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 SPEECH OF SECRETARY ROY A. CIMATU

Department of Environment and Natural Resources

64TH Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference 

Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA)

Camp John Hay, Baguio City, November 24, 2017 

  

 

"RESPONSIBLE MINING IS NOT JUST A SLOGAN"

I AM TOLD THAT THIS WILL BE THE FIRST TIME IN YEARS THAT THE SITTING DENR SECRETARY GRACES THIS OCCASION. FOR SOME REASON MY PREDECESSORS HAVE MERELY SENT THEIR STATEMENTS TO BE READ BY THEIR SUBORDINATES. WHY SO? IF I MAY GUESS, THIS WAS TO SEND A MESSAGE THAT THE DEPARTMENT NO LONGER SAW THE INDUSTRY AS TRULY PURSUING THE PEOPLE'S AND THE NATIONAL INTEREST.

GIVEN ITS SEEMINGLY TATTERED IMAGE IN THE PUBLIC EYE, I MYSELF HESITATED AT FIRST TO EVEN CONSIDER COMING OVER. BUT I THOUGHT AS DENR SECRETARY, IS IT RIGHT TO SIMPLY IGNORE OR WORSE, CONDEMN, A SECTOR WHICH, FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES, AS IN OTHER COUNTRIES HAS THE MARKINGS OF A SOLID PARTNER FOR DEVELOPMENT AND THE NATIONAL GOOD? CAN THIS SECTOR REDEEM ITSELF IN THE SAME MANNER, SAY, AS THOSE IN CHILE AND INDONESIA WHICH ARE CONSIDERED AS MINERALIZED AS THE PHILIPPINES, WHERE THE MINING INDUSTRY BECAME RESPONSIBLE PARTNERS IN PROMOTING THE NATIONAL INTEREST? OR, AS PUT ANOTHER WAY BY DETRACTORS, IS IT WISER FOR US TO JUST GIVE UP FOR NOW, KEEP OUR RESOURCES UNTOUCHED AND LEAVE THEIR EXPLOITATION AND USE TO THE NEXT GENERATION?

THE BAGUIO DECLARATION

WELL, I AM HERE. WHAT FINALLY MADE ME DECIDE TO COME OVER WAS MY DESIRE TO DETERMINE FOR MYSELF WHETHER THERE IS STILL HOPE FOR REDEMPTON FOR AN INDUSTRY THAT HAS APPARENTLY FAILED OUR COUNTRY AND OUR PEOPLE. I INTEND TO FIND OUT WHETHER THE INDUSTRY HAS THE WILL AND THE STAMINA TO BREAK THE "CYCLE OF SIN", AS THE CRITICS ARE SAYING, WHICH A SIGNIFICANT SECTION OF OUR SOCIETY CONTINUES TO BELIEVE. I INTEND TO SATISFY MYSELF THAT THE INDUSTRY CAN RISE UP TO THE CHALLENGE WHICH PRESIDENT DUTERTE HAS THROWN FOR IT TO REFORM, REDRESS THE
GRIEVANCES OF THE IPS AND MINING COMMUNITIES AND ENHANCE ITS CURRENT 2 PERCENT CONTRIBUTION TO THE GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP) TO THE HIGH TWO DIGITS AS IN THE OTHER COUNTRIES.

IT IS WELL THAT YOU ARE HOLDING YOUR CONVENTION HERE IN THE CITY OF PINES WHERE THE AIR IS FRESH AND THE ATMOSPHERE QUITE CONGENIAL FOR SERIOUS DISCUSSION. IT IS ALL THE MORE PROPER THAT WE ARE HERE IN BAGUIO CITY, THE CENTER OF THE CORDILLERAS, WHERE MINING, FORESTRY AND AGRICULTURE - INDUSTRIES HEAVILY DEPENDENT FOR THEIR PRODUCTIVITY, UPKEEP AND SUSTAINABILITY ON THE HARMONIOUS RELATIONS BETWEEN NATURE AND MEN - ARE THE MAIN SOURCES OF LIVELIHOOD. IT IS, OF COURSE, HERE IN THE CORDILLERAS WHERE THESE INDUSTRIES, SPECIALLY MINING, ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE TAKEN ROOTS AS SERIOUS UNDERTAKINGS FOR OUR PEOPLE'S WELFARE.

THE QUESTION IS: HOW RESPONSIBLE HAS MINING BEEN HERE IN THE CORDILLERAS AND, BY EXTENSION, IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY SINCE THE TIME IT EMERGED AS A MODERN INDUSTRY IN THE EARLY 1900S? WILL THE INDUSTRY BE ABLE TO LIVE UP TO ITS EXPECTED ROLE AS A PRIME ENGINE OF OUR COUNTRY'S DEVELOPMENT SIMILAR TO THAT OF CHILE WHERE MINING CONTRIBUTES AS MUCH AS 17% TO THE GDP? OR IN INDONESIA WHERE IT ACCOUNTS FOR AT LEAST 14% OF GDP? IN THESE COUNTRIES, THE PUBLIC ACCEPTANCE OF MINING AS A FORCE FOR THE NATIONAL WELFARE HAS BEEN CONSISTENT. INDEED, THOSE ARE VERY IMPRESSIVE FIGURES IF COMPARED WITH OUR MINISCULE LESS THAN 2% OF GDP CONTRIBUTION. SO I ASK: WILL THE INDUSTRY SURVIVE AS A REAL, HONEST-TO-GOODNESS STEWARD OF THE COUNTRY'S MINERAL RESOURCES AND OUR PEOPLE'S PARTNER FOR A BETTER FUTURE? OR, WILL IT END UP AS AN IRRESPONSIBLE ONE, BENEFITTING ONLY A SMALL SEGMENT OF THE POPULATION WHILE WASTING OUR RESOURCES AND DEGRADING OUR ENVIRONMENT AND THUS DESTINED TO BE CONDEMNED TO THE DUSTBIN OF HISTORY?

IT IS MY HOPE THAT IN THE COURSE OF THIS CONVENTION THE PARTICIPANTS WHO ARE ALL CONSIDERED THE LEADERS OF THIS INDUSTRY WILL FINALLY COME TO TERMS WITH THIS CHALLENGE GIVEN THE FACT THAT OVER THE YEARS IT HAS BECOME ASSOCIATED WITH ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION, SOCIAL INJUSTICE, CORPORATE GREED AND UTTER IRRESPONSIBILITY. IT IS MY HOPE THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO PRESENT TO PRESIDENT DUTERTE AND OUR PEOPLE A COVENANT - A BAGUIO DECLARATION - AND
TAKE UP THIS CHALLENGE TO DO GOOD NOT ONLY TO YOUR STOCKHOLDERS BUT, MORE IMPORTANTLY, TO YOUR REAL SHAREHOLDERS - OUR PEOPLE. NOW AND IN THE FUTURE. IF ONLY FOR THAT THEN MY TRIP HERE TO BAGUIO WOULD HAVE BEEN WORTH THE EFFORT.

THE DEPARTMENT WILL DELIVER AS MANDATED

LET ME MAKE OUR POSITION VERY CLEAR AS MANDATED BY THE CONSTITUTION AND EXISTING LAWS. NO LESS THAN PRESIDENT DUTERTE HAS DECLARED IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS: THE ADMINISTRATION IS FOR RESPONSIBLE MINING. LET ME REPREAT: RESPONSIBLE MINING IS OUR MANDATE. NOT ANY OTHER. AND WHEN WE SAY RESPONSBILE MINING WE MEAN IT NOT AS A SLOGAN BUT A WORKING, ENFORCEABLE AND DOABLE PROGRAM.

THESE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS PRESIDENT DUTERTE SAID ABOUT MINING: A) IT MUST BE PEOPLE ORIENTED - IT MUST PROVIDE DECENT JOBS AND BENEFIT THE HOST COMMUNITIES; B) IT MUST PROTECT AND ENHANCE THE ENVIRONMENT; C) IT MUST NOT TRAMPLE ON THE RIGHTS AND PROMOTE THE WELFARE OF OUR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES WHOSE ANCESTRAL DOMAINS CONTAIN MOST OF OUR MINERALIZED RESOURCE; D) IT MUST CONTRIBUTE ITS FAIR SHARE TO THE NATIONAL INCOME AND E) IT MUST TRANSFORM ITSELF INTO A WORLD CLASS, EFFICIENT, EFFECTIVE AND COMPETITIVE INDUSTRY.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE REMEMBER THAT OUR NATURAL RESOURCES, OUR GOD GIVEN GIFTS - ARE OWNED BY ALL OF US. THESE ARE STATE ASSETS. YOU AS MINERS ARE ALLOWED TO MAKE USE OF THEM AS CONTRACTORS FOR OUR PEOPLE. TO BENEFIT ALL OF US NOW AND FOR THE GENERATIONS YET TO COME. SIMPLY PUT THIS MEANS THAT AN MPSA OR A FTAA IS A PRIVILEGE GIVEN, NOT A RIGHT ONE IS ENTITLED TO. WHICH IS WHY, THE INDUSTRY HAS TO ADHERE TO CERTAIN RULES AND ACCOUNTABILITIES FOR IT TO PROSPER AND BE SUSTAINED FOR THE NATIONAL GOOD.

AT THIS POINT, LET ME DEFINE WHAT WE CONSIDER RESPONSIBLE MINING: A) IT SHOULD BE SCIENCE BASED; B) IT SHOULD BE TECHNICALLY FEASIBLE; C) IT MUST BE ENVIRONMENTALLY AND SOCIALLY SOUND AND ACCEPTABLE; D) IT MUST BE FINANCIALLY VIABLE AND E) IT MUST BE GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE AND ALIGNED TO INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS.

OUR COMMON TASK THEREFORE AS RECIPIENTS OF THE BENEFITS AND ENABLERS OF THIS INDUSTRY IS TO SET THE PARAMETERS, THE METES AND BOUNDS, AS IT WERE, OF THIS MANDATE CALLED RESPONSIBLE MINING. TO BE SURE, THERE ARE ALREADY GUIDELINES AND STANDARDS IN PLACE DEFINING THE MANNER BY WHICH MINING SHOULD BE UNDERTAKEN UNDER THE MINING ACT AND NUMEROUS OTHER ORDERS WHICH HAVE BEEN ISSUED OVER TIME GOVERNING THE INDUSTRY. I WILL NOT BELABOUR THE ISSUE ANY FURTHER.

LET ME JUST RE-EMPHASIZE SOME POINTS. AS THE REGULATOR AND PRINCIPAL ENABLER OF THE INDUSTRY IT IS INCUMBENT UPON US TO ENSURE THE FOLLOWING: A) ENHANCE JOB CREATION AND INCOME GENERATION; B) LEGAL CERTAINTY; C) SUSTAINABLE BENEFIT FOR ALL INCLUDING TIMELINES FOR EVENTUAL PROCESSING OF OUR MINERAL RESOURCES; D) ENVIRONMENTAL ENHANCEMENT; E) EFFICIENT, EFFECTIVE AND COMPETITIVE MINING AND BUSINESS PRACTICES AND F) PROMOTION OF OUR DOMESTIC REQUIREMENTS.

AT THIS JUNCTURE LET ME JUST ADVISE THAT WE INTEND TO CARRY AND DELIVER ON OUR MANDATE TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY. EVEN AS WE WILL LISTEN TO ALL THE CONCERNS OF THE STAKEHOLDERS IN THIS INDUSTRY AND THE VOICE OF OUR PEOPLE, WE WILL CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN, FORD EVERY STREAM AND MONITOR EVERY PRACTICE THERE IS IN EACH AND EVERY MINING ACTIVITY INCLUDING THE SMALLEST QUARRY IN ANY CORNER OF THE COUNTRY TO ENSURE THAT THIS SECTOR RISES TO THE CHALLENGE OF CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE 21sT CENTURY.

THANK YOU. GOD BLESS US ALL. 

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CLOSING MESSAGE OF SECRETARY ROY A. CIMATU

Department of Environment and Natural Resources

(Delivered by Gen. Rodolfo Garcia) 

Closing Ceremony of the 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

 28 October 2017, PICC, Pasay City

 

EXCELLENCIES, DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES AND MEMEBRS OF THE MEDIA, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. . .

ON BEHALF OF THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT/, AND THE SECRETARY OF OUR DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES /, SECRETARY ROY A CIMATU/WE WOULD LIKE TO EXPRESS OUR SINCEREST GRATITUDE TO THE UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME/ AND OTHER UN BODIES/, IN PARTICULAR/, TO THE CMS FAMILY/-- THE CMS SECRETARIAT / LED BY EXECUTIVE SECRETARY BRADNEE CHAMBERS/, THE CHAIR OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MR. ROD HAYES/, THE CMS MEMBER-COUNTRIES/, AND THE CMS SISTER ORGANIZATIONS.

WE ALSO CONVEY/ OUR DEEPEST THANKS/ TO ALL THE REPRESENTATIVES/ FROM THE INTER-GOVERNMENTAL BODIES/, NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS/, PEOPLE'S ORGANIZATIONS/, ALL THE PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS/ WHO JOINED US IN THE WEEK-LONG CONFERENCE/ AS WELL AS OUR INTERNATIONAL AND LOCALWILDLIFE EXPERTS/, ALL OUR PARTNERS/ FROM LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS/ AND COLLEAGUES FROM THE VARIOUS PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES/ WHO STOOD BY US/ AND PROVIDED ALL THE NEEDED SUPPORT/ FOR OUR HOSTING/ OF THIS VERY IMPORTANT INTERNATIONAL GATHERING/ ON WILDLIFE CONSERVATION/.

THERE IS NO DOUBT / THAT THROUGH OUR INDIVIDUAL/ AND COLLECTIVE CONTRIBUTIONS/, WE HAVE/ TOGETHER/ MADE CMS COP12/ A VERY SUCCESSFUL EVENT/ AND A MAJOR MILESTONE/ IN THE HISTORY OF THE CONVENTION/. WE ARE HAPPY TO NOTE/ THAT THIS IS THE MOST ATTENDED CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES OF THE CMS/, TO DATE/. WE HAD / THE PARTICIPATION OF ALMOST 100% OFTHE PARTY STATES/, 45 INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS/ AND SEVERAL LOCAL NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS/. THIS CONFERENCE/ WAS ALSO ABLE TO GAIN PUBLIC ATTENTION/ ON SOCIAL MEDIA WITH THE HASHTAG CMSCOP12/.

I HOPE/ THAT WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED IN THE PAST SEVEN DAYS/ WILL SIGNAL A NEW BEGINNING/ FOR A STRONGER RESOLVE/ TO CARRY OUT MORE AGGRESSIVE/, EFFECTIVE/, AND EFFICIENT ACTIONS/ TOWARD OUR COMMON CAUSE/ OF PROTECTING AND CONSERVING MIGRATORY SPECIES THROUGHOUT THEIR RANGE/. AFTER ALL/, “THEIR FUTURE IS OUR FUTURE.”/

IN THESE SEVEN FULL DAYS OF TIRELESS INTERACTION/, WE HAVE ENGAGED PARTIES/, NON-PARTIES/, AND THE DELEGATES/ TO A PROCESS OF REVIEW/AND RENEWAL OF COMMITMENTS/. FROM THESE EXCHANGES/, WE FORGED AGREEMENTS/ AND PLEDGED ENHANCED CROSS-BOUNDARY COOPERATION/.

OUR COUNTRY EXTENDS SPECIAL THANKS/ TO THE PARTIES/FOR SUPPORTING THE RESOLUTIONS SUBMITTED BY THE PHILIPPINES TO THE CMS/. WITH THE DECISIONS HERE/ THIS PAST WEEK/, WE HOPE TO BRING BACK FROM THE BRINK/ THE WHALE SHARK/, THE WHITE SPOTTED WEDGEFISH/, THE YELLOW BUNTING/, THE BLACK NODDY/, THE CHRISTMAS ISLAND FRIGATE BIRD/ AND THE OTHER ANIMALS/ THAT MANY OF US MAY NEVER HAVE SEEN/ BUT WHOSE SURVIVAL/IS INTRICATELY LINKED WITH OURS/. THESE DEVELOPMENTS/ SHOULD HELP ENSURE/ THE VERY SURVIVAL OF THE MIGRATORY ANIMALS/ THAT BRING SO MANY BENEFITS/ NOT ONLY TO THE PHILIPPINES/ BUT TO SEVERAL OTHER COUNTRIES/THAT RELY ON THEM/ IN TERMS OF ECOSYSTEM SERVICES/ AND LIVELIHOOD OPPORTUNITIES/.

