DENR-Environmental Management Bureau โ€“ Region I (EMB-I) Director, Engr. Maria Dorica Naz-Hipe convened all EMB-I regular and job order personnel on April 13, 2021 for the virtual and face-to-face second quarter general assembly. Unit, Section and Division Chiefs attended the meeting at the DENR-I Social Hall, Government Center, Sevilla, City of San Fernando, La Union while the rest of the EMB-I employees virtually joined through Microsoft Teams. Minimum public health standards were strictly observed.

Regional Director Hipe lauded the EMB-I workforce for accomplishing their tasks and assignments for the first quarter of 2021 and encouraged them to continuously improve the quality of their work outputs. She expressed gratitude for the continued safety and protection of all EMB-I personnel against COVID-19 and reminded everyone to strictly and consistently observe the minimum health protocols. RD Hipe likewise urged the EMB-I personnel to be very fluid and adaptive to be able to accomplish the directives from the EMB-Central Office. She also gave an update on the proposed construction of the EMB-Region I environmental laboratory building and the commendations received from the EMB Director and Certificate of Appreciation from the City Government of Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

Engr. Medina Zarate, EMB-I Planning and Information System Management Unit Chief, presented the physical accomplishments as of 1st quarter 2021 and also gave updates on the pending instructions from the EMB-Central Office. Administrative Officer V Roderick Valdez presented the financial accomplishments as of first quarter 2021.

To further hone the EMB-I employeesโ€™ knowledge of the monitoring and permitting procedures, Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement Division Chief, Engr. Antonio Estrada, discussed the procedures in the conduct of monitoring activities. Clearance and Permitting Division Chief, Engr. Nicanor Esteban, also presented the procedures in processing permit applications.

Finance and Administrative Division OIC-Chief, Engr. Remedios Jimenez, gave updates on Gender and Development (GAD) activities and presented the external audit findings of Worldwide Quality Assurance Asia Pacific (WQA APAC). EMB-Region I passed the recertification audit conducted by WQA APAC on December 14 and 18, 2020 and RD Hipe formally received EMB-Region Iโ€™s ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS) recertification from WQA APAC in a virtual awarding ceremony on March 8, 2021. ISO Lead Auditor / Engineer IV Ryanne Narvaez discussed the internal audit findings and the corrective actions to be taken to continuously improve the processes and services of EMB-Region I. EMB-Region I intends to pursue integrated certification in the field of environmental management system and occupational health and safety this year.

Engr. Estrada; Engr. Esteban; Engr. Jimenez; Provincial Environmental Monitoring Officer (PEMO) for Ilocos Sur, Forester Eduardo Malasig; PEMO for Ilocos Norte, Engr. Daryl Saguid; PEMO for Pangasinan, Engr. Elmer Ventura; Environmental Impact Assessment Section Chief Ma. Isabel Perez; Legal Unit Chief, Atty. Leenard Dulay; Laboratory Unit Chief, Leny Cajote; Climate Change Unit Chief, Engr. Rogelio Gabuyo, Jr.; Environmental Education and Information Unit Chief Maynard Cara; and Information and Communication Technology Coordinator/Senior Environmental Management Specialist (SEMS), Roxy Pearl Dumo, gave updates on the accomplishments and concerns of their respective division/section/unit. Ms. Dumo also presented how to use the DENR-Region 1 Electronic Travel Order Request (ETOR) system and how to generate QR code for โ€œNAPANAM,โ€ the centralized COVID-19 tracking system of the Province of La Union. EMB-I Programmer Russel Owens Miranda presented the โ€œUniSysโ€ which is a newly developed EMB-I system that stores the profile of all establishments with permits in Region 1.

SEMS Engr. Maureen Malazo, President of the EMB-I Employeesโ€™ Union, gave updates on the upcoming activities of the Union. EMS II, Engr. Ermenio Budeng, presented the status of submission of 1st quarter 2021 means of verification (MOV) to EMB-Central Office. Ms Dumo presented the summary of client feedbacks for the first quarter 2021 and EMS I Mark Laurence Bumatay presented the schedule of activities for April-May 2021.

EMS II, Engr. Judy Ann Abella, and Administrative Assistant III Vereno Michael Sabado shared their impressions on the Environment and Natural Resources Frontline and Basic Course that they attended. Engr. Estrada concluded the general assembly by urging the EMB-I personnel to work together to successfully accomplish their targets for 2021 and the instructions from EMB-Central Office.