ISSUES hounding the top management of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), including the rejection of the appointment of Secretary Regina Paz “Gina” Lopez, would not affect the agency’s programs in Negros Island Region (NIR).
This was the assured by newly-installed DENR-NIR head Livino Duran, whose prior assignment was in DENR-Western Visayas as assistant regional director.
During the turn-over rites held at the DENR-NIR office in Barangay 39, Bacolod City Thursday, May 4, Duran succeeded Al Orolfo, who was reassigned at the central office.
Duran assured the Negrenses that the agency’s priority programs and efforts on area development will continue.
His marching orders include focusing on individual performance, commitment, targets, and compliance to instructions.
Duran also said they will revisit the agency’s rehabilitation efforts on the two former mining sites in the region.
Earlier, Lopez visited the two former mining sites in Basay town, Negros Oriental and Sipalay City, in Negros Occidental, and was horrified upon seeing the effects of mining to the communities.
Environmental group Green Alert Network said they will “continue to be watchful and vigilant for the protection of our common property resources and natural capital which is non-negotiable for our island, country and Mother Earth's survival.”
Green Alert said it is “disappointed” as critical environmental concerns like illegal structures in the Northern Negros Natural Park and exploration at Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park were not addressed after several meetings with Orolfo.
“We hope that the paradigm of protection of our natural resources and life will be the priority of the next DENR-NIR head,” the group said.
For his part, Dave Albao, executive director of the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation Inc., expressed disappointment over the relief of Orolfo.
“Many of us in the local conservation movement feel were in a good momentum with a leader in DENR like RD Orolfo. With his sudden removal, I am afraid we may have to be back to square one. But the bigger issue is the removal that seems suspicious, politically-motivated,” Albao said.
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on May 05, 2017.
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