RED Crizaldy M. Barcelo, CESO III


on the


16th K4 DENREU General Assembly

Palo Municipal Function Hall, Lgu Palo, Leyte

January 25, 2019



To the officials and members of the K4 Eastern Visayas DENR employees union, maupay nga aga ha iyo ngatanan.


The fact that your union has stood the challenges of almost two decades of existence speaks a lot about the strength of your union and the dedication of your officers and members. For that, congratulations and may you grow stronger as your journey continues.


Let me start by saying that it is enshrined in our constitution “the right of the people, including those employed in the public and private sectors, to form unions, associations, or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged.” And it is precisely because of that constitutional provision that employees of the DENR have organized for themselves a union. It cannot be arbitrarily stripped away from you because it is your constitutional right – part of your human rights. As once said by Jose W. Diokno, a Filipino nationalist who served as Senator of the Philippines, Secretary of Justice, Founding Chair of the Commission on Human Rights, and Founder of the Free Legal Assistance Group, “human rights are more than legal concepts. They are the essence of man. Deny them and you deny man’s humanity.”


We in the management, respects and supports that right and will continue to do so. Subject, of course, to limitations prescribed by law.


As long as the union and whatever issues and demands you may want to pursue is within the bounds of the law, it is the commitment of the management to always openly discuss it and come to an agreement that will be most beneficial to the employees and the department, as well. We may at times have opposing views on certain issues but that should not hinder us from continue talking until we meet somewhere amenable to all parties concerned. At the end of the day, we belong to one DENR family with the same mandate – the conservation, management, development, and proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources.


And while we reiterate our commitment to support the union, I also ask for your wholehearted cooperation with the management to achieve our targets and to improve the quality of our service to our clients.


During the new year’s call event last Monday, I shared to the key officials of the department in the region how we fared in the previous year. Except for one, we were able to achieve and even surpass our targets, specifically, the 10-point priority program laid down by Secretary Cimatu. We achieved what was expected of us because we all pitched in – the regional office and the field offices. Thank you for your contribution and congratulations.


But we must not be swayed with complacency. Rather, we should be emboldened to strive to be better even as we accept the new challenges that 2019 has to offer. With the help of the officers and members of EV-DENREU, I am confident that you will be able to rally the personnel of the department to give their best effort. Remember, if we perform well, everybody benefits. In the words of Helen Keller, an American Author, political activist and lecturer, “alone, we can do so little, together, we can do so much.” That aptly describes my challenge to us all.


I am a believer of unionism because in union there is power. It is just a matter of harnessing that power that we can do great things that will benefit not only your interests as government employees, but also the department and the stakeholders we have sworn to serve as public servants.


May I end by quoting the words of Henry Ford, an American captain of industry and a business magnate and Founder of Motor Ford Company, “coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”


You came together and began the journey 16 years ago; you have kept your unity for 16 years and that is clear progress on your part; and now the challenge is to continually work together towards success. Are you up for the challenge?

The answer is in your hands. Good luck and may you have a successful and fruitful general assembly.