When you look at the local or even international news, there’s no doubt that environmental concerns are on the rise. As a result, many people are interested in learning more about what they can do to help protect their environment. One way you can do this is by knowing what the Philippines government’s lead agency for these matters – the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – has to say about it. So, what is the DENR?
If you’re not sure what the department does or how it works, don’t worry! We’ll cover everything you need to know about the DENR and why it’s important for all Filipinos.
What is the Meaning and Purpose of DENR?
The Philippines’ Department of Natural Resources or the Environment and Natural Resources or DENR is responsible for formulating and enforcing regulations and policies aimed at protecting and managing the country’s natural resources. It also oversees the activities of various agencies in the exploration, extraction, and disposition of natural resources.
In this regard, the DENR is the agency tasked with protecting and restoring the country’s environment. It does this by enforcing environmental laws, policies, and regulations; monitoring and regulating the use of natural resources; conducting research on issues affecting the environment; formulating strategies for improving environmental management systems in both government and private sectors; providing technical assistance to local governments, communities, businesses, and other stakeholders in promoting greener practices.
The site selection and analysis process are the first step in the design process of any project. It involves determining the building’s overall shape and form and its impact on the environment and the community.
The impact of a project on the environment is also considered by the various agencies responsible for overseeing the implementation of the country’s environmental policies.
What is the mission of DENR?
The DENR is the country’s central agency that oversees the management of its natural resources and environment.
It is responsible for managing the various activities related to the country’s natural resources, such as the exploration, extraction, and utilization of natural resources. The agency follows the guidelines set by Executive Order 192, which aims to make the process more streamlined.
Aside from its various responsibilities, the agency also has relationships with the following organizations:
- Environmental Management Bureau – This agency is responsible for handling the monitoring and enforcement of environmental laws and regulations in the country. It also sets policies that aim to protect and conserve natural resources through its Integrated Natural Resources Management program (INRMP). The agency also works with other governments and local governments on projects promoting the sustainable use of natural resources.
- Laguna Lake Development Authority – This agency oversees the development and management of Laguna de Bay, the country’s largest lake. It also works with other government agencies in projects to improve water quality, protect mangroves, and promote tourism around the lake.
- Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau – The bureau is the government agency that oversees all mining activities in the country. It also conducts research on mineral resources, including boron, copper, gold, nickel, and silver. This agency monitors volcanic activity in the country. It also provides information to local governments and other agencies concerned with disaster preparedness.
- National Mapping and Resources Information Authority – The agency is the government agency responsible for providing information on the country’s topography, land use and natural resources. It also provides maps for public use. It works with other government agencies in managing forest reserves, watersheds, and marine protected areas.
- National Water Resources Board – The agency is responsible for managing the nation’s water resources. It provides information on water quality and quantity. It also monitors flood control systems, dams, and other water-related infrastructure projects.
- Natural Resources Development Corp. – The agency is a government-owned corporation that manages the country’s natural resources. It provides information on the country’s forests, fisheries, and mineral deposits. It also coordinates with other government agencies in developing these resources for public use.
- Palawan Council for Sustainable Development -The agency is responsible for promoting the conservation, development and management of Palawan’s natural resources. It also provides information on the management of public forests, wildlife sanctuaries and marine parks in the province.
- Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission – The agency is a government-owned corporation that manages the Pasig River. It coordinates with local government units, non-government organizations and other agencies in developing projects that would promote the conservation and restoration of the river.
- Philippine Forest Corporation – The agency is responsible for managing the country’s state-owned forest lands. It also promotes sustainable forest management and provides information on the different types of forests in the country.
- Philippine Mining Development Corporation – The agency is a government-owned corporation that promotes sustainable and environmentally responsible mining in the Philippines. It also provides information on different types of minerals found in the country.
- Philippine Reclamation Authority – The agency is responsible for the development, management, and maintenance of government-owned land in the country. It also provides information on the different types of reclamation projects being promoted by the government.
The Philippines’ Department of Environment Natural Resources was established on January 1, 1917, following the enactment of Act 2666, which was also known as An Act to Reorganization the Executive Department of the Philippines. In 1932, it was merged with the Department of Agriculture and Commerce (DAC).
