Paje enjoins Filipinos to go beyond Earth Hour through NGP

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje urged Filipinos to “go beyond Earth Hour” in mitigating the effects of climate change by participating in the country’s National Greening Program (NGP).

Paje sounded the call even as he invited Filipinos to once again join this year’s Earth Hour on March 31 by switching off their lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 in the evening. Yet, more than aiming for wider participation during that hour, he encouraged Filipinos to take a more sustained and active stance against climate change.

“An occasion like Earth Hour is dramatically impressive, yet we need to do more because switching off non-essential lights for one hour out of 8,760 hours in a year is only a short-term solution and will never be enough to make climate change go away. Earth Hour has shown us how we can achieve more if we are able to sustain united, convergent and simultaneous actions for our environment like the NGP,” he said.

Paje explained that the NGP, which aims to plant 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares over a span of six years, is the “best example” of a long-term solution for going beyond Earth Hour, because forests of newly-planted trees, while maturing, act as carbon sinks as they sequester global warming-inducing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. According to scientists, one tree during its lifetime can absorb an average of one ton of carbon dioxide.

He also noted how, in the recently-published Environmental Performance Index report of the Yale and Columbia Universities, the Philippines ranked first in the indicator for efficiency in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per capita, yet was a distant 86th place in emissions generated by thermal-power plants, and 51st in generation of renewable electricity.

“We need to increase our energy efficiency, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and increase our use of renewable energy to reduce our emissions. These, along with planting trees, are the best ways to offset or erase our carbon footprint,” he stressed. 

The environment chief then expressed his hope that, in keeping with this year’s Earth Hour campaign theme, “I Will If You Will”, participating individuals, organizations or businesses would “dare” others to engage in activities under the NGP, from seed gathering or production to tree nurturing, in exchange for reducing their own emissions. 

The Philippines has consistently led in the global switch-off since 2009 in terms of town and city participation. From 50 participating communities 2008, when the country first joined Earth Hour, the numbers steadily rose as 647 joined in 2009; 1,076 in 2010; and 1,661 in 2011. In 2009 alone, an estimated 611MWh of electricity was saved. 

Earth Hour was conceptualized by World Wide Fund Australia and Leo Brunett . The first Earth Hour was held on March 31, 2007 in Sydney, Australia.

 

 


 

 

EnvironmentNatural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje rallied last week his field officials to ensure the success of the National Greening Program, saying the program has full support of the President.

    “There is no reason to fail considering that President Aquino has amply given all the support this program (NGP) needs to succeed,” Paje told the regional executive directors (REDs),  regional technical directors, and the provincial and community environment and natural resources officers (PENROs, CENROs) attending the 2-day National Convention of Field Officers held May 31-June 1, 2011 at the DENR Social Hall in Quezon City.

    Paje also challenged the field officials “to give their best shot” as their performance in implementing the NGP will be “highly taken into consideration’ in the evaluation of officials for promotions.
 
“Those who will be performing will be rewarded. Wala pong biro yan,” Paje said, stressing that the field officers will be evaluated fairly based on a purely-merit system “without regard for personal ties or past associations” he has made through over 20 years at the DENR where he started his career as a casual forester.

Paje said the NGP-driven performance-based incentive scheme will first zero in on the PENRO and CENRO positions, with an instruction to DENR Assistant Secretary for Management and Finance Corazon Davis to reserve the vacant PENRO and CENRO posts as rewards for NGP’s top performers especially those that are on an acting capacity. 

“If you are a CENRO, you will automatically become a PENRO.  Those who are not yet full-pledged CENRO (with temporary appointment), we will make you full-pledged CENROs. Performance lamang, wala nang iba,”  Paje stressed. 

Of the 168 CENRO plantilla positions, 47 have yet to be filled;  while 25 remain vacant in the 73 PENRO  plantilla posts.

The incentive scheme forms part of Paje’s overall program to strengthen DENR’s performance-based promotion system to beef up the national leadership’s efforts in professionalizing the  Philippine bureaucracy.

But Paje was quick to clarify that the quality of their performance will be determined by the survival of the seedling declared in their performance and not merely on the number of seedling planted.

“Remember, the NGP is a national priority program of President Aquino, and this is not for show but for grow. Gone are the days when tree planting activities were just to set world records or just for photo opportunities,” Paje noted.

At the same time, Paje asked “doubting Thomases” to be forthcoming this early with their hesitation to go all out to meet their targets to allow for management to act appropriately in their particular case.

