The Association of Career Executives (ACE) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) welcomed the appointment of Jim O. Sampulna as acting secretary of the DENR following the resignation of former Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

ACE President and DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas R. Leones said it is an honor to have a “homegrown” career executive as the new chief of the department.

“I have known Secretary Jim as a hardworking and committed public servant, making his way through the ranks in the DENR. I cannot think of anyone else who can do a better job of being our acting secretary than him,” Leones said.

Sampulna started as a tree marker in Cotabato City at the then Bureau of Forest Development in 1977. He was only 20 years old at that time.

Two years later, he was promoted to budget examiner.

Sampulna’s unyielding determination and commitment to the DENR’s mission to protect the environment was seen through the years – from DENR-Soccksargen’s Chief Regional Development Specialist in 1988 to Regional Director in 2013.

In 2019, Sampulna became the Undersecretary for Enforcement and Muslim Affairs.

A year later, he undertook the position of Undersecretary for Mining, Muslim Affairs, and Attached Agencies, where his role allowed him to supervise regions, from Regions 11 to 13 in Mindanao, to Region 1 in Luzon and Region 6 in the Visayas.

“As the new acting secretary, I want to promote professionalism and careerism in the DENR,” said Sampulna, who has been serving DENR for more than 40 years, and is a member of the career executive service for nearly two decades.

“I encourage DENR regional executive directors, assistant regional executives as well as all employees to strive to become homegrown CESOs (career executive service officers). I hope to motivate and inspire them to become better, yet well-grounded leaders of our country,” he said.

From having been conferred with CES Eligibility on February 7, 2000, and appointed to his first CESO rank on November 27, 2001, the new DENR chief has earned the highest CES rank on January 7, 2021. ###