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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the Climate Change Commission and the Partnership for Clean Air (PCA) is set to host on June 14-15, 2011 at the DENR Social Hall, a multi-stakeholder forum on climate change and cleaner transport to mark the 12th year of implementation of the Philippine Clean Air Act.

DENR Secretary Ramon Paje reiterated the importance of having to combat air pollution, particularly from mobile sources, to drive forward the implementation of Clean Air Act in the country.

“The law has been in place for twelve years now, and much as we have been able to achieve a lot, especially in terms of the reduction of total suspended particulates (TSP) level, or the introduction of alternative fuels in the country, we still have a lot to do. Mobile source, in fact, remains the top most source of air pollution in the country,” he said.

The forum is the third of the series of Clean Air 10 Forum that are being held annually since 2009 where government agencies, local government, business and the civil society merge to exchange insights to move forward, Clean Air Act implementation.

As one of the DENR's active partners in implementing the Clean Air Act, the Partnership for Clean Air (PCA) stressed the need to strengthen partnerships and coordinated action toward cleaner air.

"Despite significant advances since the implementation of RA 8749, the challenges we face remain formidable and will test our resolve. We need to forge more alliances not just between classes and among sectors but reaching across generations, because the struggle for clean air should represent in the end the confluence of diverse efforts that many Filipinos today are involved in,” says Vicky Segovia, PCA Executive Director.

The two-day forum, dubbed “Clean Air 10+2”, will highlight the need to strengthen partnerships toward clean air and climate change action, with focus on energy and transport. To be highlighted are the initiatives of the local government units, the industries, and the private sector on clean air and climate change, particularly on the use of LPG as an alternative fuel for vehicles, electric, hybrid, and non-motorized vehicles, and clean fleet management.

Forum participants will also be able to hear the government’s response on the mainstreaming of environmentally sustainable transport strategy including the volume traffic reduction scheme, the anti-smoke belching campaign, and the Mega-Manila Transport Study.

The Clean Air 10+2 Forum is organized by the DENR, the DOTC, the Climate Change Commission and PCA, with the support of Petroleum Institute of the Philippines, Ayala Foundation, and Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, Inc. with other civil society members.

 

Environment and Natural 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