The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 8 recently deputized Environment and Natural Resources Officers (ENROs) in two (2) Leyte towns. These barangay officials and volunteers will assist in the enforcement of environmental laws in their areas of jurisdiction.

“The deputation of ENROs is consistent with the Department’s mission to directly involve the people in protecting and conserving the country’s environment and natural resources,” says DENR R8 Regional Executive Director (RED) Tirso P. Parian, Jr.

Director Parian issued deputation orders to nineteen (19) volunteers in Palo in August last year and ten (10) from Hilongos in December. Unless revoked by the issuing authority, these ENROs shall serve for one (1) year. They shall have the following functions: Assist in the issuance of apprehension receipts, seizure orders and notices of administrative hearings; arrest, even without warrant any person who committed or is about to commit an environmental law violation; deliver the offenders including the apprehended forest products, tools, equipment and conveyances within the period prescribed by law from the time of arrest and seizure and act as witness in court for the speedy prosecution of criminal complaints. They shall also assist in the conduct of ENR Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaigns.

“These ENROs are equipped with technical knowledge and skills to perform their duties, having been provided with the necessary training and lectures on ENR laws and regulations, “says Regional Enforcement Chief Allen Cebuano.

“This program is part of our strengthened efforts to protect our environment and natural resources from violators who continue to disregard our environmental laws by ensuring their apprehension through our intensified linkage with the community as first responders in the enforcement of our laws,” added Forester Cebuano.

In 2020, the Regional Enforcement Team, headed by Cebuano in partnership with the law enforcement agencies such as the Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Task Force on Anti-Illegal Logging, were able to apprehend around 222,865.32 bd.ft. of undocumented forest and non-timber forest products including vehicles and conveyances with an estimated value of Php1,143,266. This feat was a product of 12 operations conducted by the joint enforcement team in Samar and Leyte.