Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar expressed his happiness and pride for the environmental projects of DPWH Camarines Norte District Engineering Office (DEO) which bagged the distinction as a “Planet-Wise Organization” at the recent World Water Day Awards 2019.
“The honor given to DPWH Camarines Norte DEO for spearheading programs that made strive in achieving water and water-environment sustainability is a manifestation of the Department’s overall commitment for safety, health and survival”, said Secretary Villar.
No less than DPWH Region 5 Director Virgilio Eduarte and District Engineer Ricardo Gutierrez received the award with 19 other chosen awardees during a recent ceremony at Novotel Manila Araneta Center that highlighted the nation’s observance of World Water Day, with the theme: “Hawak-Kamay, Tubig Kaagapay.”
Now on its 5th year, the Annual Awards during the World Water Day celebrated every 22nd day of March is a joint program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Water Resources Board, Maynilad and Manila Water, and other partners aims to promote collaboration among stakeholders for maximum gains in attaining water sustainaibility for the country.
Under the leadership of District Engineer Gutierrez, DPWH Camarines Norte DEO implemented numerous programs with regards to saving water and our environment.
The DEO’s Adopt-a-Mountain, Adopt-a-Mangrove Program harmonized all the greening efforts and similar initiatives of the government, private sectors, LGUs, NGOs and the civil society.
Under this program, over 22,000 mahogany/narra seedlings were planted on 12 different planting sites in Camarines Norte during the simultaneous tree and mangrove planting activities held on October and November 2018 and March 2019.
DPWH also promotes eco-friendliness thru a contest entitled “Search for 2018 Eco-Friendly Barangay along National Road” which is based on two (2) major criterias: healthful and environment friendly practices; and well maintained green areas.
The Anti-Smoking policy within premises of DPWH Camarines Norte DEO has been consistently recognized by the Department of Health (DOH) and Civil Service Commission (CSC) as Best Smoke-Free Government Agency from 2015 to 2018 to received distinction of Red Orchid Award Hall of Famer by DOH.
Other environment saving advocacy of DPWH Camarines Norte DEO are the following: regular coastal clean-up drive at Bagasbas Beach; rainwater collector systems within office premises in adherance to policy guidelines on water conservation under DPWH Order 187 series of 2015; an aquaponics system made of recyclable materials wherein the waste produced by cultured fish supplies nutrients for plants to grow hydroponically which in return purify the water; and a watershed protection and rehabilitation program in partnership with the local water district.