AND WHILE WE SPEAK OF TOURISM/ASA DRIVER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT/, WE OCCASIONALLY FAILTO REALIZE/ THAT WHAT MAKES NATURE TOURISM SUCCESSFUL/ENSURING THE PROTECTION/ OF ITS HIGHLIGHTS AND ATTRACTIONS/, WHICH/IN OUR CASE/, ARE MIGRATORY /LIKE BIRDS/, SHARKS/, AND MARINE MAMMALS/. OUR HEARTFELT THANKS/, THEREFORE/, FORTHE OVERWHELMING SUPPORT/ OF THIS BODY/ TO THE DOCUMENT ON SUSTAINABLE TOURISM/.

MOST CERTAINLY/, MORE GOVERNMENTS/ AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES/ ARE NOW/ MORE LIKELY TO EMBRACE PROTECTION/ AND CONSERVATION EFFORTS / OF OUR WILDLIFE SPECIES/ ONCE THEY CLEARLY SEE/ HOW MORE VALUABLE THESE ANIMALS ARE/, IF THEY CAN CO-EXIST WITH HUMANITY/ RATHER THAN/ TO BE CONSUMED AND EXPLOITED TO EXTINCTION/.

LIKE HUMANS/ WHO NEED DECENT LIVING SPACES/ TO BE ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE SOCIETY, OUR MIGRATORY SPECIES WILL BE UNABLE TO THRIVE WITHOUT PROTECTING THEIR HOMES AND FEEDING AREAS AS THEY TRAVEL ACROSS THEIR NATURAL RANGE. THUS, WE APPRECIATE THAT THIS CONFERENCE GAVE DUE RECOGNITION TO THE IMPORTANCE OF CONSERVING AND PROMOTING THE SUSTAINABLE USE OF INTERTIDAL WETLANDS AND OTHER COASTAL HABITATS OF IMPORTANCE FOR MIGRATORY SPECIES WORLDWIDE.

THE MANILA DECLARATION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND MIGRATORY SPECIES, ENRICHED BY THE OUTCOME OF THE HIGH LEVEL SEGMENT CONDUCTED BACK-TO-BACK AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS CONFERENCE, AND ADOPTED BY THE COP TAKES FULL COGNIZANCE THAT WILDLIFE SUPPORTS MANY NATIONAL AND GLOBAL ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THOSE RELATED TO AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, FISHERIES, ENERGY, TOURISM, TRANSPORT, MINING AND TRADE. THUS, IT IS NOW, MORE THAN EVER, OUR ACTIONS IN THIS CONVENTION, BE DEFINED AS SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO ACHIEVING GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY TARGETS AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS. WE ARE THEREFORE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR ENDORSEMENT OF THIS MILESTONE OUTCOME IN COP12, AS WE MOVE THIS DECLARATION FORWARD TO THE UN ENVIRONMENT ASSEMBLY AND TO THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY FOR BROADER SUPPORT AND ADOPTION.

WE THANK ALL THE PARTIES FOR SPIRIT OF COOPERATION ON THE MANILA DECLARATION, THE VARIOUS SPECIES LISTINGS, AND THE REVIEW MECHANISM.

THE PHILIPPINES WISHES TO THANK ALL THE PARTIES FOR THE REST OF THE RESOLUTIONS PASSED IN THIS CONFERENCE. WE MAY HAVE HAD DISAGREEMENTS, AND HAD TO RESOLVE THESE IN MORE CHALLENGING WAYS. BUT I SEE ALL THESE AS ACID TESTS THAT WILL CONTINUE TO SHAPE OUR CONVENTION AS A MAJOR PLAYER IN RELEVANT GLOBAL DISCUSSIONS ON THE INTERCONNECTIVITY OF MANKIND AND NATURE.

TO THIS END, NOVEL ACTIONS NEED TO BE UNDERTAKEN. WE HAVE AGREED TO DEVELOP NEW, AND STRENGTHEN EXISTING NATIONAL AND REGIONAL LEGAL FRAMEWORKS FOR THE CONSERVATION OF MIGRATORY SPECIES AND THEIR HABITATS, AND CLOSELY LINKED WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL WORK PROGRAMMES, IS THE IMPROVEMENT OF CAPACITIES OF PARTIES AND STAKEHOLDERS. FOR THIS, WE CALL ON THE UNEP AND THE UNDP TO FURTHER ENHANCE ITS SUPPORT IN HOSTING REGIONAL WORKSHOPS; FOR RESEARCH AND MONITORING; AND IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF UNIFIED GUIDELINES AND PROTOCOLS.

CONSERVING MIGRATORY SPECIES, AS WE KNOW, IS LIKEWISE A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY. THUS, WE SHOULD ENDEAVOR TO PROMOTE POLITICAL SUPPORT AND AWARENESS AMONG OUR CONSTITUENTS, AND THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING CONCERTED ACTION AGAINST THE THREATS TO MIGRATORY SPECIES. INACTION, LACK OF UNITY AND WEAK POLITICAL WILL CONSIGN MIGRATORY SPECIES TO THE DUSTBINS OF NATURAL HISTORY, MUSEUM SPECIMENS AND SCREENSAVERS.

WITH THIS IN MIND, AND AS HOST OF THIS COP, THE PHILIPPINES HAS OFFERED TO WORK WITH OUR SECRETARIAT AND WITH ALL OF YOU, INTERSESSIONALLY, TO FACILITATE STRONGER POLITICAL SUPPORT TO ACHIEVE THE GOALS WE HAVE SET OUT TO DO FROM NOW UNTIL THE NEXT COP. AND WE APPRECIATE THAT OUR PROPOSAL ON THE COP PRESIDENCY WAS WELL RECEIVED, AND SO WE NOW BUCKLE DOWN TO CONFRONT THE SUBSTANTIVE WORK AHEAD OF US.

WE ARE ALSO THANKFUL FOR THE PLEDGES MADE BY NON-PARTIES TO JOIN THE CONVENTION UPON COMPLETION OF THEIR DOMESTIC PROCEDURES.

TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, THE HOST COUNTRY OF THE 13TH CMS CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES IN 2020, WE EXTEND THE PHILIPPINES’ COMMITMENT OF FULL SUPPORT AND COOPERATION TO ENSURE THE SUCCESS OF THE NEXT CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES OF THE CMS FAMILY.

IN CLOSING, LET ME REITERATE THE MESSAGE OF UNEP EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ERIC SOLHEIM WHEN HE ADDRESSED THIS CONFERENCE ONLY A FEW DAYS AGO,

“BEING KIND TO THE PLANET AND UPLIFTING PEOPLE - THIS IS OUR AGENDA FOR THE 21ST CENTURY AND THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT WITH POLITICAL COMMITMENT, WE CAN DO IT.”

I TRULY BELIEVE THAT THIS IS NOW REALLY THE WAY TO GO. WE HAVE BEGUN OUR JOURNEY IN THIS MEETING. LET US NOT LOSE OUR MOMENTUM. WE HAVE OUR TASKS LAID DOWN AHEAD FOR US, ALL WE NEED IS A STRONGER WILL AND RESOLVE TO ACT ON THIS TOGETHER.

I WISH YOU ALL A SAFE TRIP BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY, FAMILY AND HOME, WITH HAPPY AND COLORFUL MEMORIES OF THE PHILIPPINES.

MARAMING SALAMAT MUCHAS GRACIAS, MERCI BEAUCOUP, DANKESCHON,THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MABUHAY! 

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OPENING STATEMENT OF SECRETARY ROY A. CIMATU

Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Press Conference of the 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

 1200H, 23 October 2017, PICC

 

UNEP DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR IBRAHIM THIAW, CMS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY DR. BRADNEE CHAMBERS, AMBASSADOR YANN ARTHUS-BERTRAND, MS NADYA HUTAGALUNG, UNDERSECRETARY JUN ADOBO AND BMB DIRECTOR MUNDITA LIM, MEMBERS OF FOREIGN AND LOCAL MEDIA, A GOOD AFTERNOON TO YOU ALL.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US IN THIS CONFERENCE. YOUR PARTICIPATION IS AN EXPRESSION OF YOUR INTEREST TO BE PART OF THE 12TH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON THE CONSERVATION OF MIGRATORY SPECIES OF WILD ANIMALS OR CMS-COP12.

AS HOST OF THIS TRIENNIAL COP MEETING, AND THIS BEING TOUTED AS THE MOST ATTENDED EVER FOR THE CMS, THE PHILIPPINES WILL CONSIDER THIS EVENT A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW TO THE ASEAN COMMUNITY AND THE REST OF THE WORLD THE IMPORTANCE OF THE COUNTRY AND THE REGION IN PROTECTING MIGRATORY SPECIES AND SAFEGUARDING THEIR HABITATS THROUGHOUT THEIR JOURNEY AND RANGE.

WE ARE ALSO HERE TO LISTEN AND INTERACT AS PARTY STATES BRING FORTH THEIR RESPECTIVE AGENDAS THAT WILL SURELY SEEK TO INTENSIFY CONSERVATION EFFORTS OF THESE WILD ANIMALS. WE KNOW THAT WHILE SOME TERRESTRIAL ANIMALS LIKE ELEPHANTS DO NOT EXIST IN OUR COUNTRY, THEIR BY-PRODUCTS AND DERIVATIVES FIND THEIR WAY HERE, WHICH MAKES IT IMPERATIVE FOR US TO JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING AND ILLEGAL TRADE.

WE ENCOURAGE MEDIA TO HELP US DISSEMINATE BETTER THE FACT THAT SPECIES MIGRATION IS NOT ONLY AN AMAZING PHENOMENON THAT CAN BE READ IN BOOKS OR WATCHED ON TV, BUT IS SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY HAS A DIRECT IMPACT ON HUMANITY THROUGH THE SERVICES THEY PROVIDE. THEIR FUTURE, THEREFORE, IS INDEED OUR OWN FUTURE.

AGAIN, OUR GRATITUDE TO MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA WHO ARE PRESENT TODAY, AND WE HOPE THAT THIS PRESS CONFERENCE WILL BE FRUITFUL AND INTERACTIVE.

THANK YOU. 

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WELCOME REMARKS OF SECRETARY ROY A. CIMATU

Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Opening Ceremony of the 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

23 October 2017, 0930H, Reception Hall, PICC

 


SRAC CMS1

HONORABLE TARSICIO GRANIZO, MINISTER FOR ENVIRONMENT, ECUADOR, OUR VERY OWN SENATOR CYNTHIA VILLAR,MR IBRAHIM THIAW,MR. JOHN SCANLON, MS. CRISTINA PAŞCA PALMER, DR. BRADNEE CHAMBERS, HONORABLE MINISTERS, AMBASSADORS YANN ARTHUS-BERTRAND AND NADYA HUTUGALONG, DISTINGUISHEDLEADERS OF THE CMS AND THE UNITED NATIONS; THE DIPLOMATIC COMMUNITY; MEMBERS OF THE PHILIPPINE DELEGATION; CIVIL SOCIETY PARTNERS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, GOOD MORNING.

ALLOW ME TO CONGRATULATEECUADOR FORADVANCING THE WORK OF THE CONVENTION AS HOST OF THE PRECEDING MEETING – THE ELEVENTH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES OR COP11.WE HOPE THAT AS HOST TO THE COP12, THE PHILIPPINES CAN APPROXIMATE THE ACHIEVEMENTSOF ECUADOR TO CONTINUE TO UPHOLD THE RELEVANCE OF THE CONVENTION IN CONSERVING GLOBALLY SHARED RESOURCES - THE MIGRATORY SPECIES.

OUR COUNTRY IS HIGHLY HONORED BY THIS OPPORTUNITY TO HOST THE LARGEST AND MOST IMPORTANT MIGRATORY WILDLIFE CONSERVATION MEETING, THE COP 12. FOR THIS, WE THANK THE CMS FAMILY.

HOSTING THE COP12 IS OF GREAT IMPORTANCE TO THE PHILIPPINES’ CONTRIBUTIONS TO PROGRAMS ON THE CONSERVATION OF MIGRATORY SPECIES, INCLUDING THEIR HABITATS, COHERENT WITH STRATEGIES AND ACTION PLANS UNDER MULTILATERAL ENVIRONMENTAL CONVENTIONS.

HERE AND NOW, WE SHALL BE FORGING STRONGER TIES AMONG THE MEMBER STATES, AND ENCOURAGE NON-CMS PARTIES YET, ESPECIALLY THE ASEAN COMMUNITY, TO BE PART OF THIS VERY VITAL COOPERATION PLATFORM ON MIGRATORY SPECIES.

YESTERDAY, WE HAD A VERY SUCCESFUL HIGH-LEVEL MEETING ATTENDED BY VARIOUS MINISTERS AND OFFICERS OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS. THE DISCUSSION WAS VERY SUBSTANTIVE. INDEED WE FACE SO MANY CHALLENGES IN OUR ONGOING EFFORTS, BUT WE ARE ALL HERE NOW BECAUSE WE BELIEVE THAT CONCERTED, CROSS-BOUNDARY COOPERATION CAN HAPPEN. WE SHALL ADDRESS THE WEAK LINKS IN THE CHAIN. UNDER CMS, WE ARE COMMITTED TO SUSTAIN AND STRENGTHEN FURTHER POLICIES AND PROGRAMS FOR MIGRATORY SPECIES.

I WOULD LIKE TO EMPHASIZE THE FOCUS WE ARE NOW GIVING TO BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION. THE ASEAN REGION CONTAINS 18 PER CENT OF THE PLANET’S KNOWN SPECIES OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS. THE ASEAN IS ALSO HOME TO THREE OF THE 17 MEGA-DIVERSE COUNTRIES, THESE THREE BEING INDONESIA, MALAYSIA AND THE PHILIPPINES. WE HAVE NUMEROUS ENDEMIC AND RARE ENDANGERED SPECIES AND UNIQUE ECOSYSTEM SERVICES, AND THE REGION’S FORESTS STORE MORE THAN 80 BILLION TONS OF CARBON; THESE CONTRIBUTE SIGNIFICANTLY TO THE LIVELIHOODS OF A SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER OF PEOPLE.

HOWEVER, IT IS CRUCIAL THAT WE LIKEWISE ACKNOWLEDGE THE IMMENSE THREATS CONFRONTING THIS RICH BIODIVERSITY IN OUR REGION AND GLOBALLY. IN ADDRESSING THESE THREATS, COOPERATION AMONG RANGE STATES IS NOTHING SHORT OF IMPERATIVE.

MANY MIGRATORY SPECIES ARE FACING EXTINCTION. IF WE CAN COME TOGETHER AND WORK WITHIN THE CMS FRAMEWORK, WE CAN ACTIVELY ENDEAVOR TO STRICTLY PROTECT THEM. WE NEED TO PROHIBIT THE TAKING OF SUCH SPECIES, CONSERVE AND RESTORE THEIR HABITATS, PREVENT OR MITIGATE OBSTACLES TO THEIR MIGRATION, AND MANAGE OTHER FACTORS THAT MIGHT ENDANGER THEM.
THUS, WE WELCOME CAMBODIA AND BHUTAN'S COMMITMENTS TO ENGAGE AS STATE PARTIES. WE ARE ENCOURAGED BY THEIR COGNIZANCE OF THE VITAL IMPORTANCE OF MIGRATORY SPECIES HIGHLIGHTING THIS CONFERENCE'S BATTLE CRY: OUR FUTURE IS THEIR FUTURE.

FELLOW MEMBERS, I ENJOIN YOU ALL TO PARTICIPATE ACTIVELY IN THE MANY MEETINGS AND ACTIVITIES OF THIS COP. BUT AS IMPORTANTLY, I HOPE YOU WILL ALSO SPARE TIME TO ENJOY THE PHILIPPINES --- TO SEE THE BEAUTIFUL ISLANDS OF THE COUNTRY, EXPERIENCE THE WARM FILIPINO HOSPITALITY AND DISCOVER OUR RICH BIODIVERSITY.

THROUGH THE FIELD TRIPS THAT WE ARE ORGANIZING, YOU WILL HAVE THE CHANCE TO VISIT ANY OF THESE PLACES: THE BALANGA WETLAND AND NATURE PARK, WHERE MIGRATORY BIRDS ARE NOW STARTING TO ARRIVE; THE ANILAO BEACHES WITHIN THE VERDE ISLAND PASSAGE, RECOGNIZED AS THE CENTER OF GLOBAL SHORE-FISH BIODIVERSITY; TAAL VOLCANO, WHERE YOU CAN TRAVEL TO THE CENTER OF THE VOLCANO CRATER; THE CORREGIDOR ISLAND, A HISTORICAL ISLAND FORTRESS, SITE OF BLOODY BATTLE BETWEEN FILIPINO-AMERICAN FORCES AGAINST THE JAPANESE IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR; THE LAS-PIÑAS PARAÑAQUE CRITICAL HABITAT AND ECOTOURISM AREA, A NATURE RESERVE SITUATED JUST MINUTES AWAY FROM THIS VENUE, WHICH OFFERS MIGRATORY BIRDS SIGHTINGS; AND OF COURSE, A CULTURAL TOUR AROUND METRO MANILA.

