RD Crizaldy M. Barcelo, CESO III


on the


Reunion of Retirees

EVSU Graduate School Function Hall, Tacloban City

June 25, 2018




It is with great honor that I welcome you all here to this reunion of retirees of the DENR in Eastern Visayas, your presence today is highly appreciated and is a testament that the DENR has been and will always be a part of your lives. In the same manner, we always try to invite you, especially during every environment month, to instill in your hearts and minds that you are always remembered. The time and effort that you invested to attain the vision and objectives of the department is valued, treasured and cherished.


To many of you here, if not all, I may be a total stranger as i was just assigned here late of last year. In fact, this is my first time to celebrate environment month here in the region. However, the fact that we all served under one department and labored to comply with our mandate for the conservation, management, development, and proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources, i can say that we are not actually strangers to one another. After all, we are children of our mother earth.


Today, we can definitely say that we are not strangers to each other. We are all part of the DENR family and so just like any other family that finds time to be together, we shall share our stories, reminisce the years we devoted for the department and to the environment. Update each other as to how you are making your own mark as retirees while we also provide you fresh information of the different programs, projects, accomplishments and directions of the department.


But while we pat each other’s back for a job well done for your productive stint in the department, allow us also to pose the challenge that your work for the environment is not yet over. It is my personal belief that what you saw on the ground has made you realize that advocacy for the care of creation is and should not be limited to us, DENR personnel. That, it is the duty and moral obligation of all citizens even as we take the cudgel of taking the lead. It is on that premise that we ask you to continue your journey with us in our effort of creating a greener future. Even if our youthful vigor may have been a thing of the past, still I am hopeful that we will embrace this challenge with equal vigor and enthusiasm.


Our theme for this year’s environment month is “beat plastic population”. It is without any fanfare and bereft of linguistic acrobat. It simply, blatantly and directly state the problem and the solution to it.


The facts are clear. Globally, more than 300 tons of plastic are produced each year but roughly 10% only are recycled and most end up in waterways or somewhere else where it sits for hundreds of years first before it decomposes. It is said that around the world, 1 million plastic bottles are purchased every minute and every year, we use 5 trillion disposable plastic bags. Those are huge numbers that poses danger to our environment and to our health.


The world environment has this to say: “nearly one third of the plastic packaging we use escapes collection systems, which means that it ends up clogging our city streets and polluting our natural environment. Every year, up to 13 million tons of plastic leak into our oceans, where it smothers coral reefs and threatens vulnerable marine wildlife. The plastic that ends up in the oceans can circle the earth four times in a single year, and it can persist for up to 1,000 years before it fully disintegrates.” An unfortunate and frightening reality, isn’t it?


While we have to contend to another fact that the use of plastic has its own advantages, we have at times been too dependent on it and worst, many of those we use are single-use plastic.


Something has to be done. While there are many ways that we can contribute of greening our environment, this is one challenge that i ask you to partake even while enjoying your well-deserved retirement years. Be our voice and make our presence felt wherever you may be – in your household, community, organizations, churches or clubs. Create opportunities wherein we can find and promote ways to help combat plastic pollution.


During our opening of the environment month at the office, i shared to our colleagues at the regional office the need to reverse the present trends of our three (3) major models. What we have right now is that of the model of production that is geared towards gain and profit and without regard to the environment and to our community. Then we have our model of consumption that seems insatiable, irresponsible and insensitive to its effect to health and environment, and lastly, our way of life that is focused only on satisfying one’s wants and of the here and now.


To our retirees of DENR, help us assist our communities to reverse the said trend. Let us educate our community about the need for everyone to be part of our advocacy – a sustainable environment for the future. It can only happen if we will embrace a paradigm shift as to how we produce, how we consume and how we live our lives. One should always opt for a better, brighter and greener future that considers the well-being of all stakeholders.


To end, let me echo the words of Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, “protecting the environment is everybody’s responsibility. It is not only the responsibility of the personnel of DENR but the responsibility should be on the people themselves. It should start from your heart.”


Nobody else is expected to this for us but you and me. And that time is now. After all, ikaw, ako at tayo mismo ay ang kalikasan. Magandang araw po at mabuhay po kayo!