The Lawphil Project - Philippine Laws and Jurisprudence Databank - Arellano Law Foundation
_ Department of Environment and Natural Resources


Mandate & Functions

As provided for under Section 4 of E.O. 192, the DENR is mandated to be the primary government agency responsible for the conservation, management, development and proper use of the country's environment and natural resources, including those in reservations, watershed areas and lands of the public domain, as well as the licensing and regulation of all natural resources utilization as may be provided by law in order to ensure equitable sharing of the benefits derived therefrom for the welfare of the present and future generations of Filipinos.

Based on the above mandate, the DENR envisions to pass on to Filipinos a renewed hope in people's ability to chart a new direction for development and a legacy of a self-sustaining environment, mindful of people's rights to a life of dignity.

The DENR's mission is to be the dynamic force behind people's initiatives in the protection, conservation, development and management of the environment through strategic alliances and partnerships, participate processes, relevant policies and programs and appropriate information technology towards sustainable development.

To accomplish the department's mandate, the following objectives serve as basis for policy formulation:

  • Assure the availability and sustainability of the country's natural resources through their judicious use and systematic restoration or replacement, whenever possible;

  • Increase the productivity of natural resources in order to meet the demands for forest, mineral and land resources of a growing population in a manner consistent with environmental protection and enhancement;

  • Enhance the contribution of natural resources for achieving national economic, political, social development and ecological integrity;

  • Promote equitable access to natural resources by the different sectors of the populations;

  • Maintain a desirable level of environmental quality;

  • Conserve specific terrestrial and marine areas representative of the Philippine natural and cultural heritage for present and future generations.

The powers and functions of the DENR, per Section 5 of E.O. 192, are as follows:

  • Advise the President on the enactment of laws relative to the development, use, regulation and conservation of the country's natural resources and the control of pollution;

  • Formulate, implement and supervise the government's policies, plans and programs pertaining to the management, conservation, development, use and replenishment of the country's natural resources.

  • Promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with law governing the exploration, development, conservation, extraction, disposition, use and such other commercial activities tending to cause the depletion and degradation of our natural resources;

  • Exercise supervision and control over forest lands, alienable and disposable lands, and mineral resources and impose appropriate payments, fees, charges, rentals and any such form of levy and collect such revenues for the exploration, development, utilization or gathering of such resources;

  • Undertake exploration, assessment, classification and inventory of the country's natural resources using ground surveys, remote sensing and complementary technologies;

  • Promote proper and mutual consultation with the private sector involving natural resources development, use and conservation;

  • Undertake geological surveys of the whole country including its territorial waters;

  • Establish policies and implement programs for the:

    • Accelerated inventory, surveys and classification of lands, forest and mineral resources using appropriate technology, to be able to come up with a more accurate assessment of resource quality and quantity;

    • Equitable distribution of natural resources through the judicious administration, regulation, utilization, development and expansion of natural resource-based industries;

    • Promotion, development and expansion of natural resource-based industries;

    • Preservation of cultural and natural heritage through wildlife conservation and segregation of national parks and other protected areas;

    • Maintenance of a wholesome natural environment by enforcing environmental protections laws; and

    • Encouragement of greater people\'s participation and private initiative in natural resource management.

  • Promulgate rules and regulations necessary to:

    • Accelerate cadastral and emancipation patent surveys, land use planning and public land titling:

    • Harness forest resources in a sustainable manner, to assist rural development, support forest-based industries, and provide raw materials to meet increasing demands, at the same time keeping adequate reserves for environmental stability; and

    • Expedite mineral resources surveys, promote the production of metallic and non-metallic minerals and encourage mineral marketing.

  • Regulate the development, disposition, extraction, exploration and use of the country's forestland and mineral resources;

  • Assume responsibility for the assessment, development, protection, conservation, licensing and regulation as provided for by law, where applicable, of all natural resources; the regulation and monitoring of service contractors, licensees, lessees, and permittees for the extraction, exploration, development and utilization of natural resource products; the implementation of programs and measures with the end in view of promoting close collaboration between the government and the private sector; the effective and efficient classification and sub-classification of lands of the public domain; and the enforcement of natural resources laws, rules and regulations;

  • Promulgate rules, regulations and guidelines on the issuance of co-production, joint venture or production sharing agreements, licenses, permits, concessions, leases and such other privileges and arrangement concerning the development, exploration and utilization of the country's natural resources and shall continue to oversee, supervise and police our natural resources; to cancel or cause to cancel such privileges and arrangements upon failure, non-compliance or violations of any regulations, orders, and for all other causes which are in furtherance of the conservation of natural resources and supportive of the national interest;

  • Exercise exclusive jurisdiction on the management and disposition of all lands of the public domain and shall continue to be the sole agency responsible for the classification, sub-classification, surveying and titling of lands in consultation with appropriate agencies;

  • Implement measures for the regulation and supervision of the processing of forest products, grading and inspection of lumber and other forest products and monitoring of the movement of timber and other forest products.

  • Promulgate rules and regulations for the control of water, air and land pollution; Promulgate ambient and effluent standards for water and air quality including the allowable levels of other pollutants and radiations;

  • Promulgate policies, rules and regulations for the conservation of the country's genetic resources and biological diversity, and endangered habitats; which will be presented to the Cabinet for the President's approval;

  • Formulate an integrated, multi-sectoral, and multi-disciplinary National Conservation Strategy, which will be presented to the Cabinet for President's approval;

  • Exercise other powers and functions and perform such other acts as may be necessary, proper or incidental to the attainment of its mandates and objectives.

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