WE ARE COUNSELED THAT “THE WILDERNESS HOLDS ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS MAN HAS NOT YET LEARNED TO ASK”; BORROWING FROM A FAMOUS CONSERVATION WRITER, OURS IS A FRAGILE WORLD. RECOGNIZING THIS, LET US NOW PROCEED TO STAUNCHLY DEFEND OUR NATURAL HERITAGE.

THANK YOU AND GOOD MORNING. 

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MESSAGE OF SECRETARY ROY A. CIMATU

Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Champions Night Dinner, CMS COP12 

1900H, 22 October 2017,Hotel Sofitel, Manila, Philippines

 

GOOD EVENING. WELCOME TO THE CHAMPIONS NIGHT DINNER. BEFORE WE PARTAKE OF OUR SUMPTUOUS DINNER TONIGHT, LET US GIVE A ROUND OF APPLAUSE TO OUR CHAMPIONS: CONGRATULATIONS GERMANY, MONACO, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, ITALY, AND THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION.

THESE CHAMPION PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION, EVER SINCE, HAVE EXHIBITED EXEMPLARY EFFORTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS FOR THE PROTECTION AND CONSERVATION OF MIGRATORY SPECIES OF WILD ANIMALS IN THE WORLD. THEY DO NOT ONLY MAKE AVAILABLE THE NEEDED FINANCIAL RESOURCES TO CAPACITATE CMS PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS WORLDWIDE, THEY ALSO ENABLE REGIONAL OPERATING MECHANISMS AT THE REGIONAL LEVEL.

WE HOPE THAT OTHER PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION WOULD BE INSPIRED BY THEIR EXCELLENT WORKS, AND BE MOTIVATED TO FOLLOW THEIR FOOTSTEPS. WE NEED MORE CHAMPIONS IN OUR CONTINUING FIGHT AGAINST HUNTING, HABITAT LOSS, POLLUTION AND WILDLIFE TRADE.

AGAIN CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY TO THIS YEAR’S CHAMPIONS! 

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WELCOME MESSAGE OF SECRETARY ROY A. CIMATU

Department of Environment and Natural Resources

High Level Panel Discussion of the Twelfth Session of the Conference of the Partiesto the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

1400H, 22 October 2017, Hotel Sofitel, Manila, Philippines

 


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BRADNEE CHAMBERS OF THE CONVENTION ON THE CONSERVATION OF MIGRATORY SPECIES OF WILD ANIMALS (CMS); SECRETARY GENERAL JOHN SCANLON OF THE CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES OF WILD FLORA AND FAUNA (CITES), EXECUTIVE SECRETARY CRISTIANA PASCA PALMER OF THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY (CBD); DISTINGUISHED MINISTERS AND DIGNITARIES FROM AFRICA, NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA, ASIA, AND EUROPE; CHIEF OFFICERS OF INTERNATIONAL NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS; ENVIRONMENTAL GOODWILL AMBASSADORS; REPRESENTATIVES OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS; ESTEEMED DELEGATES; RESPECTED MEMBERS OF THE CMS SECRETARIAT; LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, GOOD AFTERNOON!

IT IS AN IMMENSE HONOR TO WELCOME YOU ALL TO THIS GLOBAL EVENT, A CONVERGENCE OF GREAT MINDS GEARED TOWARDS THE REALIZATION OF A NOBLE ASPIRATION. THIS HIGH-LEVEL PANEL DISCUSSION -- WHICH IS BEING HELD ON THE EVE OF THE TWELFTH MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON THE CONSERVATION OF MIGRATORY SPECIES OF WILD ANIMALS(or CMS COP12) -- IS A FITTING PRELUDE TO THE CONFERENCE, AS IT SHALL SET THE TONE FOR THE ENSUING DISCUSSIONS AND NEGOTIATIONS.

THE PRESENCE OF EACH ONE OF US IN THIS FORUM IS A TESTAMENT TO OUR GENUINE CONCERN ON THE URGENT NEED TO STRENGTHEN EXISTING ACTIONS FOR THE CONSERVATION OF MIGRATORY SPECIES AND TO FORMULATE NEW MEASURES TO ENSURE THEIR CONTINUING SURVIVAL. OUR PARTICIPATION IN THIS FORUM LIKEWISE AFFIRMS OUR WILLINGNESS TO COLLABORATE TOWARDS THE ATTAINMENT OF THIS OBJECTIVE.

I AM ECSTATIC THAT THIS CONFERENCE IS BEING HELD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ASIA, PARTICULARLY IN MY COUNTRY, THE PHILIPPINES. CONSIDERING THE VAST AND HETEROGENOUS LANDSCAPE OF THIS REGION, WHICH SERVES AS HOME TO DIVERSE MIGRATORY FAUNA, IT IS INDEED AN OPPORTUNE TIME FOR ASIA TO ASSUME THE CENTRAL ROLE IN THIS CONFERENCE.

THE THEME OF THE CONFERENCE, “THEIR FUTURE IS OUR FUTURE - SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FOR WILDLIFE AND PEOPLE” HIGHLIGHTS THE INEXTRICABLE CONNECTION BETWEEN HUMANITY AND WILDLIFE. IT REFLECTS THE INDISPENSABLE CONTRIBUTIONS OF WILDLIFE TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND THE MANY SOCIO-ECONOMIC BENEFITS PEOPLE DERIVE FROM THEM IN THE FORM OF FOOD, POLLINATION, PEST CONTROL, MEDICINAL AND GENETIC RESOURCES, AND ECOTOURISM.

WILDLIFE UNDERPINS MANY NATIONAL AND GLOBAL ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES, INCLUDING THOSE RELATED TO AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, FISHERIES, ENERGY, TOURISM, TRANSPORT, MINING AND TRADE. RECOGNIZING THE GREAT EXTENT OF ACTIVITIES INVOLVING WILD ANIMALS AND THE MULTITUDE OF BENEFITS THAT HUMANITY DERIVES FROM THEM, IT IS OUR DUTY TO RECIPROCATE, BY HARMONIOUSLY CO-EXISTING WITH ALL OTHER CREATURES AMIDST OUR CONTINUING PURSUIT OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC PROGRESS.

THIS PANEL DISCUSSION SHALL PROVIDE THE FORUM FOR ESTABLISHING THE VITAL LINK BETWEEN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND THE CONSERVATION OF WILDLIFE,WITH A SPECIAL FOCUS ON MIGRATORY SPECIES. WE ARE HERE TO TACKLE HOW THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE POLICIES ADOPTED THROUGH THE CONVENTION ON THE CONSERVATION OF MIGRATORY SPECIES OF WILD ANIMALS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THE SEVENTEEN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS.

I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO MAKE USE OF THIS OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE AND SHARE EXPERIENCES, BEST PRACTICES, INSIGHTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS. TOGETHER, LET US MAKE THIS HIGH-LEVEL PANEL DISCUSSION A CATALYST IN BRINGING WILDLIFE TO THE CENTER OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, FOR THE MUTUAL BENEFIT OF WILDLIFE AND HUMANKIND.

WELCOME TO THE PHILIPPINES! WELCOME TO THIS HIGH LEVEL EVENT!

THANK YOU. MABUHAY! 

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OPENING REMARKS OF SECRETARY ROY A. CIMATU

Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Leader’s Breakfast of the Twelfth Session of the Conference of the Partiesto the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

0800H, 22 October 2017,Hotel Sofitel, Manila, Philippines

 

SRAC CMS Leaders Bfast web2TO OUR DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME (UNEP), CONVENTION ON MIGRATORY SPECIES (CMS) SECRETARIAT, DELEGATES, PARTNERS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, A PLEASANT MORNING TO ALL OF YOU!

IT IS THE PRIVILEGE OF THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENTTO WELCOME AND JOIN YOU IN THIS LEADER’S BREAKFAST MEETING ORGANIZED IN THE MARGINS OFTODAY’S HIGH-LEVEL EVENTS OF THE CMS COP12 IN PREPARATION TO THE UPCOMING THIRD UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT ASSEMBLY (UNEA-3) IN DECEMBER THIS YEAR. I PERSONALLY WISH TO EXTEND OUR HEARTFELT APPRECIATION TO UNEP AND THE CMS SECRETARIAT FOR HOSTING THIS EVENT, AND LIKEWISE FOR YOUR TIRELESS EFFORT AND COMMITMENT TO UNITE ALL NATIONS IN A CONTINUING DRIVE TO COMBAT ISSUES ON POLLUTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY.

MARINE POLLUTION IS NOT NEW TO US. ITHAS ALWAYS BEEN OUR GLOBAL, PERSISTENT, AND GROWING CONCERN FOR DECADES ALREADY.

IT IS CLEAR TO US THAT MARINE DEBRIS IMPACTS MORE THAN 800 SPECIES OF WILDLIFE SPECIES. THE NUMBER OF AFFECTED MIGHT STILL RISE AS THERE ARE STILL COMPLEX ISSUES THAT WE ARE YET TO FULLY INVESTIGATE,INCLUDING THAT OF THE MICROPLASTICS.

REALIZING THAT SOLVING THE MARINE DEBRIS PROBLEM STARTS BY HALTING ITS SOURCES FROM THE UPLAND, THE PHILIPPINES IS STRENGTHENING ITS UPSTREAM MANAGEMENT BY INCORPORATING INTEGRATED COASTAL MANAGEMENT (ICM) STRATEGIES AND ACTIVITIES TO THE RESOURCE USE AND DEVELOPMENT PLANS OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS.

IN TERMS OF NATIONAL POLICIES, SINCE 2011, THERE HAVE BEEN SEVERAL BILLS PRESENTED IN BOTH THE UPPER AND LOWER HOUSES TO BAN, PHASE OUT, TAX, OR REGULATE THE USE OF PLASTIC BAGS IN THE COUNTRY. DESPITE TAILBACKS IN THE NEGOTIATION AND ADOPTION PROCESS, A SHED OF LIGHT CAN BE SEEN ALREADY AS THERE ARE LOCALIZED EFFORTS BEING INITIATED BY A NUMBER OF OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS. THE USE OF COMMERCIALLY-VIABLE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY PLASTIC ALTERNATIVES IS BEING MPLEMENTED BY VARIOUS SECTORS.

THE PHILIPPINES IS A LONG-TIME PARTICIPANT TO THE INTERNATIONAL COASTAL CLEAN-UP (ICC)INITIATED BY THE OCEAN CONSERVANCY. ICC NOT JUST HELPS US IDENTIFY MAIN SOURCES AND TYPE OF DEBRIS BUT ALSO ENGAGES PEOPLE TO TAKE PART IN CLEANING THE COASTS. THIS IS AN ACTIVITY THAT LEADS TO POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR CHANGE.

I AM PROUD TO ANNOUNCE AS WELL THAT THIS YEAR THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT HASAPPROVEDTHE COASTAL AND MARINE ECOSYSTEMS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM (CMEMP), A 12-YEAR INITIATIVETO BE IMPLEMENTED BY THE ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES DEPARTMENT, TO HOLISTICALLY ADDRESS THETHREATS AND DRIVERS OF DEGRADATION OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT. CMEMP CLOTHS US IN FULL ARMOR, FROM CAPACITATING MANAGERS TO MOBILIZING COMMUNITIES, AND EVEN DEVELOPING STANDARDS, IN ORDER TO IMPLEMENT AN ALL-INCLUSIVE RIDGE TO REEF RESOURCES MANAGEMENT.

THESE ACTIONS, SMALL AS THEY MAY SEEM, CAN ALTOGETHER CREATE RIPPLES OF CHANGE. BUT WE, AS A SMALL ARCHIPELAGIC NATION, CANNOT SOLVE THEISSUESALONE. AND I BELIEVE NO OTHER SINGLE COUNTRY CAN.

THIS DIALOGUE IS BENEFICIAL FOR ALL OF US AS WE CONTINUE TO CREATE SYNERGIES AND STRENGTHEN PARTNERSHIPS TO DEVELOP INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES AND SOLUTIONS IN ADDRESSING MARINE POLLUTION AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION.

WITH THIS, I WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL THOSE WHO HAVE EXTENDED THEIR SUPPORT IN MAKING THIS GATHERING POSSIBLE. I WISH YOU ALL A FRUITFUL DISCUSSION AND A PRODUCTIVE DAY AHEAD. A PLEASANT MORNING TO EVERYONE! 

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OPENING STATEMENT OF SECRETARY ROY A. CIMATU

Department of Environment and Natural Resources

CONFIRMATION HEARING 

20 September 2017, Philippine Senate, Pasay City

 

SRAC CA webMr. Chairman, Senator Pacquiao, Mr. Vice-Chairman, Congressman Salimbangon, Honorable Members of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources of the Commission on Appointments (CA), Good Morning.

​It is my distinct privilege and honor to appear before this committee for confirmation as President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s nominee as Secretary of the DENR. I am humbled by the President’s trust and confidence in me as I remain for now in concurrent capacity as Special Envoy for Overseas Filipinos. With your guidance and consent, I will try to do my best to be able to serve our country and people once again this time as DENR Secretary.

​Your Honors, this is not the first time that I have gone through the CA’s rigorous confirmation process. Your humble servant has undergone confirmation five (5) times: first, as a full pledge Colonel in 1989; then as BG in 1997; then as MG in 2000; then as LG in 2001 and finally as the AFP Chief of Staff in 2002. I would like to believe that having successfully hurdled each and every confirmation up to the highest available position in our Armed Forces, I have shown the kind of competence and integrity deserving of the Commission’s endorsement.

​To my mind, I have served our country well and to the best of my ability. I tend to believe that the thirty four (34) medals which were accorded me in the course of my active duty as a soldier of the Republic for over 37 years are the official manifestation of a career well spent in the service of our people. Now, with God’s grace and your approval, I hope to be able to prove myself in an argument which is far removed from soldiery.

​While each confirmation carries its own unique challenges, I would say that going through this one – after the high profile, heated debates that
attended the confirmation of the Former Secretary-designate - has given me the most sleepless nights. Nevertheless, I am grateful to be given time to ventilate my views and exchange notes with distinguished members of the Commission on Appointments (CA) on how best we can make use of our natural resources to promote sustainable development and inclusive growth while ensuring, and hopefully, enhancing the country’s environmental balance.

​As a young boy growing up in the coastal town of Bangui, Ilocos Norte my first impressions of our God given resources were of the pristine waters of our Bolo River; the beautiful beaches with almost perpetual wind surges along the South China, now West Philippine, Sea and the cool, clean morning breezes blowing from the Cordillera mountain ranges. Despite the ravages of time and increased population, Bangui remains environmentally balanced and progressing as it hosts the country’s biggest wind farms.

​I note that the first wind farm in Southeast Asia with an initial capacity of 25MW was set up in Bangui while the first run-of-water hydro project in the Philippines was built in the neighboring town of Pagudpud. By the way, Pagudpud has now become a major eco-tourism destination in the country. As a result of such developments, both Bangui and Pagudpud are set to graduate into second if not first class municipality status in due time.

​Given the chance, it is my hope that during my stint at the DENR I will be able to contribute to the rational and balanced development of small towns like Bangui and Pagudpud which are relatively resource rich or even those which are simply clean and green as most of our rural areas used to be.

​I take these gifts to our country as opportunities to work even more to further the interest of our people whose daily struggles need to be rewarded with a more prosperous, inclusive and hopeful future. Ang DENR po ay nasa posisyon upang tumulong na makamit nating lahat ang isang masagana at matiwasay na bukas.

​Your Honors, being President Duterte’s point man in the daunting task of protecting our environment in all its forms and ensuring the wise and responsible use of our God given resources – from the mines to the lakes and rivers, to the forests, to the plains, to our waters, to the every air we breathe and even to our waste – I will try my best to enforce our laws in as responsible and balanced a manner as possible. For the public good, I will adhere to global best practices and in accordance with internationally recognized standards. After all, that is what I understand being a steward is meant to be.

​While I am not a card carrying environmentalist, in the course of the more than three months that I have been with the DENR I can tell that a lot more needs to be done to ensure that our mandates are properly and wisely undertaken. I have seen during my visits to various places the worse and the best practices.

