(SALUTATIONS)

I WOULD LIKE TO WELCOME THE SPECIALIZED COURSE ON ENVIRONMENTAL LAW ENFORCEMENT // OF THE DENR ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES ACADEMY. //

AS WE ALL KNOW, // WE ARE AT WAR AGAINST ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMINALS // TO PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT AND OUR PEOPLE. // HOWEVER, // THE SADDEST PART OF OUR BATTLE // IS LOSING PEOPLE IN THE LINE OF DUTY. // THESE ARE OUR ENVIRONMENTAL HEROES // WHO WERE MERCILESSLY MURDERED WHILE ON DUTY OR ON THEIR JOB, // SOME WERE GUNNED DOWN, // SOME HACKED TO DEATH. //

NO AMOUNT OF MONEY, // AWARDS, // OR RECOGNITIONS OR EVEN PROMOTION // CAN EVER REPLACE THE LIVES OF PEOPLE WHO DIED // DEFENDING OUR ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES. // A SINGLE LIFE LOST IS ONE TOO MANY // TO MOVE ANYONE TO PURSUE STEPS AND STOP THIS TREND. //

THIS IS THE VERY REASON // WHY WE MUST STRENGTHEN OUR EXISTING MECHANISMS // IN THE FORM OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS, // REGULATIONS, // AND POLICIES // TO ADDRESS THE DANGERS POSED // NOT ONLY TO THE ENVIRONMENT // BUT ALSO TO THOSE WHO PROTECT IT. //

WE SHOULD ENFORCE ALL ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS THAT WERE GIVEN TO THE DENR TO ENFORCE AS OUR MANDATE.

WHILE WE AWAIT THE PASSAGE OF THE BILL // CREATING THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND ENFORCEMENT BUREAU, // WE HAVE ESTABLISHED AN OFFICE IN THE DEPARTMENT // TO SERVE AS OUR ENFORCEMENT ARM // THAT IS PATTERNED AFTER MAINSTREAM LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES SUCH AS // THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE AGAINST CRIMINALITY, // ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AGAINST REBELLION AND SUBVERSION. //

THIS INTERIM OFFICE, // THE ENVIRONMENTAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AND PROTECTION SERVICE OR ELEPS, // WILL MAKE US REALIZE OUR VISION // TO CREATE A MORE SYSTEMATIC // AND PROFESSIONALIZED ENVIRONMENTAL LAW ENFORCEMENT WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT. WE EXPECT THAT ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS WILL NOW BE MORE ADEQUATELY // AND EFFECTIVELY ENFORCED. //

I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT THESE OBJECTIVES CAN BE ACHIEVED // BY TRAINING OUR PEOPLE ON THE GROUND TO BE WELL-EQUIPPED, // SKILLED, // AND KNOWLEDGEABLE OF THE LAWS BEING ENFORCED. //

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES ARE EVOLVING, // THUS, // ALSO PRESENTING A CLEAR THREAT TO OUR STATE SECURITY. // OUR ENEMIES CAN NOW CROSS BORDERS WITH EASE, // THEY ARE MORE SOPHISTICATED, // SYNDICATED, // AND ORGANIZED. // WITH THIS COURSE, // OUR ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENDERS WILL BE MORE COMPETENT // ESPECIALLY IN UTILIZING APPROPRIATE MODERN TECHNOLOGIES // TO THEIR ADVANTAGE. //

THIS COURSE WILL PROVIDE OUR ENVIRONMENTAL FRONTLINERS // THE PROPER CONCEPTS, // SKILLS, // AND TECHNIQUES IN ENFORCEMENT. //