To come up with training modules and Training of Trainers design in the Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) sector, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recently led the Training Needs Assessment (TNA) for the Capacity Development on ENR for Local Government Units on August 24 in Malaybalay City.

The activity was made to ensure that competency gaps and issues in performing ENR functions at the local level were identified, analyzed and translated through designing of training modules and Training of Trainers to achieve higher level learning.

It is anchored on the mandates of Executive Order (EO) No. 138 dated June 1, 2021 or the Full Devolution of Certain Functions of the Executive Branch to Local Governments, Creation of a Committee on Devolution.

The activity was attended by 30 participants composed of Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (MENRO), MENRO designates and representatives from selected LGUs of Libona, Talakag, Impasug-ong, Cabanglasan, Don Carlos, Kibawe, Pangantucan, Malaybalay City, Valencia City, Baungon, Quezon, Damulog, Malitbog, Maramag and Sumilao. The activity was facilitated by the DENR Central Office – Training and Development Section of the Human Resource Development Service, Assisting Professional for Capacity Development, Regional Office’s Human Resource and Development Section and staff from PENRO Bukidnon.

Representing DENR 10 Regional Executive Director Henry A. Adornado during the opening program was Assistant Regional Director for Management Services Ma. Theresa J. Allen. She encouraged the participants to be proactive to make the Capacity Development more engaging and fruitful.

For his part, Bukidnon Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENR) Officer Vergilino P. Alima is thankful that the PENRO Bukidnon is one of the pilot provinces for the Institutional Strengthening Program. It will enable capacity development in the province to be smooth, systematic and orderly, he added.

Forester Wilson E. Henson, Chief of the Training and Development Division of the Human Resource Development Service of DENR gave the brief overview of the program in pursuant to EO No. 138, series of 2021. He said the national government agencies are directed to fully devolve certain functions to the LGUs specifically those functions specified under Section 17 of Republic Act 7160 and subsequent laws. That the issuance was a result of the Supreme Court decision relative to the case of Mandanas et. al vs. Executive Secretary, et. al (G.R. Nos. 199802 and 208488).

Forester Henson said that LGUs now are expected to have greater appreciation on the ENR concerns as a result of the impacts of climate change. He further said that higher Internal Revenue Allotment would make LGUs more financially capable to deliver and perform devolved functions.

An Open Forum was conducted followed by the filling-out of TNA Questionnaire which was facilitated by Ms. Janet B. Martires, the Assisting Professional for the Capacity Development.

The Ways Forward was presented by Ms. Bernadita S. Tubang, the Chief Institutional Development Section Training and Development Division - HRDS. She cited that the conduct of TNA by the Department is being undertaken in selected 10 regions for the period covering July-September; conduct of pilot batches of Capacity Development on ENR for LGUs scheduled in October-November 2022 (for selected LGUs).

She further said that by 2023-2024, the DENR has conducted a nationwide roll-out of training for City/Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officers and by 2024, the City/Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officers are capacitated with knowledge and skills on devolved ENR functions.

The Closing Message was given by CENR Officer of Valencia, Forester Felicisimo C. Escuadro, Jr. According to him, the devolution of more DENR functions in forest development and conservation is a continuation of the earlier devolution. He also informed that the TNA was aimed to enhance the capability of the LGUs to manage their forest and other natural resources. However, the DENR will always be there to assist the LGUs when the need arises he emphasized in his statement. (Arhleen A. Arat) RSCIG No. 08-230-2022 #TayoAngKalikasan