​But I am glad to report, Your Honors, that we have in the DENR a corps of professionals ready, willing and able to do their share in making sure that the Department adheres to its mandate under the Constitution and our laws. They are committed to do their very best for the public good. Sila po ang katulong natin upang matupad ang ating mga pangarap para sa ating bayan at mga kababayan.

​I intend to provide guidance and leadership so that these dedicated professionals will rise up to the challenges of our time. Equally, in this age of increased public awareness and technological advances, we at the DENR, together with our partners in the private sector and even overseas, will interactively inform, educate and inspire the broad masses of our people to make of our environmental management and resource development plans, something we can all be proud of.

​Naniniwala po akong dapat sama-sama po tayo upang ipaglaban ang mga adhikaing ito. TAYO PO ANG KALIKASAN. Tayong lahat. Hindi lamang po si Pangulong Duterte o ako o ang mga kawani ng DENR at ang kanilang mga pamilya.

​I intend to listen to all the voices out there and make full use of our powers and resources at the Department to ensure that these various issues and concerns will be properly and judiciously addressed. I will definitely treasure the Committee’s advise and guidance as I face up to the demands and challenges of being at the helm of the DENR.

​In this regard, I have prepared, for the Committee’s consideration materials containing what I consider President Duterte’s marching orders as far as our work in the DENR is concerned. Let me also share with you, through this short video presentation, what we, at the DENR have accomplished to date.

I am now ready for the Committee’s processes. Maraming Salamat po.

May God bless us all.  

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KEYNOTE SPEECH OF HON. ROY A. CIMATU

Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources

MINING PHILIPPINES 2017 

06 September 2017, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila (Delivered by Undersecretary Jonas Leones)

 

The Board of Trustees and Officers of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, members of the diplomatic corps, mining stakeholders, fellow workers in government, guests, ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant and vibrant morning to all!

First of all, let me congratulate you for organizing and participating in this conference and symposium. This annual gathering of industry players engaged in mineral exploration, development and utilization provides an excellent venue, not only to exchange ideas and new trends, but also to promote the mining industry, which of late has been under close scrutiny.

You have chosen a most appropriate theme for this year: “Enhancing the Position of Minerals and Metals in the Global Landscape.” Indeed, this gives emphasis to the claim that modern society cannot do without minerals and metals, no matter what some sectors say.
Hence, let me share with you the government’s role in fostering the Philippine mining industry in the global arena with due consideration to the environment and its host communities.

First, let us see the Philippines’ mineral potential.

 

• Of the Philippines’ total land area of 30 million ha, 9 million ha have high mineral potential in metallics and non-metallics
• Only 2.70% or 0.811 million ha - total land area is covered by mining tenements Only 3% of areas covered by Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSAs) are being actively mined
• These areas are still subject to the mandatory relinquishment by contractors. This means that areas in a tenement that are no longer feasible to mine should be given back by the mining company or contractor to the government or to the landowner
• 2.2 Million sq km- Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) with total shoreline of 35,286 km - 3rd longest shoreline in the world, with huge mineral potential

 

Given the enormous mineral potentials in the country, we in the DENR, are serious about making right the sound management of our mineral resources.
Hence, we have adopted the DENR development framework anchored on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the long term vision of the country or the Ambisyon Natin 2040, the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan and DENR’S Program For Environment And Natural Resources For Restoration, Rehabilitation And Development or PRRD. In the PRRD, which is our roadmap for 2017-2022, we have identified mining as one of our focus areas.
The PRRD is anchored on the core principles of good and effective governance to ensure the integrity of the DENR’s frontline services; inclusive growth for the country through the improvement of the socio-economic conditions of our local communities, especially those who host mining activities and social justice, where people, regardless of their status in life, could enjoy equitably the benefits derived from our natural resources and a healthy environment.

The strategic elements to implement the priorities under the PRRD are best remembered using the acronym SRAC. SRAC – does not stand for Secretary Roy A. Cimatu but,

 

S – for Sustainability of interventions to the environment and its social impacts;
R- for Research-based decision making that is science and evidence-based;
A – for Adaptive and flexible to the current state of the environment; and
C – for Collaborative partnerships with all stakeholders in planning and implementation of DENR programs, projects and activities

 

Priority Programs to implement the PRRD are:

 

1. Restoration of Forest and Protected Areas;
2. Good and Effective Governance in Environmental Protection;
3. Adaptation to Climate Change and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources;
4. Social Justice in Land Titling; and
5. Conservation of Coastal and Marine Resources

 

While mineral resources fall under priority program no. 3, i.e., on sustainable use of natural resources, I know that the mining industry also has initiatives in the four other programs such no. 1- adopt a mining forest and participation in the National Greening Program, no. 2- environmental protection and enhancement programs; no. 3- climate change adaptation and mitigation measures; no. 5- coastal resource management such as mangrove plantations and no.4- social justice, through your Community and Social Development and Management Programs. I learned that some companies have built homes to relocate residents of barangays in geohazard areas and for indigenous communities.

When the President appointed me to head the DENR, his marching order was simple, though substantial. He said “just do your duty, do it right, and always do it for the country.” This may seem a simple task. But, as I immersed myself in this job, I realized, in reality, the challenges are overwhelming. President Rodrigo Duterte wants the mining industry to contribute more to the country’s economic growth, without sacrificing the environment and the well-being of the local people. Hence, the DENR has policy initiatives and directions to help the mining industry respond positively to the President’s directives.
We at the DENR, have sworn to strongly pursue the sustainable development of our natural resources by properly implementing applicable laws, while protecting the environment and providing the Filipinos with the economic benefits thereof.

Hence, here are some of the policy directions to enhance the position of mineral resources of our country in the global arena:

 

1. Ease or reduce the cost of doing business in the country

 

• ECC for Environmentally Critical Projects are processed within 40 days by the EMB Central Office while
• ECC for Projects in Environmentally Critical Areas are processed within 20 days by the EMB Regional Offices
• President Duterte signed Executive Order No. 30 in June 28, 2017. One of its provisions state that the ECC for a power project is to be signed by the DENR

 

    Secretary on the 27th day from the date of application

• Our Environmental Management Bureau has developed and is implementing the online processing of ECC applications
• Streamlining of mining application procedures and their processing will be pursued.
• The Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau will spearhead inter-agency coordination of government agencies dealing with mining projects

2. The government encourages mineral processing in the country to maximize benefits from the mining industry and hence, is also fast-tracking its infrastructure and energy programs. This entails the establishment of a robust mine-to-metal value chain -to ensure availability and security of materials and commodities and minimize risks and the formulation of policies on minerals and metals-led industrialization initiatives.

 

3. The DENR will revisit regulatory and compliance policies in the mining industry.

4. The government will conduct a resource inventory and further exploration to determine mineral resources and their potentials, e.g., possible Mineral Exploration in the Bentham Rise

5. Also, in response to the SONA of President Duterte, the DENR, that is, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau and the Environmental Management Bureau will conduct strict and continuous monitoring of mining operations so they comply with mining and environmental laws and other relevant laws;

6. Conduct of immediate investigation and imposition of penalties and sanctions on violators;

7. Immediate implementation of rehabilitation/remediation of areas due to the adverse effects/damages of mining operations and the prompt assessment and payment of compensation to affected individuals

 

Under the PRRD, we are committed to accomplish the following:

1. Formulate innovative policies to make the mining industry more competitive in the global arena;
2. Review existing Mineral Product Sharing Agreements’ compliance with mining, environmental and other laws;
3. Strengthen monitoring and evaluation of all ongoing mining operations by involving third party experts, CSO, etc.; and
4. Require companies to undertake progressive rehabilitation and strengthen their CSR.

 

By strictly and vigorously pursuing our objectives, we are determined to achieve the following goals by the end of the term of President Duterte, to wit:

1. Mined out areas are rehabilitated
2. Safe mining operations are strictly observed
3. Host communities benefit from mining operations

 

In closing, while the DENR aims to promote the rational exploration, development, utilization and conservation of mineral resources guided by its commitment to sound environmental management and to provide a competitive investment climate and adequate protection of the rights and privileges of mining investors, we also enjoin the mining industry to:

First, level up – to do your best to comply and even go beyond compliance to mining, environmental and other relevant laws.
You also need to build each other up and police your ranks.

With these, let us all work together to achieve the goals of the Program for Environment and Natural Resources for Restoration, Rehabilitation, and Development and put the Philippine mining industry at a higher level in the global landscape. Together, we can do it!

I wish you all a fruitful and productive conference and exhibits! Mabuhay! 

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OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. ROY A. CIMATU

Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources

CY2018 DENR BUDGET PRESENTATION 

29 August 2017, Senate, Pasay City 

 

  

SRAC Budget Presentation2 web

MADAM CHAIRPERSON, SENATOR LEGARDA, HONORABLE MEMBERS OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE, GOOD MORNING. WE ARE PLEASED TO PRESENT TO YOU THE BUDGET PROPOSAL OF THE DENR FOR FISCAL YEAR 2018.

HAVING BEEN IN OFFICE FOR A JUST A LITTLE OVER THREE MONTHS I WILL HAVE TO BEG YOUR INDULGENCE IF IN THE COURSE OF OUR PRESENTATION I HAVE TO REFER SOME OF YOUR CONCERNS AND ISSUES TO MEMBERS OF OUR STAFF WHO HAVE BEEN INTIMATELY INVOLVED IN THE PRESENTATION OF OUR FY 2018 BUDGET. OVER THE YEARS THEY HAVE BEEN IN THE FOREFRONT OF THE PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE VARIOUS PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS MANDATED BY LAW AND FUNDED BY CONGRESS. THUS, IF THERE ARE CONCERNS ABOUT THE USAGE OF OUR FUNDS AND THE CONTINUITY AND SUSTAINABILITY OF OUR VARIOUS PROJECTS THEY WILL BE IN A BETTER POSITION TO CREDIBLY RESPOND TO SUCH CONCERNS.

AS IN PREVIOUS YEARS, THE DEPARTMENT FY 2018 BUDGET RECOGNIZES OUR MANDATE FOR THE PROPER AND RESPONSIBLE STEWARDSHIP OF OUR NATURAL RESOURCES AND THE PROTECTION AND ENHANCEMENT OF OUR ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGICAL SYSTEM. WE ARE COMMITTED TO IMPLEMENT OUR RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS AS WELL AS OUR COMMITNENTS UNDER A NUMBER OF TREATIES AND INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS. HOWEVER, WE WILL NOW HAVE TO WORK WITH A VERY TIGHT BUDGET AS OUR PROPOSED BUDGET IS BEING INCREASED BY ONLY 1.77% COMPARED WITH THE CURRENT FY 2017 APPROPRIATION.

LET ME BEGIN YOUR HONORS BY PROVIDING YOU, IN BROAD STROKES, THE DEPARTMENT’S MARCHING ORDERS UNDER THE DUTERTE ADMINISTRATION.

SUSTAINABLE STEWARDSHIP OF OUR RESOURCES FOR DEVELOPMENT AND RESPONSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION WILL BE FOREMOST IN OUR OPERATIONS. IN THIS REGARD, WE WILL ENDEAVOR TO INFORM, EDUCATE AND MOBILIZE THE BROAD MASSES OF OUR PEOPLE TO BE ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS IN THIS NATIONAL ENDEAVOR.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE, MYSELF OR EVEN THE ENTIRE GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRACY CANNOT DO THE JOB ALONE. OURS IS A NATIONAL EFFORT. A UNITED EFFORT. TAYO PO ANG KALIKASAN. TAYO PO ANG MANGANGALAGA NG ATING LIKAS NA YAMAN AT MAGTATAGUYOD NITO PARA SA ATING MGA MAMAMAYAN AT SA SUSUNOD NA HENERASYON, AND KALIKASAN AY DAPAT ISAPUSO NATING LAHAT.

IN THIS REGARD, YOUR HONORS, AND IN THE INTEREST OF GOOD ORDER WE HAVE PREPARED A MONOGRAPH OF THE VARIOUS INITIATIVES MEANT TO IMPLEMENT PRESIDENT DUTERTE’S NATURAL RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES. WE CONSIDER THESE OUR MARCHING ORDERS. WE HAVE TAKEN LIBERTY OF DISTRIBUTING THE SAME TOGETHER WITH OTHER MATERIALS TO MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE TO FACILITATE OUR DELIBERATIONS ON OUR PROPOSED 2018 BUDGET.

AT THIS POINT, MADAM CHAIRPERSON, YOUR HONORS PLEASE ALLOW ME TO CALL ON OUR UNDERSECRETARY FOR POLICY, PLANNING AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, ATTY. JONAS LEONES, TO PRESENT THE DETAILS OF OUR BUDGET PROPOSAL FOR FISCAL YEAR 2018. 

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SPEECH OF HON. ROY A. CIMATU

Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Inauguration of the new ACB Headquarters, 28 July, 2017, Los Banos, Laguna

29 July 2017, Los Banos, Laguna

 

  

sec cimatu speaking acb web

ALLOW ME TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE DIGNITARIES GRACING THIS MOMENTOUS OCCASION:
THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS OF THE TEN ASEAN MEMBERS STATES;
REPRESENTATIVES OF OUR DIALOGUE PARTNERS FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION, GERMANY, AND NEIGHBORING ASIAN COUNTRIES;
THE ASEAN SECRETARIAT;
DELEGATES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES;
ACB GUESTS AND VISITORS;
A WARM WELCOME TO ALL OF YOU.

BIODIVERSITY IS A CUT ACROSS THEME THAT PERMEATES ALL NATIONS, ALL SECTORS, AND ALL INDIVIDUALS. IT IS A COMMON PLATFORM THAT ALL SPECIES ON EARTH STAND ON FOR SURVIVAL. THE VARIOUS ECOLOGICAL SERVICES WE DERIVE FROM THE ENVIRONMENT SPEAK OF OUR DEPENDENCE TO BIODIVERSITY-MEDICINE FOR OUR ILLNESS, MATERIALS FOR OUR SHELTERS, FOOD FOR OUR NOURISHMENT, SITES FOR OUR RECREATION, AND THE DEEP SOLITUDE AND CALM THAT MOTHER NATURE OFFERS. INDEED, BIODIVERSITY IS AN INDISPENSABLE PART OF OUR HUMAN EXISTENCE.

YET HUMANS HAVE NOT BEEN RESPONSIBLE STEWARDS OF SUCH BENEFICIAL NATURAL RESOURCES. THE CONTINUING DEGRADATION RESULT IN BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES LOSS IN MANY OF COUNTRIES – NOT JUST THE PHILIPPINES. WE ARE AT A CONSTANT BATTLE; OUR NATURAL ENDOWMENTS NEED TO BE RESPONSIBLY AND SUSTAINABLY USED AND MANAGED.

THE ASEAN REGION, WHICH COMPRISES THREE PERCENT OF THE WORLD GEOGRAPHY, IS A TEEMING LANDSCAPE OF FLORA AND FAUNA. THE PHILIPPINES SHARE THE SPOTS OF BEING A MEGA-DIVERSE COUNTRY WITH MALAYSIA AND INDONESIA. WE ARE IN THE RICH CORAL TRIANGLE AND BIOMES OF FOREST LANDS; WE HAVE HIGH ENDEMISM RATES, AND CULTURALLY-DIVERSE FOREST STEWARDS. WITH THESE GIFTS OF NATURE, THE STAKES ARE HIGH.

WE, THEREFORE, NEED TO REALIZE THE REALITY THAT THE DESTRUCTIVE USE OF THE ENVIRONMENT WILL LEAD TO OUR OWN FALL, AS MANY OF US DEPEND ON THE ENVIRONMENT FOR OUR LIVELIHOOD. WE ARE A COMMUNITY OF RESOURCE-BASED ECONOMIES. WE NEED TO WORK TOGETHER TO PROTECT AND CONSERVE OUR BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES.

ALONG THIS LINE, THE ASEAN THROUGH THE ASEAN CENTRE FOR BIODIVERSITY IS COMPREHENSIVELY UNDERTAKING INITIATIVES TO MANAGE AND SUSTAINABLY USE OUR NATURAL RESOURCES. THE PROGRAMS, PROJECTS, AND ACTIVITIES OF THE CENTRE LAID THE GROUND WORKS FOR SUSTAINED INITIATIVES TO STRENGTHEN CAPACITIES OF PARK RANGERS AND STAFF THROUGH INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT. THESE ARE EXEMPLARY WORKS. HOWEVER, WE NEED TO CHALLENGE OURSELVES FURTHER. WE NEED TO BE MORE DECISIVE, MORE PROACTIVE, AND MORE CARING TO OUR ENVIRONMENT, AS WE ONLY HAVE ONE EARTH – NO SPARE AND NO REPLACEMENT.

