DENR Bicol honors environmental champions at 22nd Saringaya Awards

On Monday, June 24, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol spearheaded the 22nd Saringaya Awards, honoring Bicol’s environmental champions in celebration of Philippine Environment Month 2024 at the Marison Hotel in Legazpi City.

Led by Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr., DENR Bicol acknowledged the endeavors of various stakeholders who have significantly contributed to environmental stewardship and conservation efforts within the region.

The awards, known to have cultivated a deep sense of collaboration and support among DENR stakeholders, bolstering core values of transparency, accountability, participation, and public service, were presented as follows:

Academe Category: Catanduanes State University: For its Tanggol Kalikasan and PIPERS initiatives, Smart Greenhouse Project to enhance agricultural productivity, and repurposing plastic waste.

Local Government Unit (LGU) Category: City Government of Sorsogon: Led by Mayor Ma. Ester E. Hamor, recognized for meeting environmental quality standards, establishing a sanitary landfill with a wastewater treatment facility, implementing a refuse-derived fuel facility, managing hazardous wastes, installing solar-powered weather stations, streetlights, and emergency operation systems. Additionally praised for their Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Programs, Environmental Information Campaigns (EIC), the 10 Plus 1 + 1 Agenda Gayon Sorsogon Program, Sagip Puno and Kalikasan programs planting 150,000 trees annually, and the Kalinigan program.

People’s Organization/Non-Governmental Organization Category: Socio-Pastoral Action Center Foundation of Daet, Incorporated: For the strong involvement of Indigenous Peoples in their projects, development of disaster risk reduction programs, and other environmental initiatives.

Individual Efforts: Mr. Clark N. Buncaras from Masbate City: For his significant efforts in mangrove rehabilitation, restoration, and preservation of vital coastal ecosystems.

Industry Category: Energy Development Corporation: For institutionalizing health, environment, and safety policies, implementing a “No Plastic” policy, establishing multiple linkages through Memorandums of Agreement (MOAs), launching the “Adopt an Estero” program, and their mangrove rehabilitation initiatives.

Derived from the Bicolano word meaning “lush” or “abundant growth,” the term “Saringaya” refers to the rich and vibrant natural heritage of the Bicol region. The awards not only highlight the environmental achievements of the recipients but also emphasize the importance of preserving the region’s ecological wealth for future generations.

Through the Saringaya Awards, DENR Bicol fosters a culture of environmental responsibility, encouraging ongoing collaboration and innovation in the pursuit of a greener, more sustainable Bicol. I Kian Kirby Florano