DENR Assistant Secretary Joan A. Lagunda attended the various activities organized by DENR-IX in Zamboanga del Norte during her recent visit in the Region from January 26-27, 2022.

The said visit of the Assistant Secretary for Field Operations-Western Mindanao Metropolitan Environmental Office-East and Legislative Affairs and the concurrent Director of the Pasig River Coordinating and Management Office, was her way of monitoring, validation and evaluation of the implementation of programs, projects and activities on the ground and the opportune time to dialogue with the officials and employees of the DENR as well as the stakeholders.

Upon her arrival, she led the blessing and inauguration of the DENR Strategic Checkpoint and Monitoring Station in Barangay Tolon, Rizal Zamboanga del Norte. The said monitoring station is just one of the many environmental law enforcement facilities installed all over the region that will help DENR IX pursue and enforce environmental laws and regulations

After the inauguration, a Command Conference and Interface with DENR IX key officials and personnel ensued. During the interface, she once again emphasized the DENR core values as a guiding principle for every employee in the pursuit of providing quality service to the public. Meanwhile, the DENR-IX key officials headed by Regional Executive Director (RED) Datu Tungko Saikol, along with the Regional Line Bureau Directors,  Hernani G. Abdon of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-IX (MGB-IX) and Environmental Management Bureau IX Alex D. Jimenez, the PENROs and CENROs all over the region, have agreed to commit their best efforts to rise up to her challenge. 

The next day, Asec. Lagunda was also joined by local government officials and residents in the tree planting and growing activity conducted at Barangay Sto. NiƱo, Dapitan City, which was located within Jose Rizal Memorial Protected Landscape, one of the legislated protected areas under Republic Act 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (E-NIPAS) Act.

After the earlier activity, Asec. Lagunda and DENR-IX Officials proceeded to Aliguay Island Protected Landscape and Seascape (AILPS) which is another E-NIPAS site in Dapitan City. DENR-IX was also able to present the upcoming programs and projects that will be implemented in the island.  The said visit concluded with a dialogue with the residents of the AIPLS where Asec. Lagunda enjoined the support of the community and emphasized that government programs can only be effective when linkages and partnership with its stakeholders are built and sustained.