WE OWE OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS AN ENVIRONMENT THAT WILL SUSTAIN THEM. WE OUGHT TO LEAD AS EXAMPLES OF PRODUCTIVE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE MINDFUL OF THE FUTURE. YOU SEE MY FRIENDS, CONSERVING THE ENVIRONMENT IS NOT ONLY FOR THE HUMANS OF THE PRESENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS; IT IS ALSO FOR ALL THE LIVES THAT EXIST ON OUR PLANET - AN ASSURANCE FOR ABUNDANT HABITATS AND SPECIES TO CONTINUE TO EXIST IN ALL LIFETIME.

RECOGNIZING THESE REALITIES, THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES PUSHES FOR MORE DYNAMIC, INCLUSIVE AND BALANCED PROGRAMS, WHICH WILL ENSURE THAT ECOLOGICAL SERVICES ARE SUSTAINED AND OUR BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES ARE CONSERVED.

THIS BUILDING IS A TESTAMENT OF SUCH ENDEAVORS. THE GOVERNMENT O THE PHILIPPINES INTENDS FOR THIS EDIFICE TO BE A SANCTUM FOR BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION – WHERE ALL INDIVIDUALS AND GROUP REGARDLESS OF COLOR AND RACE, STATUS AND RELIGION COME AS ONE AND SHARE RESOURCES, HEARTS AND MINDS IN THE NOBLE CAUSE OF MAINTAINING A LIVABLE ENVIRONMENT FOR THE PRESENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS.

THIS BUILDING IS THE FILIPINO PEOPLES’ HUMBLE SHARE TO THE NOBLE CAUSE OF BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION, AND AS THE PROUD HOST OF THE ASEAN CENTRE FOR BIODIVERSITY, MY SALUTE TO THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE ASEAN CENTRE FOR BIODIVERSITY AND THE 10 ASEAN MEMBERS STATES FOR TAKING THE FOREFRONT IN THIS BATTLE AGAINST BIODIVERSITY LOSS.

THANK YOU.

MABUHAY TAYONG LAHAT! 

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WELCOME MESSAGE

HON ROY A. CIMATU 

Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources

28th Meeting of ASEAN Senior Officials on the Environment

26 July 2017, PICC

 

  

SRAC at ASEAN50 2017

The ASOEN Chair of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Deputy Secretary General of the ASEAN Secretariat, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen. Good Morning.


IT IS THE PRIVILEGE OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES TO HOST THIS 28TH MEETING OF THE ASEAN SENIOR OFFICIALS ON THE ENVIRONMENT. WE ARE GIVEN THIS OPPORTUNITY ONLY ONCE EVERY TEN YEARS, BASED ON ROTATIONAL HOSTING BY THE 10 ASEAN MEMBER-STATES. THE PHILIPPINES IS ALSO PRIVILEGED TO CHAIR AND HOST THIS YEAR THE 50TH OR GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY OF THE ASEAN.

 

ACCORDING TO THE WORLD BANK EARLIER THIS YEAR, SOUTH ASIA REMAINS THE FASTEST GROWING REGION IN THE WORLD. AND THE ASEAN LIES AT THE HEART OF THIS REGION OF RAPID GROWTH. COMBINED, THE ASEAN MEMBER-STATES COMPRISE WHAT COULD BE THE 7TH LARGEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD.

 

HOWEVER, THE ASEAN IS ALSO HOME TO MORE THAN 600 MILLION PEOPLE, BIGGER THAN THE COMBINED POPULATIONS OF THE 25 COUNTRIES OF EUROPE. THIS EXERTS CONSIDERABLE CHALLENGES IN PROVIDING CLEAN AIR, CLEAN WATER AND ECOLOGICAL MANAGEMENT OF SOLID WASTES. POPULATION PRESSURES ALSO PUT TO THE TEST THE SUSTAINABLE USE OF OUR RICH NATURAL RESOURCES.

 

THE ASEAN REPRESENTS A MERE 3% OF THE LAND AREA OF THE WORLD, BUT IS HOME TO 18% OF ALL KNOWN PLANT AND ANIMAL SPECIES ON EARTH. OUR REGION ACCOUNTS FOR ONE-THIRD OF THE PLANET’S CORAL REEFS AND 35% OF ALL MANGROVES. OUR FOREST COVER IS 48% OF OUR LAND AREA, MUCH HIGHER THAN THE GLOBAL AVERAGE OF 30%. MOST OF OUR PLANT AND ANIMAL SPECIES ARE UNIQUE TO US AND CANNOT BE FOUND ANYWHERE ELSE.

 

AS A RESULT LARGELY OF POPULATION PRESSURES, WE NOW FACE COMMON PROBLEMS ON AIR AND WATER QUALITY, ECOLOGICAL MANAGEMENT OF SOLID WASTE, FOREST DEGRADATION, REDUCED WATER SUPPLY, AND LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY, AMONG OTHERS. THESE PROBLEMS TRANSCEND POLITICAL AND TERRITORIAL BOUNDARIES. LIKE HAZE FROM FOREST FIRES AND ILLEGAL TRADING IN WILDLIFE, THEY DO NOT STOP AT NATIONAL BORDERS. WE SHARE THE AIR THAT WE BREATHE, THE SEAS AROUND US, OUR FORESTS, AND THE ANIMALS THAT TRAVEL ACROSS OUR COUNTRIES. THESE PROBLEMS CAN BEST BE SOLVED ONLY THROUGH COOPERATION, SHARING OF EXPERIENCES AND EXPERTISE, AND JOINT EFFORTS BETWEEN AND AMONG ASEAN MEMBER-STATES. THE ASEAN, THEREFORE, IS VITAL IN RESOLVING ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS, WHICH HAVE GROWN IN MAGNITUDE AND COMPLEXITY OVER TIME, TO INCLUDE BIODIVERSITY LOSS, SUSTAINABLE CITIES, CHEMICALS AND WASTE, WATER RESOURCES, COASTAL AND MARINE RESOURCES, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HAZE POLLUTION.

 

WE CONTINUE TO FACE THE CHALLENGE OF KEEPING A DELICATE BALANCE BETWEEN THE DEMANDS OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY. FORTUNATELY, WE ARE TEN COUNTRIES THAT ARE SOLVING THESE PROBLEMS TOGETHER. WE GAIN MUCH BY WORKING TOGETHER AND SHARING INSIGHTS AND EXPERIENCES. AS BERTRAND RUSSEL, THE FAMOUS BRITISH PHILOSOPHER ONCE SAID, “IT IS CO-EXISTENCE OR NO EXISTENCE.”

I HAVE BEEN THE ENVIRONMENT SECRETARY OF THE PHILIPPINES FOR ONLY TWO AND A HALF MONTHS, BUT I HAVE A WEALTH OF INSTITUTIONAL EXPERIENCE TO GUIDE ME, BOTH AT THE NATIONAL AND THE ASOEN LEVELS. AND SO I AM CONFIDENT THAT WE CAN CONTINUE TO MARCH IN CADENCE, AND PERHAPS ACCELERATE THE TEMPO, GIVEN THAT IN GRAPPLING WITH CLIMATE CHANGE TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE.

 

CLIMATE CHANGE IS THE MOST PERVASIVE AMONG OUR ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS, FOR IT WILL TORMENT US FOR DECADES TO COME. AMONG THE TEN COUNTRIES WORLDWIDE THAT THE GLOBAL LONG-TERM CLIMATE RISK INDEX OF GERMANWATCH HAS DETERMINED TO BE THE MOST AFFECTED FROM 1995 TO 2014 BY EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS, FOUR ARE MEMBERS OF THE ASEAN: MYANMAR, VIETNAM, THAILAND AND THE PHILIPPINES. THIS UNDERSCORES THE URGENCY OF THE SITUATION WE FACE.

 

AS WE GO THROUGH OUR MEETINGS, LET US NOT LOSE SIGHT OF THE FACT THAT WE PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT AND CONSERVE OUR NATURAL RESOURCES, NOT FOR THEIR OWN SAKE, BUT FOR OUR PEOPLE TO LIVE BETTER LIVES IN HARMONY WITH NATURE. WE CANNOT PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT AND NOT PROTECT LIFE. LET US GIVE OUR CHILDREN A WORLD BETTER THAN WHAT WE FOUND AND WHAT WE HAVE.

 

WE WELCOME YOU TO THE PHILIPPINES WITH UTMOST HOSPITALITY, AND WE TRUST THAT OUR MEETINGS WILL STRENGTHEN COOPERATION AMONG OUR COUNTRIES.

 

FINALLY, I WISH TO EXTEND OUR INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE UPCOMING CONVENTION ON MIGRATORY SPECIES THAT WILL BE HELD HERE IN MANILA ON OCTOBER 22 TO, 2017.

 

THANK YOU VERY MUCH AND MABUHAY! 

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WELCOME MESSAGE

HON ROY A. CIMATU 

Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources

(delivered by Asec. Corazon Davis)

Water Pre-summit in the Governance and Resilience Sectors Towards a National Water Roadmap

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Galleria Suites, Ortigas Complex, Quezon City, July 12, 2017

 

  

Asec Davis Pre water summit web

ATTY. BONG INCIONG OF THE AGRI-FISHERIES ALLIANCE. MY PREVIOUS BOSS, SECRETARY BIBETH GOZUN. DR. ERNESTO ORDOÑEZ, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE 2017 NATIONAL WATER ROADMAP AND SUMMIT. DR. REX DIMAPILES, VICE CHANCELLOR FOR RESEARCH AND EXTENSION, UP LOS BAÑOS. DR. SEVILLO DAVID, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL WATER RESOURCES BOARD.

 

DISTINGUISHED OFFICIALS, HONORABLE GUESTS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, ISANG MAKA-KALIKASANG UMAGA SA INYO PONG LAHAT.

TODAY, ALL OF US ARE HERE AND CONVERGED TO TACKLE A VERY IMPORTANT SUBJECT THAT AFFECTS EVERYBODY, AND THAT IS WATER. THIS RESOURCE, REGARDED AS ONE OF THE FOUR BASIC ELEMENT OF THIS PLANET, IS RECEIVING THREATS FROM ALL SECTORS. ALTHOUGH THE PHILIPPINES IS KNOWN FOR ITS ABUNDANT WATER RESOURCES, WE ARE NOW EXPERIENCING SCARCITY OF WATER DUE TO RAPID URBANIZATION, INCREASING POPULATION, INDISCRIMINATE USE AND MANAGEMENT OF WASTE, AND WATER POLLUTION.

 

NOWHERE IN THE COUNTRY’S HISTORY HAS BECOME AS CRITICAL AS IT IS TODAY. SCARCITY HAS BEEN A LONG-STANDING ISSUE, BUT OUR ANCESTORS HAVE ALWAYS MANAGED TO FIND A WAY AROUND IT.

 

IN INDIA, WHERE THERE WAS SCARCITY OF FRESH WATER FOR DRINKING AND AGRICULTURE, KHUNDS (KOONDS) WERE CONSTRUCTED. IN ANCIENT PERSIA, THEY HAD WHAT THEY CALL AB-ANBARS (EB-ENBERS). IN CENTRAL AMERICA, THE MAYANS HOLLOWED THE GROUND AND CARVED THE CHULTUNS (SHOOLTOONS). THESE FOREIGN TERMS REFER TO LARGE WATER STORAGE SYSTEMS USED BY COMMUNITIES OF OUR ANCESTORS. MANY OF THESE ARE STILL BEING USED TODAY. ALL OF THESE WATER STORAGE STRUCTURES HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON—THAT IS RAIN. THEY ALL CATCH RAINWATER AND STORE THEM FOR FUTURE USE.

 

THIS IS CALLED RAINWATER HARVESTING IN THE PHILIPPINES. MANY OF THE HOMES OF OUR OLD FOLKS HAVE WHAT WE CALL THE ALULOD THAT DIVERTED RAINWATER INTO THE BANGA OR TAPAYAN. HOWEVER, DUE TO THE INTRODUCTION OF MODERN-DAY PLUMBING, WE DON’T SEE ALULOD IN OUR HOMES ANYMORE. IT MAY BE WORTH RE-DESIGNING OUR HOMES USING ALULODS AGAIN, ESPECIALLY IN AREAS THAT LACK WATER. RAINWATER, BEING PRACTICAL, SAFE, AND ECONOMICAL, HAS PROGRESSED TREMENDOUSLY. IT HAS BECOME FASHIONABLE IN A WORLD WEARY OF CLIMATE CHANGE.

 

HENCE, THIS WATER PRE-SUMMIT AND CONSULTATION, IS VERY TIMELY AND IMPORTANT. WE ARE NOW ON THE FINAL LEG OF THE PRE-SUMMIT SERIES, SO I URGE YOU ALL TO ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE IN THE SESSIONS TODAY, WHICH FOCUS ON GOVERNANCE AND RESILIENCE. WE HOPE TO OBTAIN INPUTS FROM ALL OF YOU HERE, NATIONAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS, THE PRIVATE SECTOR, THE ACADEME, AND THE CIVIL SOCIETY, FOR THE FORMULATION OF THE NATIONAL ROADMAP TO ENSURE WATER SECURITY IN OUR COUNTRY. I CONGRATULATE THOSE WHO CONCEPTUALIZED AND ORGANIZED THIS SUMMIT FOR A FORESIGHT TO ACT ON A PROBLEM WHOSE WORST CASUALTIES ARE NOT YOU AND ME, BUT OUR CHILDREN AND OUR CHILDREN’S CHILDREN.

 

WHEN SECRETARY CIMATU ASSUMED AS DENR SECRETARY, HE VOWED TO PRIORITIZE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION. THIS INCLUDES THE STRICT IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CLEAN WATER ACT, THE CLEAN AIR ACT, AND THE ECOLOGICAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT. RELATED TO THIS, WE WILL ALSO PRIORITIZE THE IMPROVEMENT OF WATER QUALITY IN LAGUNA LAKE, AND IN THE PASIG RIVER, AND MANILA BAY. POLLUTION HAS AGGRAVATED THE SCARCITY OF WATER BY REDUCING WATER RE-USABILITY, THREATENING HUMAN HEALTH, AND CONSEQUENTLY, REDUCING WATER AVAILABILITY AND INCREASED COMPETITION FOR WATER OF ADEQUATE QUALITY.

 

THIS EVENT IS AN IMPORTANT PLATFORM IN ADDRESSING THIS KEY ENVIRONMENT AGENDA, AND I COMMEND SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA FROM THE LEGISLATURE, AND MR. ERNIE ORDOÑEZ FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR FOR THEIR SUPPORT AND INGENUITY TO THIS CAMPAIGN ON WATER. AND FROM US IN THE GOVERNMENT, WE FULLY SUPPORT THE NOBLE OBJECTIVE OF THIS SUMMIT AND LOOK FORWARD TO ITS SUCCESS.

 

FINALLY, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WITH THAT PREMISE, I WELCOME YOU ALL TO THE LAST OF THE SEVEN CONSULTATIONS ON THE NATIONAL WATER ROADMAP AND SUMMIT THAT WILL LEAD “TOWARDS A COMPREHENSIVE NATIONAL PLAN FOR WATER SECURITY.”

 

MABUHAY PO TAYONG LAHAT!  

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INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE

HON ROY A. CIMATU 

Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources

R and D Congress on Sustainable Urbanization in the Course of ASEAN Economic Integration

June 26-30, 2017 | Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Manila City

 

  

sec cimatu ASEAN50 6 27 17 web3DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES FROM THE ASEAN MEMBER COUNTRIES; REPRESENTATIVES FROM ASEAN’S DEVELOPMENT AND DIALOGUE PARTNERS FROM SOUTH KOREA, AUSTRALIA AND CHINA; DENR DELEGATION; REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE NATIONAL ORGANIZING COMMITTEE UNDER THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT; FRIENDS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN; GOOD MORNING!

CONSISTENT WITH THE CELEBRATION OF THE ASEAN’S 50TH FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY AND WITH THE PHILIPPINES AS THIS YEAR’S CHAIR, CONVENING RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PRACTITIONERS FROM DIFFERENT RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS, ACADEME AND PRIVATE BUSINESS GROUPS FROM ASEAN MEMBER COUNTRIES IN A FORUM ON “SUSTAINABLE URBANIZATION IN THE COURSE OF ASEAN ECONOMIC INTEGRATION” IS INDEED TIMELY AND APPROPRIATE. 