In 1947, the DAC was re-organized into the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. In 1974, the division of natural resources within the agency was transferred to the new Ministry of Natural Resources. On January 30, 1987, the agency was renamed the Department of Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources.
The division of natural resources within the Agriculture Department was transferred to the new Department of Natural Resources on June 10, 1987. The agency was re-organized following the implementation of Executive Order 192, which provided for the division’s reorganization. During the six-year implementation of the national greening program, the agency carried out large-scale reforestation projects in the city of Davao.
Functions and Responsibilities of DENR
The DENR is the primary agency that is responsible for the conservation, development, and proper utilization of the country’s natural resources. It also manages various natural resources such as grazing lands, mineral resources, and public domain lands. In order to ensure that the benefits derived from the country’s natural resources are distributed equally to the people, it has the power to impose regulations and licensing requirements on all natural resources.
To accomplish this mandate, the Department shall be guided by the following objectives:
- Assure 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 in order to meet the demands for forest, mineral, and land resources if a growing population;
- Enhance the contribution of natural resources for achieving national economic and social development;
- Promote equitable access to natural resources by the different sectors of the population; and
- Conserve specific terrestrial and marine areas representative of the Philippine natural and cultural heritage for present and future generations.
Laws Enacted by the DENR
- MANUAL OF AUTHORITIES ON FINANCIAL MATTERS
- DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY TO APPROVE LAND SURVEYS TO THE CHIEF OF SURVEYS AND MAPPING DIVISION
- MANUAL OF AUTHORITIES ON HUMAN RESOURCE MATTERS
- REVISED DENR MANUAL OF AUTHORITIES ON TECHNICAL MATTERS
- AMENDING SECTION 9.6 OF DAO NO. 2018-14 OR THE GUIDELINES ON THE ISSUANCE OF AREA CLEARANCE FOR RECLAMATION PROJECTS AND PROCLAMATION/ SPECIAL PATENTS OVER RECLAIMED LANDS
- MORATORIUM IN THE ACCEPTANCE OF NEW APPLICATIONS FOR SPECIAL EXPLORATION PERMIT/GOVERNMENT SEABED QUARRY PERMIT
- AMENDING DENR ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 2014-03 SERIES OF 2014 (MANUAL OF AUTHORITIES ON HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT AND ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS) AND DENR ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 2016-07 SERIES OF 2016 (DENR MANUAL OF AUTHORITIES ON TECHNICAL MATTERS)
- REVISED IMPLEMENTATING RULES AND REGULATIONS OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7076, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “PEOPLE’S SMALL-SCALE MINING ACT OF 1991”
- GUIDELINES FOR PUBLIC PARTICIPATION UNDER THE PHILIPPINE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT SYSTEM (PEISS) FOR PROPOSED RIVER RESTORATION PROJECT THROUGH DREDGING ACTIVITIES PURSUANT TO SECTION 5.4 OF DENR DPWH-DILG-DOTR JOINT MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR 2019-01
- GUIDELINES IN GRANTING GOVERNMENT AGENCIES GRATUITOUS PERMITS FOR THE SPECIAL USES OF FOREST LANDS
- REQUEST FOR DENR-REGIONAL STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION AND INITIATIVES GROUP (RSCIG) AND EMB-ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND INFORMATION UNIT (EEIU) FOCAL AND ALTERNAL FORCAL PERSONS TO PARTICIPATE IN ALL TAK-INITIATED PROGRAMS – MEMO-2021-175
- AMENDING EXECUTIVE ORDER NOS. 385 (S.1989) AND 431 (S.1990) AND SEGREGATING PORITIONS OF THE BATANGAS PORT ZONE UNDER THE ADMINISTRATIVE JURISDICTION OF THE PHILIPPINE PORTS AUTHORITY FOR ENERGY PROJECTS DESIGNATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY – EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 170
- Institutionalizing and Implementing Reforms in the Philippine Mining Sector Providing Policies and Guidelines to Ensure Environmental Protection and Responsible Mining in the Utilization of Mineral Resources – EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 79
- Mandating the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Mandating the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Energy to Organize and Carry Out the Scheduled Activities in Connection with the Philippine Hosting of the Asia-Europe Meeting Conference on the Harmonization of Biofuels Standards and Application to Vehicle Technologies – MALACANANG ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 19
- Directing the Use of the Procurement Service and the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System in the Procurement Activities in Accordance with Republic Act No. 9184 and Improving the Operation of the Procurement Service – MALACANANG ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 17
- Directing Government Entities to Coordinate with the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority in the Acquisition of Data from Airborne and Spaceborne Platforms for Use in their Respective Projects – MALACANANG ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 16
- Pursuing our Social Contract with the Filipino People through the Reorganization of the Cabinet Clusters – EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 43
- Implementation of the Third Tranche of the Modified Salary Schedule for Civilian Personnel and Base Pay Schedule for Military and Uniformed Personnel in the Government – EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 40
- Celebrating Earth Day on April 25, 2011 – MALACANANG ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 12
- Executive Order No. 36 Dated April 18, 2011 Entitled \”Conveying, Assigning and Transferring the Ownership unto the Technological University of the Philippines (TUP) a Portion of Land of the Private Domain Identified as Lot 9100-B, MCADM 590-D, Taguig Cad – EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 36
List of Programs and Services of DENR
The DENR provides a list of programs and services that the agency implemented. The list includes information on the following:
- The National Greening Program aims to plant one million trees in different areas of the country to help reduce poverty.
