COTABATO CITY – Bangsamoro Governments’ Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (MENRE) now officially oversees Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) protected areas, documents, maps and other resources, covering Cotabato City and the 63 Barangays of North Cotabato.
In line with the city’s ceremonial inclusion to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), DENR Undersecretary of Enforcement, Mining and Muslim Affairs Jim O. Sampulna formally turned over its National Office to Executive Secretary Abdulraof A. Macacua.
“We are willing to provide guidance in the administration of ENR projects in the BARMM. That is what DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu told me, ‘Tulungan’,” said Sampulna.
DENR Region 12 Executive Director Atty. Felix S. Alicer, together with Ronald D. Gadot Assistant Director of Technical Services DENR Region 9, OIC Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Aldrich S. Resma, likewise handed over their corresponding regional documents, survey maps and assets.
The Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary in Region 9, the Lake Lanao Watershed in Region 10 and the Liguasan Marsh from Region 12 were among the cited protected areas turned over to BARMM’s management.
Respective regional offices’ National Greening Program, Integrated Natural Resources and Environment Management Project, Lake Buluan and Liguasan Marsh’s Protected Area Suitability Assessment and other programs were also conferred during the ceremony in Kalikasan Hall, MENRE Regional Office, Cotabato City.
“Now that Cotabato City and the 63 barangays of North Cotabato are officially part of the Bangsamoro community, we envision a society that features greener and more climate-smart values,” said Macacua, who is also the concurrent MENRE Minister.
“As the Khalifa or stewards, we shall strengthen the implementation of the existing environmental laws and policies here in our growing Bangsamoro region,” he added.
Minister Macacua acknowledged that environmental issues are a major concern worldwide, and emphasized that the BARMM is not immune to this. However, he guaranteed MENRE-BARMM’s commitment to keep its mandates in protecting and conserving the environment of the Bangsamoro through moral governance, heading towards clean, healthy, safe and resilient communities. (Bureau of Public Information)