“We will make sure that everybody performs. Kung sino sa inyo ang tingin ay hindi kayang ipatupad ang programang ito, sabihin na ninyo ngayon,” Paje said.

The performance-based incentive will be based on the field officials’ scorecard in the  yearly targets given them and will be validated with the use of state-of-the art technology such as satellite mapping and internet-based technology through NGP’s website at the www.ngp.denr.gov.ph

Paje opens up more scholarship grants for geosciences courses

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje has directed the Mines and Geosciences Bureau to increase its scholarship grants for geosciences courses to help in the geo-hazard mapping and assessment program of the government.

Paje issued the directive in an effort to encourage students to take up geosciences courses to beef up the country’s geologists, including mining and metallurgical engineers.

“The past years saw a steady decline of geologists and mining and metallurgical engineers in the Mines and Geosciences Bureau for two reasons – one is due to their recruitment in the private sector or abroad which offer bigger salaries and two, due to a halt in DENR’s recruitment because of the rationalization program,” Paje said.

According to Paje, the bureau now only has a total of 88 geologists, with 120 vacant positions.  “The number of geologists who chose to stay and work with us is barely enough to handle the increasing work load particularly on geo-hazard mapping and assessment which has become a necessity due to climate change,” he said.   

For this, Paje is reaching out to incoming college freshmen, particularly those graduating at the top of their class, to take advantage of DENR’s scholarship program.  

According to him, there are currently 12 MGB scholars studying geology, mining engineering and metallurgical engineering in only four universities in the country offering such courses.  These are the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City; Adamson University and Mapua University in Manila; Cebu Institute of Technology in Cebu City and University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao City.

Aside from graduating high school students, Paje said the scholarship program is also open to current college students and qualified DENR personnel who wish to pursue a career in geosciences.

The MGB scholarship covers free tuition fees, monthly stipend of P3,000, and book allowance. 

For those interested, they may inquire from the bureau’s scholarship committee at the central office of the MGB at North Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.

 


 

 

EnvironmentNatural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje rallied last week his field officials to ensure the success of the National Greening Program, saying the program has full support of the President.

    “There is no reason to fail considering that President Aquino has amply given all the support this program (NGP) needs to succeed,” Paje told the regional executive directors (REDs),  regional technical directors, and the provincial and community environment and natural resources officers (PENROs, CENROs) attending the 2-day National Convention of Field Officers held May 31-June 1, 2011 at the DENR Social Hall in Quezon City.

    Paje also challenged the field officials “to give their best shot” as their performance in implementing the NGP will be “highly taken into consideration’ in the evaluation of officials for promotions.
 
“Those who will be performing will be rewarded. Wala pong biro yan,” Paje said, stressing that the field officers will be evaluated fairly based on a purely-merit system “without regard for personal ties or past associations” he has made through over 20 years at the DENR where he started his career as a casual forester.

Paje said the NGP-driven performance-based incentive scheme will first zero in on the PENRO and CENRO positions, with an instruction to DENR Assistant Secretary for Management and Finance Corazon Davis to reserve the vacant PENRO and CENRO posts as rewards for NGP’s top performers especially those that are on an acting capacity. 

“If you are a CENRO, you will automatically become a PENRO.  Those who are not yet full-pledged CENRO (with temporary appointment), we will make you full-pledged CENROs. Performance lamang, wala nang iba,”  Paje stressed. 

Of the 168 CENRO plantilla positions, 47 have yet to be filled;  while 25 remain vacant in the 73 PENRO  plantilla posts.

The incentive scheme forms part of Paje’s overall program to strengthen DENR’s performance-based promotion system to beef up the national leadership’s efforts in professionalizing the  Philippine bureaucracy.

But Paje was quick to clarify that the quality of their performance will be determined by the survival of the seedling declared in their performance and not merely on the number of seedling planted.

“Remember, the NGP is a national priority program of President Aquino, and this is not for show but for grow. Gone are the days when tree planting activities were just to set world records or just for photo opportunities,” Paje noted.

At the same time, Paje asked “doubting Thomases” to be forthcoming this early with their hesitation to go all out to meet their targets to allow for management to act appropriately in their particular case.

“We will make sure that everybody performs. Kung sino sa inyo ang tingin ay hindi kayang ipatupad ang programang ito, sabihin na ninyo ngayon,” Paje said.

The performance-based incentive will be based on the field officials’ scorecard in the  yearly targets given them and will be validated with the use of state-of-the art technology such as satellite mapping and internet-based technology through NGP’s website at the www.ngp.denr.gov.ph

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