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Full implementation of environmental laws a top priority for Cimatu

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By Philippine News Agency

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Monday vowed to prioritize environmental protection through full implementation of existing laws on clean air, clean water and solid waste management.

Newly-appointed Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu poses for a photo before he was sworn into office by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte prior to the start of the 15th Cabinet Meeting at the State Dining Room of Malacañan Palace on May 7, 2017. (Credits: ROBINSON NIÑAL/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/ Manila Bulletin file photo)

Newly-appointed Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu (Credits: ROBINSON NIÑAL/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/ Manila Bulletin file photo)

At his first flag-raising ceremony in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Cimatu said he would also ensure strict adherence of mining laws by mining contractors and fight illegal logging.

“But my main effort will be protecting the environment and implementing laws, such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act,” Cimatu told DENR officials and employees, as he unveiled his environmental programs and management priorities as the new head of the agency.

The former military chief said he would work towards improving air quality in the country, particularly in Metro Manila.

Under his watch, Cimatu said the DENR will further intensify efforts to rehabilitate the historic Pasig River, an important water body in Metro Manila that connects Laguna Lake to Manila Bay.

“If we are able to clean the Pasig River, including the esteros, we will be successful,” Cimatu said.

Cimatu is also keen on addressing the issue of solid waste management, as he expressed concern over the huge volume of garbage being produced in Metro Manila every day.

Noting that the nation’s capital region churns out 4,000 dump trucks of waste daily, Cimatu said he is open to the possibility of creating a task force to deal with the problem.

Meanwhile, Cimatu promised to promote and safeguard the welfare of all workers in the DENR.

Cimatu said he would establish meritocracy in the DENR in order to give due recognition to best performing employees.

At the same time, however, Cimatu said he won’t hesitate to expose and punish corrupt DENR officials and employees as he has zero tolerance for corruption.

“It is, therefore, expected that every official and personnel of the DENR will serve the people in the highest standars of public service and accountability,” he pointed out.

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  • Idoy

    Full implementation of environmental laws? That is like dreaming for moon and stars. Check the listing of who are investors in the mining and logging corporations. Most are lawmakers current and retired, and most are AFP/PNP officers current and retired. One Senator was owner of logging corporation that scrapped off most of the trees in Samar, resulting now in less available water for drinking and agriculture.

    • Francis Fueconcillo

      Maganda sana kung nagrereklamo ay may SUGGESTION din.. Hindi yung puro pambabara kasisimula pa lang ng trabaho

      • Idoy

        The suggestion is do not allow mining in the Philippines because mining does not is a loss for the Filipinos now and for the next generations.
        Here are the examples:
        1. Mining uses tremendous amount of water and contaminate the water that there is no water for drinking and agriculture, resulting in Filipinos moving to squatters in Manila – millions of pesos per year in tax losses for social compensation. Talk to the communities affected by mining. Without water for hygiene, diseases take hold in the communities – another grave losses for the Filipinos.
        2. Mining is biggest root cause of NPA rebellion and NPA recruiting reasons. NPA has cost the government trillions of pesos for over 40 years in war damages including lives of military personnel and civilians.
        3. Mining benefits the investors by dollars terms because minerals are traded at the world market – allowing investors millions of income per year.
        4. Mining has caused floods that destroyed roads, bridges, homes and businesses resulting in billions of pesos losses per year.
        5. If you stop the mining activities, Filipinos will gain trillions of pesos by avoiding all the losses created by mining.