Cebu DENR - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) powers and functions, among many, is to implement and “supervise the government's policies, plans and programs pertaining to the management, conservation, development, use and replenishment of the country's natural resources” (http://www.denr.gov.ph).
It is the only government agency that is loaded with so much powers and functions that some critics called it “schizophrenic” because it occasionally makes decisions that contradicts its own mandate and policies, especially in terms of deciding matters related to development and environmental protection.
Since government laws or legislations are much broader and generalized, DENR usually supplements major legislations with subsidiary legislations, which are primarily in the form of Department Administrative Orders (commonly known as DAOs), Department Memorandum Circulars (DMC), and Department Memorandum Orders (DMO).
Cebu DENR Laws and Policies
DENR Laws and Policies calculated are available at http://www.denr.gov.ph/section-policies (2010).
For every national environmental legislation that is enacted there is always a DENR generated subsidiary policy(ies) based on the legislation. For example, the DENR promulgates rules and regulations according to laws governing the exploration, development, conservation, extraction, among other things related with regulating and managing the environment and natural resources (see DENR website).
The second reason is that during Presidents Aquino and Ramos’ administration (from 1986 to 1998), environmental NGOs were actively participating; while during Estrada and Arroyos’ administration (from 1998 to 2010), they were not fully given attention to participate in any government affairs.
The regulations and policies formulated by the DENR and its bureaus are to be implemented by the DENR Regional Offices located in the thirteen administrative regions and the DENR-PENROs (Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices) within each province (Tan 1998).
Other than implementation, formulation, and supervision of government policies, DENR also has power and function to “advise the President on the enactment of laws relative to the development, use, regulation, and conservation of the country's natural resources and the control of pollution” (www.denr.gov.ph).
NGOs and POs - Cebu DENR Laws
In general, NGOs and POs have mixed understanding on what the DENR is really trying to deliver to the public when issues of environmental protection are being put forward and questioned.
Due to the double personality that DENR seems to project to the public, critics suggest that probably the best decision the government can make is separate the task for economic development projects (such as mineral mining, etc.) from environmental protection in the department’s mandate.
This idea seems to be the most logical and reasonable action that must be taken in order for DENR to truly deliver its mandated roles and functions.