The efforts of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to promote and improve environment-friendly office operations was recognized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
From bagging a Citation of Merit Award in the previous ”Search for Eco-friendly Government Offices” in 2011, DPWH has now received the highest Environmental Excellence Award from DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).
EMB lauded DPWH for “consistently integrating into its official functions its environmental management programs”, particularly its electricity, water conservation and greening programs.
“We are pleased to accept this award, as we know that all employees of the Department contributed to this,” said DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson, adding “We hope to institutionalize this eco-friendly culture in all DPWH offices nationwide and in project implementation”.
Since being cited in 2011, the DPWH Central, regional and district offices, under the supervision of Planning Service - Environmental and Social Safeguards Division, have improved eco-friendly policies and programs, from the waste segregation management, water, fuel and energy-conservation, to the development of effective information-education materials.
Among eco-friendly strategies of the DPWH are to accustom employees to keep lights to the minimum every lunchbreak, turn-off appliances that are not in use, strictly follow air-conditioning operating hours and to install rainwater collection system to be used to water plants that are in the premises of the office. In projects, DPWH continues to advocate use of coconets for slope protection and reduction of soil erosion.
The DPWH is the only national government agency (NGA) to have received the highest recognition this year, others were government-owned and control corporations (GOCCs) namely National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR); National Electrification Administration (NEA) Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).
NGAs and GOCCs are being evaluated for a minimum of one year, using the 4 P’s: Policy, Promotion of Awareness, People, and Practices. Specifically, DENR will look into programs on water, fuel and electricity conservation, waste management, air pollution prevention, green procurement, emergency preparedness, and orderliness, cleanliness and safety of its premises as criteria for judging.
The search for the Eco-friendly Government Offices was launched to assess and recognize the implementation of environmental management programs in government NGA and GOCC offices within Metro Manila and at the national level.