RESEARCH SHOWS THAT URBANIZATION IS THE MAJOR DRIVER OF WORLD’S CHANGING CLIMATE BROUGHT ABOUT BY GLOBAL WARMING. CITY DWELLERS WORLDWIDE CONSUME 72% OF ENERGY FROM FOSSIL FUELS AND CONTRIBUTE TO EMISSION OF 80% OF GREENHOUSE GASES (GHG). UNSUSTAINABLE PRACTICES IN URBAN AREAS PUSH THE EARTH BEYOND ITS ECOLOGICAL THRESHOLD SUCH AS CHANGE IN LAND USE, WHICH LEADS TO LAND DEGRADATION AND BIODIVERSITY LOSS (ROCKSTROM ET.AL 2009). 

ACCORDING TO MCKINLEY REPORT (2015), CITIES AND OTHER URBANIZING AREAS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA HAVE URBAN “CONSUMING CLASS” OF APPROXIMATELY 81 MILLION HOUSEHOLDS, THAT IS LIKELY TO DOUBLE IN SIZE TO 163 MILLION HOUSEHOLDS BY 2030. THIS HAS IMPLICATION OF RAISING THE CITY-BASED DEMAND FOR CONSUMABLE GOODS AND SERVICES AND DEMAND FOR DEVELOPED LAND FOR RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL, INSTITUTIONAL, AND OTHER PUBLIC USE, WHICH COULD RESULT TO IRREVERSIBLE CHANGE IN LAND USE. THE END RESULT IS AN ENORMOUS INCREASE IN GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS THAT FURTHER EXACERBATE CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS WORLDWIDE IMPACTS. 

ASEAN MEGA-CITIES AND OTHER URBANIZING AREAS PLAY CRITICAL ROLES IN THE UNFOLDING OF ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY (AEC). THIS CONFERENCE, ATTENDED BY DELEGATES FROM ASEAN MEMBER COUNTRIES AND FROM ASEAN’S DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS WHO ARE R AND D PRACTITIONERS IS THEREFORE CRUCIAL. THIS WOULD CREATE AN AVENUE FOR EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION AS WELL AS FOR COLLABORATION IN EXPLORING WAYS FOR DEVELOPING MECHANISMS AND SAFEGUARDS TO ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE URBANIZATION IN ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY. 

THIS BEING SAID, ASEAN MEGACITIES SUCH AS BANGKOK, JAKARTA, KUALA LUMPUR, SINGAPORE, BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN AND MANILA AND OTHER HIGHLY URBANIZED CITIES IN VIETNAM, LAO P.D.R., MYANMAR AND CAMBODIA SHOULD COLLECTIVELY AND PROACTIVELY WORK TOGETHER TO MAKE URBANIZATION AS ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE AS POSSIBLE. ANY OF THEIR INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS SHOULD COME OUT FROM PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE GOVERNMENT, ACADEME, SOCIO-CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS, AND PRIVATE BUSINESS GROUPS. AND, WE ALL KNOW THAT THIS IS A BIG CHALLENGE TO ALL ASEAN MEMBER COUNTRIES.

POLICY AND DECISION-MAKERS RELY ON THE TECHNOLOGIES GENERATED THROUGH SCIENCE-BASED RESEARCH FOR THEIR COURSE OF ACTION AND INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS. THIS WAS THE BASIS OF THE 25 RAPIDLY GROWING CITIES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA WHEN THEY CAME UP WITH THE ASEAN INITIATIVES FOR ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE CITIES (ESCS). SPECIFICALLY, THE ESC PRIORITIZES LOW-CARBON TECHNOLOGIES AND ENCOURAGES CITY DWELLERS, INDUSTRIALISTS AND COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS TO STRIVE FOR CARBON-NEUTRAL ECONOMY. ESC ALSO PROMOTES THE JUDICIOUS USE OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND UTILIZATION OF WASTES INTO ENERGY.

I UNDERSTAND THAT URBAN BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND GREEN TECHNOLOGY FOR RESILIENT CITIES AND INCLUSIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH ARE AMONG THE CONFERENCE TOPICS. I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT THE PHILIPPINES, THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, ESPOUSES SUCH APPROACHES TO SUSTAINABLE URBANIZATION, AND I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE PRESENT HERE TODAY TO RECONCILE ALL EFFORTS TO MAKE SUCH STRATEGIES EFFECTIVE AND FRUITFUL.

I CALL ON EVERYONE TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT WHILE WE STRIVE TO STRENGTHEN THE ECONOMIC CAPACITY OF OUR REGION. LET US BE STEWARDS OF OUR NATURAL RESOURCES AND WORK ON SUSTAINABLE URBANIZATION.
BEFORE I END, LET ME THANK THE ECOSYSTEMS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT BUREAU OF THE DENR, HEADED BY DIRECTOR HENRY A. ADORNADO FOR ORGANIZING THIS CONFERENCE.

TRULY, ONE ASEAN IS SO MUCH FELT TODAY, AS THE DELEGATES FROM THE ASEAN MEMBER COUNTRIES COME TO SHARE INFORMATION ON HOW TO ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE URBANIZATION.
THANK YOU AND MABUHAY! .### 

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DENR AGENDA AND PRIORITIES IN SUPPORT OF SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS

(Delivered during the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines 

Membership Luncheon Meeting, Makati Shangri-la Hotel, Makati City, June 15, 2017) 

 

Sec Cimatu ECCP web

GREETINGS.

“THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH,” THE FREE MARKET ECONOMIST MILTON FRIEDMAN TITLED A BOOK IN 1975. YOU INVITED ME TO THIS LUNCHEON EVENT, AND NOW I MUST RECIPROCATE BY DISCUSSING FIVE SPECIFIC SUBJECTS INDICATED IN THE INVITATION.

FIRST, THE DENR POSITION ON CLEAN AND GREEN ENERGY AND HOW THIS FACTORS INTO THE DENR’S PLAN OF MOVING FORWARD;

SECOND, THE DENR’S ROLE IN FACILITATING THE EASE OF OBTAINING ENVIRONMENTAL CLEARANCES FOR INVESTORS;

THIRD, WASTE-TO-ENERGY AND ADDRESSING ISSUE OF LANDFILLS AND DUMPSITES;

FOURTH, THE STATE OF OUR WATER RESOURCES AND THEIR MANAGEMENT AND THE DENR’S PLANS REGARDING THIS; AND

FIFTH, THE DEPARTMENT’S ROLE IN ENSURING RESPONSIBLE MINING.

I SHALL DISCUSS THESE IN SEQUENCE.

ON CLEAN AND GREEN ENERGY

THE DENR FULLY SUPPORTS THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RENEWABLE ENERGY ACT OF 2008 (R.A. 9513) AND HAS BEEN ACTIVELY PROMOTING THE DEPLOYMENT OF CLEAN AND GREEN ENERGY SOURCES THROUGH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISM (CDM) AND THE RECENTLY SIGNED JOINT CREDITING MECHANISM (JCM) BETWEEN THE PHILIPPINES AND JAPAN.

AS A BACKGROUNDER, THE CDM IS A FINANCIAL MECHANISM UNDER THE KYOTO PROTOCOL WHICH ENABLES DEVELOPED COUNTRIES TO IMPLEMENT COST-EFFECTIVE EMISSION REDUCTION PROJECTS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES.

IN THE PHILIPPINES, THE DENR HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AS THE NATIONAL AUTHORITY FOR CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISM BY VIRTUE OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 320, WITH THE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BUREAU AS THE SECRETARIAT.

TO DATE, THERE ARE A TOTAL OF 119 CDM PROJECT APPLICATIONS RECEIVED, OF WHICH 70 PROJECTS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFULLY REGISTERED COMPRISING OF 21 LARGE-SCALE AND 49 SMALL-SCALE PROJECTS. MOST OF THE CDM PROJECTS ARE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS.

OF THE 70 REGISTERED PROJECTS, 10 HAVE BEEN ISSUED WITH CERTIFIED EMISSION REDUCTIONS (CERS), TOTALING TO 2,048,589 TONS OF CARBON DIOXIDE EQUIVALENT.

CDM, LIKE OTHER UNDERTAKINGS IN THE COUNTRY, HAS BEEN BESET BY PROBLEMS. ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT CONCERNS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CDM IS THE FALLING PRICE OF CER. CURRENTLY, THE PRICE OF CERS IS VERY LOW AND, VIS-A-VIS THE HIGH COST FOR THE VERIFICATION PROCESS WHICH IS A REQUIREMENT FOR THE ISSUANCE OF CER, THIS HAS DISCOURAGED SOME APPLICANTS TO PURSUE APPLICATIONS UNDER THE CDM PROCESS.

THE JOINT CREDIT MECHANISM, ON THE OTHER HAND, IS A LOW CARBON GROWTH PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN JAPAN AND THE PHILIPPINES WHICH WE ENTERED INTO THROUGH A MEMORANDUM OF COOPERATION EXECUTED ON 12 JANUARY 2017.

THE JCM IS A BILATERAL CARBON MARKET BETWEEN JAPAN AND PARTNER COUNTRIES, AMONG WHICH IS THE PHILIPPINES, WHICH FACILITATES GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSION REDUCTIONS OR REMOVALS THROUGH PROJECTS IMPLEMENTED BY COMPANIES OR CITIES FROM THE PARTNER COUNTRIES. THE EMISSION REDUCTIONS WILL GENERATE JCM CREDITS WHICH WILL BE SHARED BETWEEN THE JAPANESE SIDE AND PARTNER COUNTRY SIDE.

THE JCM IS EXPECTED TO PROMOTE THE TRANSFER AND USE OF CLEAN AND GREEN TECHNOLOGY.

POTENTIAL PROJECTS TO BE COVERED UNDER THE JCM ARE IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS OR SECTORS: RENEWABLE ENERGY, ENERGY EFFICIENCY, WASTE HANDLING AND DISPOSAL, AND OTHERS.


ON DENR’S ROLE IN FACILITATING THE EASE OF OBTAINING ENVIRONMENTAL CLEARANCES FOR INVESTORS

MOST RECENTLY, WE HAVE INTRODUCED SOME NOTABLE IMPROVEMENTS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT SYSTEM AS WELL AS IN THE PROCESSING AND ISSUANCE OF TREE CUTTING PERMITS.

ONE, WE HAVE PROVIDED FACILITIES FOR ON-LINE APPLICATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE CLEARANCE TO SHORTEN THE PROCESS.

TWO, AUTHORITY TO ISSUE CUTTING PERMITS OF PLANTED TREES HAS BEEN DELEGATED TO THE REGIONAL OFFICE. FURTHER DELEGATION TO THE PENRO AND CENRO LEVEL IS BEING CONSIDERED.

THREE, THE STREAMLINING OF ISSUANCE OF WATER PERMIT IS ALSO BEING UNDERTAKEN.

ON WASTE-TO ENERGY AND ADDRESSING THE ISSUE OF LANDFILLS AND DUMPSITES

A RESOLUTION DATED 09 JUNE 2016 WAS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT COMMISSION (NWMC) ALLOWING WASTE-TO-ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES SUBJECT TO COMPLIANCE WITH ALL ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS, RULES AND REGULATIONS. THIS WASTE-TO-ENERGY WILL COMPLEMENT THE EXISTING SANITARY LANDFILL WITH LIMITED SPACE, ESPECIALLY IN URBAN AREAS.

ON THE PART OF THE DENR, A DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER (DAO) FOR WASTE-TO-ENERGY BURN TECHNOLOGIES AS A MODE OF WASTE DISPOSAL IS BEING DRAFTED.

THE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BUREAU HAS ALREADY THE CAPABILITY TO ANALYZE POLLUTANTS, INCLUDING DIOXINS AND FURANS.

WTE TECHNOLOGIES AND PROJECTS ARE STARTING TO GAIN MOMENTUM IN THE PHILIPPINES. THERE ARE NOW QUITE A NUMBER OF PROJECTS MAKING USE OF WTE TECHNOLOGIES. AT LEAST THREE ENJOY THE SUPPORT OF CERTAIN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES.

THESE ARE:

1. THE QUEZON CITY CONTROLLED DISPOSAL FACILITY BIOGAS EMISSION REDUCTION PROJECT SUPPORTED BY SWITZERLAND AND ITALY;
2. THE MONTALBAN LANDFILL METHANE RECOVERY AND POWER GENERATION PROJECT SUPPORTED BY THE UNITED KINGDOM AND NORTHERN IRELAND; AND
3. THE CEBU CITY LANDFILL GAS AND WASTE-TO-ENERGY PROJECT SUPPORTED BY SPAIN.


ON THE STATE OF PHILIPPINE WATER RESOURCES

THE PHILIPPINES IS ENDOWED WITH AN ANNUAL AVERAGE RAINFALL OF 2,400 MILLIMETERS WHICH FILL OUR RIVERS, LAKES AND GROUNDWATER AQUIFER.

WE HAVE 421 PRINCIPAL RIVERS, OF WHICH 18 ARE CONSIDERED MAJOR RIVER BASINS.

OF THE TOTAL OF 146 BILLION CUBIC METERS WATER AVAILABILITY, AROUND 58% ARE ALREADY ALLOCATED FOR VARIOUS USES BASED ON THE WATER PERMIT ISSUED BY NATIONAL WATER RESOURCES BOARD.

SECURING SUSTAINABLE WATER FOR ALL WATER USERS IS CONSIDERED ONE OF THE MAJOR WATER CHALLENGES IN THE PHILIPPINES.

INCREASING WATER DEMAND IN EVERY SECTOR AND WATER POLLUTION ARE PLACING TREMENDOUS PRESSURES BOTH ON THE RESOURCE SUPPLY AND SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEMS.

WATER SYSTEMS ESPECIALLY IN HIGHLY URBANIZED AREAS ARE POLLUTED. SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT IS A MAJOR CONCERN.

DECLINING WATER QUALITY AFFECTS WATER QUANTITY. IT LIMITS THE USABILITY OF THE WATER.

ANOTHER MAJOR CHALLENGE THE WATER SECTOR IS NOW FACING IS THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE.

TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS IN WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT, THE DENR, THROUGH THE NATIONAL WATER RESOURCES BOARD, IS INITIALLY FOCUSING ON TWO MAJOR CONCERNS:

1. GOVERNANCE, AND
2. LACK OF SCIENCE-BASED DATA AND INFORMATION FOR PLANNING AND DECISION-MAKING.

AS A MAJOR INPUT TO MORE INFORMED AND SCIENCE-BASED POLICIES AND PLANS FOR SYSTEMATIC WATER RESOURCE ALLOCATION AND DEVELOPMENT FOR VARIOUS PURPOSES, WATER RESOURCES ASSESSMENT IS BEING CONDUCTED PARTICULARLY IN WATER CONSTRAINT AREAS AND MAJOR RIVER BASINS.

FOR PROTECTION AND ORDERLY DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRY’S WATER RESOURCES, THE NATIONAL WATER RESOURCES BOARD CONTINUOUSLY FORMULATES AND IMPLEMENTS APPROPRIATE WATER POLICIES.

THE FIRST TWO POLICIES AIM TO PROTECT OUR GROUNDWATER RESOURCES IN METRO MANILA AND METRO CEBU FROM FURTHER DEGRADATION.

THE LAST TWO POLICIES SUPPORT THE GOVERNMENT’S THRUST ON HARNESSING AND MAXIMIZING RENEWABLE ENERGY IN LIGHT OF THE INCREASING ENERGY REQUIREMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES WITHOUT NEGATIVELY AFFECTING THE RIVER ECOSYSTEM OR THE ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITY OF THE RIVER.

TO ENSURE WATER SECURITY IN THE CONTEXT OF CHANGING CLIMATES AND GLOBALIZATION, THERE IS NOW AN ON-GOING INITIATIVE TOWARDS A COMPREHENSIVE NATIONAL PLAN.

THE NATIONAL SECURITY ROADMAP WILL FOCUS ON SEVEN (7) AREAS NAMELY: HOUSEHOLD/DOMESTIC; URBAN; ECONOMICS; ENVIRONMENT; RESILIENCE; GOVERNANCE; AND AGRICULTURE.

ON ENSURING RESPONSIBLE MINING

THE PHILIPPINES IS WELL-ENDOWED WITH MINERAL RESOURCES. ITS LONG HISTORY AND EXPERIENCE IN MINING HAS DEMONSTRATED ITS RICH POTENTIAL FOR COPPER, GOLD, NICKEL, CHROMITE AND OTHER METALLIC MINERALS. IT IS ALSO ABUNDANT IN NON-METALLIC AND INDUSTRIAL MINERALS SUCH AS MARBLE, LIMESTONE, CLAYS, FELDSPAR, ROCK AGGREGATES.

