IT’S the season of booting out appointees. In Negros Occidental, we have Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Negros Island Region (NIR) Chief Al Orolfo who was removed from his post after he allegedly stopped a hydropower project in the Northern Negros Natural Park (NNNP).
Since my second stroke, I took an indefinite leave of absence in the Negrense environmental scene. Come to think of it, I miss my friends and colleagues from state and non-state agencies working on forestry issues.
And now I read that Orolfo has been kicked upstairs to serve at the Office of Undersecretary for Field Operations and Staff Bureaus Marlo Mendoza.
I never met the outgoing NIR Regional Executive Director. But Orolfo’s resumé is impressive. He is a public management practitioner with exposures and experiences in environment and natural resources conservation and protection through the adoption of proactive human resource management strategies and programs.
He has 25 years of government service and acquired significant experience in development management, project management, social mobilization and networking, wildlife law enforcement, protected area management, coastal resource management, and ecotourism development.
And yes, there goes a good man. His replacement, however, is equally worthy to the task. Livino Duran is competent as well. Livi knows the Negrense environmental scene, having served as head of Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office.
According to the SunStar Bacolod news, DENR Secretary Regina Paz Lopez signed Special Order No. 2017-359 dated April 27 naming Livino Duran as officer-in-charge of DENR-NIR office to replace Orolfo.
And now we get this. Ms Regina Paz Lopez herself was booted out – or bypassed – by the Commission of Appointments. I expected that. Gina has been ruffling too many feathers.
I agree with Senator Loren Legarda. Gina does have the toughness, “the passion, integrity and political will to implement our environmental laws. We live in extraordinary times and we need an extraordinary kind of leadership.” Amen to that.
Continues Senator Legarda: “Our natural environment has been compromised in the name of development. Our biological diversity has been significantly reduced and the general health of our environment is conceded to the greed of some.”
And now the $64 question: who will replace Gina as the DENR secretary? Will that someone be a maverick as Gina is? Or will she/he be a player?
President Duterte stuck with his guns for Gina. But CA members might be his allies. Obviously, there is a limit to that fealty. Because loyalty to vested interests came in first.
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on May 05, 2017.
Latest issues of SunStar Bacolod also available on your mobile phones, laptops, and tablets. Subscribe to our digital editions at epaper.sunstar.com.ph and get a free seven-day trial.