THE Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has been very vocal about her position on mining, irresponsible mining, that is. That’s commendable.
But there are many other environmental concerns DENR must address. We have not heard concrete plans. We urge Secretary Gina Lopez to have a real honest-to-goodness disclosure of where her department stands on the many environmental issues afflicting the country and the plansof action for these.
Given the unhealthy state of our environment, we find it essential for DENR to unveil an authentic people-centered prescription for breathing new life into our degrading ecosystems. People expect a robust program from the country’s new leadership that will genuinely address the confluence of garbage, toxic and climate woes that is affecting the country’s poor the most.
How will DENR clean up polluted marine ecosystems such as the Iloilo River, Pasig River, Manila Bay, Laguna Lake and others? How does it intend to cut the production of garbage and their disposal in dumpsites, landfills as well as water bodies? How will it protect consumers from toxic chemicals that abound in common products for children and adults alike?
The Philippines is one of the world’s most deforested and polluted countries. What does the good Secretary think caused this and what does she plan to do about it? For example, how will DENR save the Sierra Madre from further destruction due to illegal logging, mining, dumping and kaingin?
How does DENR plan to support and mainstream energy from renewable sources? What is the Secretary’s position on nuclear power and coal-fired power plants? Is DENR in favor of recommissioning the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant?
What is DENRs’ position on the public clamor to ban aerial spraying in commercial agricultural plantations as it adversely affects the people’s health, environmental and human rights?
What is DENR’s stance on genetically-engineered crops as major exports of the Philippines? Will the Secretary approve a national ban on GMOs? Will she implement fully organic agriculture in the country?
Is the Secretary familiar with the Philippine Agenda 21 or PA 21, which is the country’s national agenda for sustainable development based on the Global Agenda 21 that resulted from the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development. Will PA 21 guide her policies and decisions? Will she implement it to the letter as mandated?
We hope DENR will use every opportunity to inform the Filipinos about its plans and solutions to the many environmental issues facing the nation.