- Tree Planting Projects being promoted by DENR for both government and private sectors. These projects aim to protect watersheds, prevent soil erosion, rehabilitate degraded forests, and address other environmental issues.
- Dolomite and the Beach Nourishment Project for the Rehabilitation of Manila Bay – This project is part of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) coastal defense program. It involves the engineering and construction of various projects, such as beach nourishment and rehabilitation.
- Intensified Environmental Protection: Clean Air – The Clean Air Act of the Philippines is a comprehensive law that aims to improve the country’s air quality. It involves identifying and implementing strategies and programs that will help meet the country’s air quality standards. The Clean Air Program is composed of three sub-systems that are focused on monitoring and regulating the different sources of air pollution. These include the motor vehicle emission management program, the industrial emission management program, and the roadside ambient air monitoring.
- Intensified Environmental Protection: Clean Water – The goal of the program is to implement the provisions of the Clean Water Act of the Philippines (RA 9275). It aims to improve the water quality in the country by developing and implementing policies and programs that are geared toward preventing pollution and improving the efficiency of the water supply system. Through the use of incentives and public disclosure, the Bureau of Environmental Management can ensure that the implementation of the program is carried out. The program aims to improve the water quality of various critical water bodies, such as bays and lakes, through the continuous cleaning and monitoring of industrial activities and the rehabilitation of these areas. It also involves the establishment of partnership agreements to improve the water quality of these bodies. One of the most important factors that contributes to the management of water quality is the classification of water. The classification of water bodies helps planners and water managers develop effective management programs that protect the human and aquatic life in these bodies. Priority will also be given to the establishment of water quality management areas.
- Intensified Environmental Protection: Solid Waste Management – Through the passage of Republic Act 9003, the Philippines has taken the necessary steps to improve its solid waste management. This act aims to establish a comprehensive and systematic program to protect the environment and public health. The act provides for the establishment of a solid waste management commission and the support of the Bureau of Public Works and Construction in the implementation of solid waste management plans. It also requires the agency to develop policies and procedures aimed at improving the management of ecological waste.
- Enhanced National Greening Program – The NGP is a convergence initiative of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA-DAR) and the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). It is the lead agency for the national greening program.
- Intensified Forest Protection and Anti-illegal Logging – The DENR is intensifying its forest protection and anti-illegal logging efforts by establishing a national task force that aims to prevent illegal logging in all provinces, cities, and municipalities. – The agency also implements various programs for forest management, reforestation, mangrove rehabilitation, coastal protection, agricultural development, and other environmental issues.
- Geo-hazard, Groundwater Assessment and Responsible Mining – The goal of the National Geohazard Assessment program is to identify areas where geological hazards are most likely to occur. This program is focused on identifying areas where landslides, floods, ground subsidence, and other types of instabilities could occur. In 2010, a geohazards assessment program was carried out in the country, while the detailed assessment program was carried out in 2014. This program was able to complete the assessments of 1,634 cities and municipalities.