THERE ARE CURRENTLY 686 MINING PERMITS/CONTRACTS IN THE COUNTRY, WHICH COVERS A TOTAL LAND AREA OF ONLY 755,192 HECTARES, OR 2.5% OF THE TOTAL LAND AREA OF THE PHILIPPINES OF 30 MILLION HECTARES.

THE 27 PRODUCING MINES INCLUDE 6 GOLD MINES, 3 COPPER MINES, 1 CHROMITE MINES AND 17 NICKEL MINES.

THESE PRODUCING MINES IMPLEMENT THEIR RESPECTIVE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND ENHANCEMENT PROGRAMS TO PROGRESSIVELY REHABILITATE MINED OUT AREAS, THEIR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS TO DEVELOP THE HOST AND NEIGHBORING COMMUNITIES, AND THEIR SAFETY AND HEALTH PROGRAMS TO ENSURE PROPER AND COMFORTABLE WORKING CONDITIONS FOR THEIR EMPLOYEES.

TO ENSURE A RESPONSIBLE MINERALS INDUSTRY, MINING CONTRACTORS WERE REQUIRED TO BE ISO 14001 COMPLIANT. TO DATE, MAJORITY OF THE METALLIC MINES ARE NOW ISO 14001 CERTIFIED.

THE PHILIPPINES IS NOW A CANDIDATE COUNTRY TO THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE (EITI). THE PHILIPPINES HAS SUBMITTED ITS THIRD YEAR REPORT AND IS NOW UNDERGOING THE VALIDATION BY THE INTERNATIONAL EITI SECRETARIAT.

TO ENSURE THAT THE GOVERNMENT GETS ITS RIGHTFUL SHARE FROM THE UTILIZATION OF THE MINERAL RESOURCES, A DRAFT BILL INCREASING THE SHARE OF GOVERNMENT IS NOW IN CONGRESS. THE APPROVAL OF THE BILL WILL PAVE THE WAY FOR THE APPROVAL OF NEW MINERAL AGREEMENTS.

TO IMPLEMENT THE PRESIDENT’S 10 POINT ECONOMIC AGENDA, THE FIVE POLICY DIRECTIONS ON MINING WILL ENSURE THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THE PHILIPPINES’ MINERAL INDUSTRY.

THE DENR, BEING THE PRIMARY AGENCY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONSERVATION, MANAGEMENT, DEVELOPMENT, AND PROPER USE OF THE COUNTRY’S MINERAL RESOURCES, SHALL STRICTLY ENFORCE MINING AND ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS, AND MINING OPERATIONS FOUND VIOLATING LAWS, RULES AND REGULATIONS SHALL BE SUBJECT TO PENALTIES, SUSPENSIONS AND/OR CANCELLATION.

MINING IN THE PHILIPPINES CAN ONLY BE RESPONSIBLE IF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRY’S MINERAL RESOURCES WILL BE ON THE BASIS OF TECHNICAL FEASIBILITY, ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY, CULTURAL AND SOCIAL ACCEPTABILITY, AND FINANCIAL VIABILITY. THE ABSENCE OF ONE WILL NOT RENDER THE PROJECT RESPONSIBLE.

I HAVE NOW COVERED ALL THE TOPICS YOU HAVE CHOSEN. I TRUST THAT YOU WILL FIND VALUE IN THE INFORMATION THAT I HAVE SHARED.

THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME THE PLEASURE AND HONOR OF JOINING YOU IN THIS OCCASION.### 

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MESSAGE OF DENR SECRETARY ROY A. CIMATU FOR THE PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION AT PLAZA LIBERTAD, ILOILO CITY

JUNE 12, 2017, ILOILO CITY

 

Sec cimatu independence speaking WEB

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, LADIES, AND GENTLEMEN, MAAYONG AGA.

IT IS AN HONOR TO BE HERE WITH YOU TODAY. I AM HERE TO CONVEY OUR DEAR PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE’S HEARTFELT GRATITUDE TO THE PEOPLE OF ILOILO FOR THE CONTINUOUS SUPPORT TO THE PATH OF CHANGE WHICH HIS ADMINISTRATION IS DETERMINED TO ATTAIN.

WE ARE GATHERED HERE TODAY TO CELEBRATE THE 119TH YEAR OF OUR INDEPENDENCE. THIS DAY COMMEMORATES THE DAY WHEN WE PROCLAIMED OUR FREEDOM FROM THE SPANISH COLONIZERS, A HISTORIC DAY WHEN WE BROKE THE CHAINS OF BONDAGE OF MORE THAN THREE CENTURIES OF FOREIGN RULE. IT WAS A “DECLARATION OF THE FILIPINOS’ INHERENT AND INALIENABLE RIGHT TO FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE”.

SOME OF YOU MAY BE WONDERING ABOUT THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CELEBRATING INDEPENDENCE DAY HERE IN ILOILO CITY AND IN THIS PLAZA. ACCORDING TO OUR HISTORY, ALTHOUGH PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE WAS PROCLAIMED IN KAWIT, CAVITE, THE ACTUAL END OF THE SPANISH REGIME AND COLONIZATION OF THE COUNTRY HAPPENED RIGHT HERE, IN THIS VERY SPOT WE STAND ON TODAY. HERE IN ILOILO, THE LAST BASTION OF SPANISH RULE, GOVERNOR GENERAL DIEGO DE LOS RIOS SURRENDERED TO GENERAL MARTIN DELGADO AND HIS GROUP OF ILONGGO REVOLUTIONARIES ON DECEMBER 25, 1898. IT WAS ON THIS SITE, KNOWN DURING THAT TIME AS PLAZA ALFONSO XII AND NOW CALLED PLAZA LIBERTAD, WHERE SPANISH RULE WAS DEALTH ITS FINAL BLOW AND THE GOVERNANCE OF ILOILO WAS TRANSFERRED TO GEN. DELGADO. ON THIS SITE THE PHILIPPINE FLAG WAS RAISED, SIGNALLING THE END OF THE DOMINATION OF A FOREIGN RULER. THAT IS THE GREAT SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS SPOT IN PHILIPPINE HISTORY. IT IS A GLOWING TESTAMENT TO OUR LOVE FOR FREEDOM AND FIERCE DETERMINATION TO FIGHT FOREIGN RULE AND SUBJUGATION.

THE THEME OF THIS YEAR’S CELEBRATION, “KALAYAAN 2017: PAGBABAGONG SAMA-SAMANG BALIKATIN”, IS TIMELY. WE ARE CURRENTLY FACING A CHALLENGE TO GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY IN MARAWI. THE REBELLION INITIATED BY EXTREMIST IDEOLOGUES CONTINUES TO RAGE. AS OUR ARMED FORCES DEPLOY THE COMMENSURATE FORCE TO DEMOLISH THIS THREAT, WE ALL MUST STAY VIGILANT AND KEEP OUR SPIRIT AS A NATION. THIS FOREIGN IDEOLOGY THAT SEEKS TO INFECT SOME OF OUR COUNTRYMEN IN THE SOUTH HAS ALREADY CAUSED MUCH DESTRUCTION ON LIVES AND PROPERTY AND INFLICTED SO MUCH PAIN AND SUFFERING TO OUR PEOPLE IN THAT PART OF OUR COUNTRY. WE PRAY FOR ALL OF THEM: THE CIVILIANS KILLED OR WOUNDED, THE DISPLACED IN THE EVACUATION CENTERS AND OUR SOLDIERS WHO WERE WOUNDED OR HAD DIED IN SERVICE OF COUNTRY.

AT TIMES LIKE THIS, AND JUST AS WE DID IN OUR STRUGGLE AGAINST THE SPANISH COLONIZERS, WE NEED TO STAND STRONG. WE SHOULD NOT ALLOW ANY GROUP ESPOUSING A DANGEROUS AND DIVISIVE BELIEF TO GAIN A FOOTHOLD IN ANY PART OF OUR COUNTRY, THREATEN THE SECURITY OF OUR PEOPLE AND STEAL THEIR FREEDOM. IN THE FACE OF THIS CHALLENGE, WE NEED TO STAND TOGETHER AS A NATION AND CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR THE FREEDOM THAT OUR FOREFATHERS FOUGHT HARD FOR.

IN THE CHALLENGES WE FACE AS A NATION, WE MUST KEEP OUR COURAGE AND UNWAVERING RESOLVE TO OVERCOME ANY ADVERSITY. WE ALL MUST BE AWARE THAT PRESERVING OUR HARD-EARNED FREEDOM INVOLVES OUR COMMITMENT TO ITS CONTINUING DEFENSE FROM THOSE WHO ASSAULT IT. THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS, THERE ARE NO BAND-AID SOLUTIONS. FREEDOM IS NURTURED, IT HAS TO BE PROTECTED AND SHIELDED BY OUR COLLECTIVE AND RESOLUTE VIGILANCE. WE ALONE, YOU AND I, ALL OF US, ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PRESERVATION OF OUR LIBERTIES.

ALLOW ME AT THIS POINT TO DECLARE, AS YOUR SECRETARY OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, THAT THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY BEING ADAPTED BY THE DEPARTMENT WILL ASSURE US A MORE MEANINGFUL FREEDOM BY ACHIEVING GREATER NATIONAL SELF-SUFFICIENCY AND REDUCING OUR DEPENDENCE ON OTHERS. WE SHALL ENDEAVOR TO APPLY VIGOROUSLY THE PRINCIPLES OF SOUND ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE TO CLEAN OUR AIR AND OUR WATERS, GREEN OUR DENUDED FORESTS, AND CONSERVE, PROTECT AND JUDICIOUSLY UTILIZE OUR NATURAL RESOURCES FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL FILIPINOS. WITH A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT AND BOUNTIFUL RESOURCES FOR OURSELVES AND THE FUTURE GENERATIONS OF FILIPINOS, WE UNCHAIN OURSELVES FROM THE YOKE OF DEPENDENCY AND SHALL BE TRULY FREE.

TODAY, OUR FLAG WAVES FREELY ON CLEAR SKIES. IT FLIES PROUDLY OVER A LAND OF FREE PEOPLE. NEVER SHOULD WE ALLOW ANYONE TO TRAMPLE ON THE FREEDOM WE ENJOY!

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! (OR ITS ILONGGO EQUIVALENT) 

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30th DENR ANNIVERSARY ADDRESS OF SECRETARY ROY A. CIMATU, 09 June 2017


Sec Cimatu denr30thanniv speech webGOOD MORNING, EVERYONE, AND WELCOME TO THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES.

FOR THIS 30TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, PREVIOUS SECRETARIES OF THIS DEPARTMENT, AS WELL AS ITS OLDEST OFFICIALS, HAVE BEEN INVITED. BEFORE MY DISTINGUISHED PREDECESSORS AND THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS, I STAND HUMBLE AS A NEOPHYTE, STILL LEARNING AND YET TO PROVE MYSELF ON THE JOB. IT IS OBVIOUS DURING THE AWARDING EARLIER OF OUR DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, THAT I HAVE MUCH TO DO TO MEASURE UP TO WHAT THEY HAVE ACCOMPLISHED. THEY SHAPED THE DENR, CUMULATIVELY MAKING IT WHAT IT IS TODAY. THE CHALLENGE FOR ME IS GREAT: SUSTAIN AND BUILD ON THESE GAINS, PICK UP THE MOMENTUM, AND RUN MY LAP THE BEST I COULD, BEFORE PASSING ON THE BATON TO MY SUCCESSOR WHEN THE TIME COMES TO DO SO.

IT IS MOST FITTING THAT THE GEMSTONE FOR THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY IS PEARL. SO FITTING, BECAUSE IT SUITS OUR SETTING AND EXPERIENCE. WE STARTED MODESTLY, FROM A TINY CORE. BUT THROUGH THE YEARS, PRECIOUS LAYERS HAVE COATED THE CORE, INCREASING ITS SIZE AND LUSTER, JUST AS OUR ORGANIZATION HAS GROWN AND OUR MANDATE EXPANDED WITH THE PASSING OF THE YEARS. NEW ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS SUCH AS THE CLEAN AIR ACT, THE CLEAN WATER ACT AND THE ECOLOGICAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT ARE NOW IN EFFECT, AS WITH OTHER IMPORTANT LAWS. THESE LAWS ENHANCE OUR ABILITY TO PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT AND TO CONSERVE AND JUDICIOUSLY UTILIZE OUR NATURAL RESOURCES. THE CREDIT FOR THE ONWARD MARCH TOWARDS A BETTER ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE IS CUMULATIVE, AND THUS MUST BE SHARED, NOT JUST AMONG THOSE WHO LEAD, BUT WITH EVERY MEMBER OF THE DENR FAMILY AND ITS ATTACHED AGENCIES.

MY PREDECESSORS KNOW THE EXTRAORDINARY SACRIFICES AND PRESSURES THAT COME WITH THE POSITION. NO DENR SECRETARY HAS ESCAPED CRITICISMS, WHETHER FAIR OR FOUL, BECAUSE IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SATISFY THE DIVERGENT EXPECTATIONS OF VARIOUS STAKEHOLDERS. THE POST CONFERS NO IMMUNITY, BUT RATHER EXPOSES ITS OCCUPANT TO ORDEALS AND DILEMMAS, BOTH FROM BELOW AND FROM THE TOP. THE RECOGNITION OUR SPECIAL GUESTS RECEIVED IS SMALL CONSOLATION IN EXCHANGE FOR THEIR GREAT SACRIFICES. BUT HOWEVER SMALL IT IS, THIS COMES FROM THE GRATEFUL HEARTS OF OUR RANK AND FILE.

OUR PEARL ANNIVERSARY THEME IS “DENR@30: PAGBUBUKLOD PARA SA KALIKASAN.” THE THEME IS UNITY, THE THREAD THAT RUNS ACROSS US REGARDLESS OF OUR DIFFERENCES AND DIVERGING WAYS OF SEEING THINGS. THE SECRETARIES, THE RANK-AND-FILE OF THIS DEPARTMENT, THE REGIONAL OFFICES, BUREAUS, AND ITS ATTACHED AGENCIES, OUR EXTERNAL PARTNERS, AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS SHOULD ALL STAND AS ONE. UNITING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, FOR MOTHER NATURE, IS NOT JUST A BATTLECRY OR A CALL OF THE MOMENT. IT IS A LIFELONG NECESSITY, PARTICULARLY IN THIS CRITICAL ERA OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLLENGES, WHEN EVERY INDIVIDUAL IS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE TO SOLUTIONS THAT REQUIRE MASS PARTICIPATION.

THIS DEPARTMENT’S JOURNEY IS NOW THREE DECADES LONG, AND RUNNING. A LOT CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED IN THIRTY YEARS. IN THAT SPACE OF TIME, TREES COULD HAVE MATURED AND MULTIPLIED, DEPLETED FISHERIES COULD HAVE RECOVERED AND REPLENISHED, MINED-OUT AREAS COULD HAVE BEEN REHABILITATED AND MADE PRODUCTIVE ANEW IN OTHER WAYS. BUT OBVIOUSLY, NO MATTER HOW MUCH HAD BEEN DONE, THERE STILL REMAINS A GREAT DEAL FOR US TO ACCOMPLISH.

LET ME JUST BRIEFLY MENTION TWO ISSUES THAT HAVE RECENTLY COME UP IN MEDIA, BOTH OF WHICH CONCERN THE COUNTRY’S LAST FRONTIER – PALAWAN.

ONE ISSUE IS THAT OF THE PLANNED CONSTRUCTION OF AN UNDERWATER THEME PARK IN CORON, PALAWAN (NICKELODEON). LET ME MAKE IT CLEAR (NOTE: AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON THIS WAS ISSUED YESTERDAY) THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES (DENR), AT ALL LEVELS, INCLUDING THE PALAWAN COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (PCSD), HAS NOT YET RECEIVED ANY FORMAL COMMUNICATION FROM ANY PROJECT PROPONENT ABOUT THE PROPOSED BUILDING OF A THEME PARK IN CORON, PALAWAN.

DESPITE THIS FACT, WE ARE ALREADY LOOKING INTO THE DETAILS OF THIS SUPPOSED PROJECT. I HAVE DIRECTED THE DENR BUREAUS ON BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AND THE REGION IV-B OFFICE, TOGETHER WITH THE PALAWAN COUNCIL ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, IN CLOSE COORDINATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM, THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS, THE TAGBANUAS AND THEIR COUNCIL OF ELDERS AND OTHER KEY STAKEHOLDERS, TO UNDERTAKE A RULES-BASED AND SCIENCE-BASED INQUIRY INTO THIS PROPOSED PLAN, SO THAT WE CAN ENSURE THAT WE CONTINUE TO CONSERVE AND PROTECT CORON, A KEY BIODIVERSITY AREA AND THE LAST BASTION OF COASTAL BIODIVERSITY IN PALAWAN.

