The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) โ€“ Region I of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) convened the members of the Regional Inter-Agency Committee on Environmental Education (RIACEE) for a virtual meeting on August 27, 2020. The online meeting was presided over by EMB-I Regional Director and RIACEE Chair, Engr. Maria Dorica Naz-Hipe.

Regional Director Hipe warmly welcomed the RIACEE members and gave emphasis on the importance and role of the Committee in the implementation of public education and awareness programs on environmental protection and conservation through collaborative interagency and multi-sectoral efforts in compliance with Republic Act 9512 or the National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008. She also lauded the committee for successfully conducting the Green Caravan, an environmental awareness drive for barangay officials and senior citizens of San Fabian, Pangasinan, on October 15, 2019. She likewise stressed the need to utilize digital platforms in conducting information, education and communication (IEC) activities amid the COVID-19 threat.

The RIACEE meeting was attended by Assistant Regional Director Freddie Lazaro & Information Officer III (IO III) Joanne Namnama-Dilim of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA-I); Police Major Benigno S. Sumawang of the Philippine National Police-I; Engr. Bless Me Lord Gacutan of the National Economic Development Authority-I; Engr. Lily Esteban of the Department of Health-I; Ms. Maricel Caleja & Mr. Mark Anthony Ballan of the Department of the Social Welfare and Development – I; Mr. Celso Jucutan of Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) and Philippine Association of Tertiaty Level Educational Institutions in Environmental Protection and Management (PATLEPAM); Senior Environmental Management Specialist (SEMS) Ms. Katherine Muller of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office – City of San Fernando, La Union; Communication Development Officer II Mariel Aquino of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources โ€“ I; and Information Officer II Divine Joy Picar and Environmental Management Specialist I Alberto P. Sotelo Jr. of the EMB-I Environmental Education and Information Unit (EEIU).

EMB-I Senior Environmental Management Specialist (SEMS) and Chemical & Hazardous Wastes Management Section (CHWMS) Chief, Engr. Maureen Malazo, discussed the salient features of Republic Act 6969 or the โ€œToxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990โ€ and shared with the RIACEE members how to properly manage hazardous and healthcare waste. EMB-I Senior Environmental Management Specialist and EEIU OIC-Chief, Mr. Maynard Cara, presented the upcoming environmental celebrations for the 3rd and 4th quarter 2020 and encouraged the RIACEE members to organize environmental celebrations in their respective offices.

The RIACEE members decided to hold a joint IEC activity which will be a Webinar on Lead Poisoning Prevention for High School Students on October 29, 2020 in celebration of the Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.

Minimum public health standards were strictly observed during the said meeting such as the use of face mask and face shield, physical distancing, and frequent hand disinfection using 70% alcohol to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.