- Enhanced Biodiversity Conservation – The DENR promotes the establishment of new protected areas, as well as the rehabilitation and expansion of existing ones. These efforts aim to protect endangered species, their habitats, and ecosystems from further degradation. The agency also encourages private sector participation in these conservation efforts through the establishment of a Wildlife Fund.
- Scaling Up of Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Program – The DENR supports implementing coastal and marine ecosystem programs, which aim to protect the country’s coastal resources from overfishing and other forms of exploitation. These initiatives also encourage greater participation by local communities in protecting these areas.
- Improved Land Administration and Management – The DENR aims to improve land administration by creating an efficient and transparent system for recording the ownership of lands. This will help prevent illegal activities such as logging, mining, and other forms of exploitation in protected areas.
- Manila Bay Clean Up Program – The DENR is collaborating with local government units and other stakeholders to clean up the Manila Bay, which has been polluted by illegal waste disposal and other forms of pollution. The agency aims to restore the bay’s natural habitat so that it can support aquatic life once again.
The DENR operates several frontline services that help residents and communities in the Philippines. These include:
Environmental Management – This service aims to protect the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change. The DENR has implemented several projects in this area, including building green schools, improving drinking water quality, protecting coral reefs and other marine habitats from harmful activities like fishing and tourism development.
Mines and Geosciences – This service aims to regulate the mining industry and ensure responsible and safe utilization of natural resources. The DENR has implemented several projects in this area, including regulating the use of explosives, preventing illegal gold panning, monitoring mercury levels in fish and providing training programs for miners.
Forest Management – This service aims to protect forests and ensure sustainable use. The DENR has implemented several projects in this area, including reforestation efforts and anti-illegal logging campaigns.
Biodiversity Management – This service aims to protect and manage the country’s biodiversity. The DENR has implemented several projects in this area, including protecting endangered species, establishing reserves, and conducting research on native flora and fauna.
Land Management – This service aims to protect and manage the country’s land resources. The DENR has implemented several projects in this area, including implementing a national land use plan and ensuring that indigenous communities have access to their ancestral lands.
The Sylvatrop is a quarterly publication of the DENR. It features scientific, technical, and descriptive articles on topics related to natural resources and ecosystems. It is also published once a year. In many cases, two issues of the journal are combined to produce a single issue. Since 1976, it has already produced over 500 articles.
DENR Library Information System
The e-Library of the Central Office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is a collection of resources that can be accessed by anyone. It will eventually be linked to other libraries in the country.
Learning and Development
The DENR offers a wide range of learning and development services. These include leadership training, skills development programs and seminars on environmental issues. The DENR also organizes community awareness campaigns and educational workshops for local communities. The agency also has scholarship grants for students and professionals interested in studying environmental issues. The DENR also supports local communities by providing them with technical assistance, training courses and other forms of support.
This is a program that supports the development of small and medium-sized enterprises in the Philippines. The DENR is involved in this program, which aims to provide assistance for companies that want to invest in renewable energy projects and other efforts aimed at protecting the environment.
The DENR also manages several environmental education centers around the country. These facilities are designed to help children learn about nature and how they can protect it from harm.
Video: The Story of Boracay Rehabilitation
Here’s a video posted by the DENR Official YouTube channel on the developments regarding the government’s rehabilitation program of Boracay, the country’s famous island paradise. To achieve this, the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF)was created by the government to coordinate all efforts for the rehabilitation of Boracay. The BIATF is composed of agencies such as the DENR, Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Philippine Coast Guard.
This is just one of the milestones highlighted during the Duterte Administration. It was a timely initiative that will help in the rehabilitation of Boracay and prevent it from becoming a “cesspool.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Interested to know more about the DENR and its programs? Here are some of the frequently asked questions about the agency:
1. What is the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC)?
The EMB is a part of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). It issues an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) to projects that are in the planning stage. This is a prerequisite for other government agencies and local governments to approve projects.
2. What are the requirements for the ECC?
Applicants should complete the following requirements to secure an Environmental Compliance Certificate:
- Environmental Performance Report and Management Plan (EPRMP) or Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report in the form of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) if there is expansion, modification, or rehabilitation of the project.
- If necessary, a proof of the compatibility with the existing Land Use Plan. A developer may verify this prerequisite with the local government unit (LGU).
- Proof of ownership of the land, either with a Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT), Lease Agreement, or Deed of Sale. Proponents of the project can acquire these documents directly from the landowner or request a certified true copy with the Registry of Deeds to verify with the Land Registration Authority (LRA).
