implementation of the program, maintained a good track record in terms of accomplishing their work.

"Women’s role in conservation in the Philippines has been proven to be effective. Studies show that women are more productive with the right motivation and training. It can empower women, increase opportunities for employment, increase women’s ability to plan for their families and result in more progressive outcomes for conservation. And with partnerships strengthened, we will see more positive environmental outcomes," she said.

Moreover, Director Rodriguez said "the vegetable seedlings can help in ensuring that food is always available in the home especially during this times of the COVID 19 pandemic. By eating locally-grown vegetables, it not only mitigates hunger but also provide the necessary nutritional needs for a healthy living and reduces an individual's carbon footprint".

RED Rodriguez added that the planting of forest trees can help mitigate the effects of climate change in terms of cleansing the air of carbon, prevent soil erosion and enhance biodiversity in the area.

The two POs each recieved 5,400 assorted vegetable seedlings (tomatoes, pechay, talong, kangkong and watermelon), 1,470 Mahogany and 1,500 Mangium seedlings.

Tolosa Buffer Zone Association, Inc. President Lorna Guerero expressed her heartful thanks for recieving the seedlings and that she will be distributing them to her members so that they can start planting in their backyard.

Mrs. Nenita Delos Reyes Ebol who is the President of Salaan Buffer Zone Association also expressed her gratitude saying that the seedlings will be a big help to them especially during this COVID 19 pandemic as this would be an additional source of food once they establish their backyard garden.

Present during the distribution of the seedlings were Zamboanga City CENR Officer Ariel Barrientos, Protect Wildlife Community Mobilization Specialist Rodolfo Saavedra, POs members, CENRO ZC staff and NGP Extension Officers.

The COVID 19 pandemic has affected the lives of our countrymen and government agencies are exerting efforts to mitigate its impact particularly on the environment and food security.

This is one of the efforts of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region IX as they initiate the distribution of several thousands of forest trees and vegetable seedlings in partnership with the Department of Agriculture Region IX recently to upland farmers, barangay residents, government employees and local government units.

A total of 7,200 vegetables seedlings were provided to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) IX yesterday June 25 by DENR IX at their office in Lenienza, Pagadian City.

DENR IX Regional Executive Director Crisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez turned over the vegetable seedlings to BJMP IX Regional Director Jail Senior Superintendent Johnson M. Calub in a simple ceremony dubbed as Alay Gulay at their office.

The event was witnessed by Dr. Darwin Lloyd Sulay of the Department of Agriculture IX who is the official representative of Regional Executive Director Rad Donn Cedeño.

Director Rodriguez said that this project dubbed as Alay Gulay aims to encourage backyard gardening in order to augment the food supply in the region during this COVID19 pandemic.

"By planting in their backyard, we can always assure that Food is Available In The Home (FAITH)", she added.

"Backyard gardening and consuming local vegetables can have a huge effect not only for one's health but also to the environment in terms of lessening an individual's carbon footprint", the lady director said.

Director Rodriguez explained further that planting indigenous trees can help mitigate the impacts of climate change by absorbing carbon in the atmosphere and in return providing us with oxygen. It can also enrich biodiversity in terms of increasing native flora species in their community.

Director Calub expressed his thanks and lauded the efforts of DENR and DA for this project as it is already a big help against hunger during this time of the COVID 19 pandemic.

It can be recalled that DENR IX's Modernized and Mechanical Forest Nursery in Baclay, Tukuran passed the inspection and assessment of its suitability and readiness conducted by DA IX and has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the said agency on the use of the nurseries as area of propagation for high-valued agricultural crops which will be subsequently distributed to partners and identified beneficiaries in the region.

Earlier, DENR IX and DA IX jointly distributed 7,000 vegetable seedlings in Tigbao, ZDS; 16,000 indigenous forest trees and 8,400 vegetable seedlings to National Greening Program (NGP) benficiaries of Tinuyop, Leon Postigo, ZDN; and 3,000 vegetable seedlings to DENR IX personnel.

Meanwhile, the Municipality of Kumalarang, Zamboanga del Sur headed by Mayor Ruel G. Molina recieved on June 24 from DENR IX Regional Executive Director Crisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez 7,350 indigenous forest trees seedlings (Bakan and Lumbayao) and 7,200 vegetable seedlings (Upo, Pechay, Water Melon, Kangkong and Talong).

Mayor Molina said that he will be distributing the forest trees and vegetable seedlings to his constituents in the different barangays within his municipality for planting.

Photos courtesy of RPAO IX

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources IX distributed more than 7,000 assorted vegetable seedlings to 50 beneficiaries in Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur today, June 15, 2020.

The turnover ceremony, which was conducted in Barangay Maragang Freedom Stage, is part of ‘Alay Gulay’ a joint effort of the DENR IX and the Department of Agriculture IX that aims to augment food supply in the region due to the restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vegetable seedlings distributed were eggplant, pechay, tomatoes, kangkong, string beans, upo and squash.

“We hope that [the beneficiaries] will be able to grow and nurture the vegetable seedlings and produce their own food in their backyard,” said DENR 9 Regional Executive Director Crisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez.

The 50 family beneficiaries are also beneficiaries of one of DENR’s priority program, the Expanded National Greening Program (ENGP).

RED Rodriguez added that although the initial plan was to distribute ready-to-eat produce, it was decided that seedlings be distributed instead to encourage communities to plant, do backyard gardening and produce organic nutritious food.

It can be recalled that DENR IX's Modernized and Mechanical Forest Nursery in Baclay, Tukuran passed the inspection and assessment of its suitability and readiness conducted by DA IX and has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the said agency on the use of the nurseries as area of propagation for high-valued agricultural crops which will be subsequently distributed to partners and identified beneficiaries in the region.

Tigbao Mayor Eleazar C. Carcallas lauded the efforts of the DENR IX and DA IX and is hopeful for the success of backyard gardening in his municipality.

Also present during the distribution were representatives of DA IX, LGU Tigbao, PENRO Zamboanga del Sur and CENRO Guipos.

The DENR 9 nursery in Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur is now a production area for agricultural products during the Enhanced Community Quarantine after it passed the inspection and assessment of its suitability and readiness by the Department of Agriculture 9 headed by its Regional Executive Director, Rad Donn Cedeño last April 17.

DENR 9 RED Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez has offered the facility in order to augment food supply in the region due to the ECQ in response to the CoVID-19 health crisis.

The nursery’s seed production area will also be allocated for agricultural crops as an initial of 50K worth of assorted vegetable seedlings will be raised for distribution to identified beneficiaries and LGUs in the region.

According to RED Rodriguez, seedlings and not ready-to-cook veggies will be distributed to encourage households to grow food in their own backyard. For those who don’t have large areas for planting, container gardening is recommended.

DA 9 is set to conduct an orientation on Monday, April 20, to DENR 9 field personnel in the MMFN and clonal nursery and to lend some equipment for use in the production of high value agri crops.