DEPARMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Executive Director Julian Amador is pushing for the mandatory creation of environment and natural resources office (Enro) in all local government units in Western Visayas.

Amador said he is following the stand of DENR Secretary Ramon JP Paje in urging local governments nationwide to have an Enro in each province, city and municipality where anyone who has a stake on the environment can easily bring his concerns.

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In Western Visayas, only the province of Negros Occidental had issued an ordinance requiring all cities and municipalities to create an environmental office to handle the challenging role in the protection and rehabilitation of its environment.

The province of Iloilo has its own fully functional ENR office, as well as the cities of Roxas, Capiz, Kalibo, Aklan, San Jose, Antique, Jordan, Guimaras, Passi and Iloilo.

Amador hopes that the creation of Enros will establish a smooth link between the DENR and the local governments since environmental rehabilitation and protection is now the greatest battle being waged to mitigate or to adapt with the menace of climate change.

Amador said the recent diseases that plagued Western Visayas like filiariasis and dengue could be mitigated through a clean environment.

"It is important that LGUs should be concerned with their environment from pollution and give importance to establish their environment office to work hand in hand with the DENR," he said.

Article 14 of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code, sets the qualifications, powers, and duties of an Enro, but the law provides that the appointment of the office is only optional. (LCP)