- The EIS preparers and project proponents must prepare Accountability Statements.
- Photographs of the project site, impact areas, and affected areas and communities
- To duly accomplish the Project Environmental Monitoring and Audit Prioritization Scheme (PEMAPS) Questionnaire by the proponent.
3. Are All Projects Required by DENR To Have An ECC?
The Philippines’ environmental impact statement system (EIS) has four main classifications. These classifications are based on the severity of the project’s impact on the environment. For instance, projects in categories A and B require an environmental impact certificate (ECC). On the other hand, projects in categories C and D don’t require an ECC.
4. What is the Certificate of Non-Coverage (CNC) of DENR?
If a project that would be excluded from the environmental impact assessment system of the Philippines has to present a certificate of non-coverage or CNC, then it must do so. This is the same as the certification issued for projects that have a minimal impact on the environment.
Compared to the ECC, the CNC has significantly fewer requirements, which are the following:
- CNC Application Form, duly accomplished by the proponent
- Description of how the project can improve the environment or address environmental issues
- Project Components List
- Description of phases and activities of the project
- Project emissions / hazardous waste / solid waste / effluent / other wastes
- Project cost and duration
- One page showing a collage of geotagged photos or plates of the proposed project site
5. What is the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA)?
The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) was established under Republic Act 4850, which provides for the establishment of a quasi-government agency that carries out activities related to the management and development of the lake. Its operations are regulated by Executive Order 927 and Presidential Decree 813. These orders extend the authority’s jurisdiction over the lake’s surface water.
6. What is LLDA Clearance?
The LLDA’s clearance process involves identifying projects and programs that need to be approved before they can be carried out within the organization’s administrative jurisdiction. This includes the cities and municipalities surrounding the Laguna Lake, such as:
- Santo Tomas
- General Mariano Alvarez
- 6 Cities
- 24 Municipalities
- Metro Manila
- Quezon City
- 1 City
- 13 Municipalities
7. What are the requirements for the LLDA Clearance?
- Duly accomplished and notarized Application Form
- Photocopy of Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) or Certificate of Non-Coverage (CNC), whichever is applicable
- Photocopy of any of the following applicable SEC-approved articles:
- For a corporation, the Articles of Incorporation.
- For cooperatives, the Articles of Cooperative are duly approved by CDA.
- For single proprietorship, Certificate of Business Registration from the Department of Trade and Industry.
- Locational Clearance, if available; otherwise, LLDA will include the same as LC condition.
- Photocopy of whichever applicable documents:
- Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
- Initial Environmental Examination (IEE)
- Project Description / Engineer’s Report
- Photocopy of plans signed by a duly-licensed professional
- Site Development Plan
- Vicinity Plan
- Drainage / Sewer Plan
All documents that are required for the LLDA must be presented with original copies during the authentication process. However, applicants may also use certified copies as proxy documents if they have not been able to produce original documents.
8. Do a project and the LLDA’s responsibility end at the clearance?
No, they don’t. Developers must also provide a quarterly report to the agency that monitors their projects to ensure that they are following the requirements of the Clean Air Act and other environmental regulations. This document, known as the Self-Monitoring Report, is required by the Department of Natural Resources. If the developers fail to comply, the agency will issue a notice of violation.
The DENR is one of the most important government agencies. It is responsible for protecting our country’s natural resources, including those we have yet to discover. The DENR also plays a key role in promoting environmental awareness and protecting the environment from destructive forces such as pollution. The agency has consistently ensured that all Filipinos are aware of their responsibilities when it comes to preserving our environment for future generations.
We hope that you’ve gained an appreciation for the DENR and its work. We also hope that you will be inspired to do your part in protecting our environment. For starters, you can help spread awareness by sharing this article with your friends and family. You can also start making small changes to your everyday lifestyle, such as recycling or switching to reusable shopping bags. These little things will make a huge difference in the long run!
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of DENR. To find out more about the agency and its official programs, services, and activities, you can refer to the contact information in the following section:
Address: DENR Bldg. Visayas Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City Metro Manila 1100 Philippines
Telephone Number: (02) 89200689; 0917-868-3367 (Hotline)
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/DENROfficial
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