THE SECOND ISSUE IS THE PRESENCE OF MERCURY IN AN ALMOST FIVE-HECTARE LAKE THAT FORMED IN THE ABANDONED MINEPIT OF NOW CLOSED PALAWAN QUICKSILVER MINE INC. (PQMI) WHICH OPERATED FROM 1954 TO 1976 IN BARANGAY STA LOURDES, PUERTO PRINCESA. THIS CONTAMINATION HAS ALSO REPORTEDLY SEEPED INTO THE COASTAL PORTION OF HONDA BAY AT VICINITY BGY TAGBUROS.

IT WAS IN THE COURSE OF DENR’S REHABILITATION WORK ON THE LAKE IN 2015 THAT MERCURY CONTAMINATION WAS FIRST DISCOVERED, WITH THE MINES AND GEOSCIENCES BUREAU COORDINATING WITH DOH SPECIALISTS. AS OF NOW, OUR FINDINGS AND ACTIONS ARE THE FOLLOWING:
1. THE LAKE’S MERCURY-CONTAMINATED FISH WERE CONSUMED BY THE POPULATION AND CAUSED PEOPLE’S CONTAMINATION;
2. DENR WITH THE LGU OF PUERTO PRINCESA HAVE FORMED AN INTERAGENCY TASK FORCE MONITORING AND ADDRESSING THE SITUATION. THE ACTION PLAN, AMONG OTHERS, INCLUDE:
- CONTAINMENT OF AFFECTED AREAS,
- TREATMENT OF THE AFFECTED POPULATION,
- RELOCATION OF RESIDENTS FROM THEIR LAKE AREA HABITATION.
3. THE DENR/ GOVERNMENT IS ON TOP OF THE SITUATION AND TOURISM SHOULD NOT BE AFFECTED ,
4. LEGAL ACTION AGAINST PHIL QUICKSILVER MINES TO BE INITIATED.
5. RESEARCH ON MERCURY CONTAMINATION IN THE COUNTRY AND SCIENTIFIC INTERVENTIONS WILL BE REINVIGORATED (E.G.: ECOSYSTEMS RESEARCH AND DEVT BOARD [ERDB]).
PRESIDENT DUTERTE HIMSELF HAS PUBLICLY VOICED DEMANDS FOR THE MINING SECTOR TO PROVE ITS WORTH TO THE PEOPLE, NOT JUST TO INVESTORS. THE SAME APPLIES TO MASSIVE FISHPENS IN LAGUNA LAKE. THESE MARCHING ORDERS HAVE BEEN PASSED ON TO ME, SO REFORMS IN THESE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES WILL CONTINUE TO BE PUSHED AND PURSUED.

CLEANING OUR AIR, FRESHWATER BODIES, AND SEAS, AND BETTER MANAGEMENT OF OUR SOLID WASTES AND WATERSHEDS, WILL CONTINUE TO BE PRIORITY CONCERNS, ALONG WITH REFORESTATION, CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION, BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION, DISASTER AND RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT, AND MORE EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT ENFORCEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS, RULES AND REGULATIONS. THESE ARE GIVENS, BEING CENTRAL TO OUR DEPARTMENT’S MANDATE.

THIS IS NOT TO SAY THAT OUR TASKS ARE SIMPLE AND CAN BE DONE WITH EASE. WE CANNOT FORGET THAT WE FUNCTION IN A DEMOCRACY, WHERE INTERESTS CAN BE DIVERSE AND COMPETE AND THE SETTING OF PRIORITIES CAN BECOME CONTENTIOUS. WE SHALL NOT BE FAZED AND INTIMIDATED. WE KNOW OUR TASKS ARE CRITICAL FOR OUR CONTINUING VIABILITY AS A NATION AND SURVIVAL AS A PEOPLE. THUS THE WORK OF PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT AND PRESERVING AND CONSERVING OUR NATURAL RESOURCES HAVE DEEP NATIONAL SECURITY IMPLICATIONS.

I MENTIONED AT THE OUTSET THAT I HAVE YET TO PROVE MYSELF. YES, I WILL BE TAKING OFF FROM THE SUCCESSES AND PERHAPS STRENGTHEN AND BUILD UPON THE WEAKNESS OF PREVIOUS PROGRAMS ON ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES. CRITICS MIGHT THEREFORE SAY THAT I HAVE SET NOTHING NEW IN ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE. IF THEY SAY SO, THEN THEY WILL BE CORRECT. FOR I DO NOT NEED TO REINVENT THE WHEEL, NOR DISCONTINUE THE PROGRESS MADE ACROSS OUR FIRST 30 YEARS. I WILL HOWEVER ENDEAVOR TO MAKE THE SYSTEM WORK BETTER, MORE EFFICIENTLY AND WITH GREATER EFFECTIVENESS. THAT WILL BE ACHIEVEMENT ENOUGH, GIVEN THE MAGNITUDE OF THE JOB. I KNOW THAT I WILL LATER BE JUDGED BY THE RESULTS THAT I AM ABLE TO ACHIEVE.

WITH US WORKING TOGETHER, MUCH CAN BE DONE.

AND SO, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE DEPARTMENT, LET US ALTOGETHER BUCKLE DOWN TO WORK AND GET THE JOB DONE!

THANK YOU, AND HAPPY 30TH ANNIVERSARY TO US ALL!

 

 

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BOOK LAUNCH OF TOWARD ZERO WASTE

SECRETARY ROY A. CLIMATU

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES
UP BAHAY NG ALUMNI, UP DILIMAN, QUEZON CITY
MAY 12, 2017


17 05 10 Honoring an eco visionary webMANANAG LUZ SABAS (AUTHOR OF THE BOOK), MRS. GRACE AND DR. RUDY RAQUINO AND FAMILY, PROF. JAI AND MR. JOEY ARACAM AND FAMILY, MS. PEARL SABAS-THACKRAY, MS. HAZEL SABAS-CAMPOS, DR. HELEN SABAS; RELATIVES AND FRIENDS OF THE SABAS FAMILY; DISTRINGUISED GUESTS – DR. ALYSSA M. PELEO ALAMPAY, ASST. VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES; CONGRESSMAN ERIC OLIVARES OF THE FIRST DISTRICT OF PARANAQUE, DR. ANGELINE GALANG, PRESIDENT OF GREEN CONVERGENCE; DR. ALMA ESPARTINEZ, VICE-PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS OF HOLY ANGEL UNIVERSITY, MY COLLEAGUES FROM THE DENR, UNDERSECRETARY NOEL FELONGKO, UNDERSECRETARY MET IGNACIO, EMB DIRECTOR KACKIE CAANCAN, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, GOOD AFTERNOON.

WE AT DENR ARE PRIVILEGED TO BE PART OF TODAY’S LAUNCHING OF TOWARD ZERO WASTE AND WE RECOGNIZE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS BOOK AS IT CLEARLY PROVIDES RECYCLING SCHEMES FOR DOMESTIC WASTE IN LIUE OF DISPOSAL IN THE LANDFILLS.

THE AUTHOR FIRST PRESENTED THESE INPUTS IN 1979 AS PART OF HER MASTERAL THESIS. HER PREROGATIVE WAS SUPPLANTED BY HER DESIRE TO HEIGHTEN PUBLIC AWARENESS ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES THAT WE WILL BE FACING IN THE FUTURE AND PROVIDE PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE AND SIMPLE SOLUTIONS TO THE SEEMINGLY COMPLICATED PROBLEM OF SOLID WASRE IN THE COUNTRY. THE AUTHOR AHS FORESEEN THE MAGNITUDE OF OUR INCLINATION TOWARDS THE THROW-AWAY CULTURE, OVERCONSUMPTION AND EXCESSIVE PRODUCTION OF SHORT-LIVED ITEMS. IMAGINE, THESE WERE ALREADY ON HER THOUGHTS AS EARLY AS THE 1970S.

MORE THAN TWO(2) DECADES AFTER, THE COUNTRY REALIZED THE SEVERITY OF THE WASTE PROBLEM, WHICH EVEN RESULTED IN THE TRASH SLIDE TRAGEDY IN PAYATAS THAT CALLED FOR THE ENACTMENT OF THE ECOLOGICAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT OF 2000 OR REPUBLIC ACT 9003 AND FURTHER BROADENED BY DECLARING EVERY MONTH OF JANUARY AS ZERO WASTE MONTH STARTING 2014.

SINCE THEN, MUCH HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED. HOWEVER, WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO IN TERMS OF COMPLIANCE OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS TOWARDS RA 9003. THE AUTHOR’S INTRODUCTION OF “FOUR Fs” (FACTORY RETURNABLES, FEED, FERTILIZER, FUEL) CONCEPT IN THIS BOOK IS VITAL TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AS IT COMPLEMENTS THE REQUIREMENTS OF RA 9003. IT ALSO ESPOUSES THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 3R CONCEPT WITH THE FOCUS ON REDUCTION OF WASTE GENERATION AND INCREASING WASTE DIVERSION. THESE SCHEMES ARE SIMPLE SOLUTIONS THAT ARE OFTEN OVERLOOKED AND UNDERESTIMATED BUT ARE MOST IMPORTANT IN THE WASTE MANAGEMENT HEIRARCHY.

REMEMBER, BULK OF OUR WASTE COMPOSITION THE COUNTRY IS BIODEGRADABLE AND RECYCLABLE. THE CONCEPT ADDRESSES THE ENTIRETY OF WASTE WHERE BIODEGRADABLE ARE TURNED TINO FERTILIZERS AND ARE USED FOR ANIMAL FEEDING, EVEM CONVERTED AS FUEL WHILEL RECYCLABLES ARE TREATED AS FACTORY RETURNABLES. IF WE ADVOCATE FOR THESE CONCEPTS DISCUSSED IN THE BOOK, A DECLINE FROM 14.66M METRIC TONS OF WASTE GENERATION IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY WILL NOT BE FAR FETCHED.

DISPOSAL OF SOLID WASTE AND POOR WASTE MANAGEMENT PRACTIVES HAVE EQUAL SHARE IN THE EMISSION OF GREENHOUSE GASES. WE HAVE REACHED THE CRITICALS TATE OF OUR ENVIRONMENT AS WE PREPARE OURSELVES TO THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE. HOWEVER, ADOPTING THE INTRODUCTION OF “FOUR Fs” SCHEME ARE EFFECTIVE WASYS TO MITIGATE CLIMATE CHANGE.

SO TODAY, I WOULD LIKE TO LAUD THE AUTHOR FOR COMTINUOUSLY ADVOCATING FOR SIMPLE YET EFFECTIVE WAYS IN THE MANAGEMENT OF DOMESTIC SOLID WASTES AND FOR PROMOTING THE “FOUR Fs” CONCEPT AND TO MAKE US REALIZE THAT THE BEST WAY TO CONTRIBUTE IN THE CHANGING OF TIME IS TO START WITHIN OURSELVES AND VEER AWAY FROM THE SEEMINGLY MINDLESS CONSUMERISM AND THROW AWAY CULTURE THAT HAS BECONE OUR WAY OF LIFE.

ON THIS NOTE, ALLOW ME TO GIVE MY HEARTFELT THANKS TO ALL OUR PARTNERS FROM THE CIVIL SOCIETY, OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT FOR IMPLEMENTING MEANINGFUL WAYS TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT.

ALL OF US HERE CAN MAKE SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS IN SHAPING AND PROTECTING PUR ECOLOGICAL WEALTH. WE MUST ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISES WE FACE SHOULD NOT BE SEEN AS THREATS, BUT AS OPPORTUNITIES TO SERIOUSLY DO WHAT WE CAN TO ENSURE THAT ALL OF US ENJOY A GREEN AND HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT.

TO ALL OF YOU, THANK YOU AND MABUHAY!

 

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SPEECH OF SECRETARY ROY A. CIMATU DURING THE TURN-OVER CEREMONY

MAY 10, 2017, DENR SOCIAL HALL, QC

 

17 05 07 Solidarity in environmental protection web2LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

GOOD AFTERNOON.

TWO DAYS AGO I WAS ADVISED BY PRRD WHOM ALL OF US FONDLY CALL MAYOR DIGONG THAT I WILL BE HIS NEXT DENR SECRETARY. THIS CAUGHT ME COMPLETELY BY SURPRISE. HAVING RETIRED AS AFP CHIEF OF STAFF IN 2002 AFTER 30 YEARS OF SERVING AS A SOLDIER OF THE REPUBLIC AND, SUBSEQUENTLY, ON AN INTERMITTENT BASIS UNTIL 2011, AS SPECIAL ENVOY FOR OFWS ESPECIALLY THOSE IN DISTRESSED SITUATIONS, I HAD THOUGHT THAT, AS GENERAL DOUGLAS MACARTHUR ONCE SAID OF OLD SOLDIERS, I WILL JUST FADE AWAY. BUT AS FATE WOULD HAVE IT, HERE I AM BEING CONSCRIPTED YET AGAIN BY A FRIEND OF LONG STANDING TO SERVE OUR COUNTRY.

SABI KO NGA KAY PRESIDENTE MATANDA NA AKO. PERO SABI NIYA SA AKIN: ANONG MATANDA, MAS MATANDA AKO SA IYO NG ISANG TAON. AND SO, DUTY CALLS. HERE I AM WADING IN INTO A FIELD FAR REMOVED FROM SOLDIERY. THAT IS WHY YOU WILL PLEASE EXCUSE ME IF I ASK THAT I BE GIVEN TIME TO SCAN AND STUDY THE TERRAIN IN AN AGENCY WHICH IMPACTS CONSIDERABLY ON OUR VERY LIFE AS A PEOPLE AND THE FUTURE OF OUR BELOVED PHILIPPINES.

COMING AS IT DOES RIGHT AFTER THE VERY HEATED CONFIRMATION DEBATES INVOLVING SECRETARY GINA LOPEZ, A VERY PASSIONATE AN ARDENT ADVOCATE OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND INCLUSIVE GROWTH, MAKES MY ENTRY EVEN MORE CHALLENGING. I WILL TRY TO DO MY BEST AS PRESIDENT DUTERTE'S POINT MAN IN THE DAUNTING TASK OF PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT IN ALL ITS FORMS - FROM THE MINES TO THE LAKES AND RIVERS TO THE FORESTS TO THE PLAINS TO OUR WATERS TO OUR SEWERS, TO THE VERY AIR WE BREATHE YOU NAME IT - WHILE PROMOTING THE WISE AND PROPER USE OF THESE GOD GIVEN RESOURCES FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD. THAT IS WHAT I UNDERSTAND BEING A STEWARD MEANS.

I CANNOT DO THIS ALONE. PRESIDENT DUTERTE CANNOT DO THIS ALONE. WE WILL NEED ALL HANDS ON DECK, FIRST, THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE DENR FROM THE SENIOR OFFICIALS AT THE CENTRAL OFFICE TO THE RANGERS, FORESTERS, GEOLOGISTS EVEN JANITORS ON THE GROUND; THEN, THE VARIOUS CLIENTS OF THE AGENCY, AGAIN FROM BIG BUSINESS TO THE SMALLEST TINDEROS AND ALL HOUSEHOLDS USING THE VERY RESOURCES WE HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF IN A PROPER AND SUSTAINABLE MANNER. EVEN OUR INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS WHO CARE AS MUCH AS WE DO ABOUT THE FATE OF THIS ONE AND ONLY PLANET THAT WE LIVE IN WILL HAVE TO BE ENGAGED. WE HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER AS A TEAM. WITH TEAMWORK, WE CAN DO, SO MUCH MORE IN ACCOMPLISHING THE CRITICAL RESPONSIBILITIES WE CARRY ON OUR SHOULDERS.

 

I INTEND TO LISTEN TO ALL THE VOICES OUT THERE AND MAKE FULL USE OF OUR POWERS AND RESOURCES TO ENSURE THAT THESE VARIOUS CONCERNS, SOME OF WHICH OFTEN TIMES CLASH, WILL BE PROPERLY AND JUDICIOUSLY ADDRESSED. FOR IN THE END WE AT THE DENR WILL ONLY BE AS EFFECTIVE AS OUR VARIOUS CONSTITUENTS WILL HELP US TO BE.
SO, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN PLEASE HELP ME LEARN THE ROPES AND EARN YOUR RESPECT. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. THANK YOU. MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL! 

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