"I'm not only about mining," Lopez told CA members during her confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

Among her string of accomplishments are the closure of 50 illegal quarrying operations  in Mt. Banahaw, dismantling of illegal structures in Laguna Lake, stoppage of ash spill in Bataan province, and intensified operations in so-called "illegal logging hotspots" in the country which resulted in the confiscation of massive quantities of illegally cut timber and filing of charges against illegal loggers.

Lopez said she also started her campaign to rid the DENR of corrupt officials and employees. "I have adopted a policy of one-strike out. I have zero tolerance for corruption."

The DENR chief also shared to CA members her plan to create ecological economic zones to help move local communities out of poverty in record time.

"I am confident that we can get our country out of poverty. I feel that genuine economic growth is genuine when it brings on social justice," Lopez said in her opening statement.

She added: "The stand in DENR to bring social justice is what I'm going to call area development -- looking at the area, looking at its potential and the magnifiscence, and maneuver it so that the resources benefit the people living there.

"It is to this end that I'm committing my full commitment to make this a reality."

Lopez said her extensive experience in building ecological economic sites will help her in providing sustainable livelihood to local communities without destroying the environment.

"I have had the experience of building models which worked and that is where I wanna go," Lopez said.

"These models have resulted in communities that we call ecological economic, educational zones and that is exactly I wanna go in DENR -- to build models and to build many models which show that we can do it and we can make it happen," she added.

Responding to questions from CA members, Lopez defended her decision to close down 23 mining operations due to serious environmental violations and to scrap 75 mineral production sharing agreements or MPSAs with mining companies in watershed areas.

"In watersheds, the water goes down to feed agriculture which benefits people living there. If you mine in a watershed, you invariably hit the water cable that supports life in the area," Lopez pointed out.

She also said that it is within her mandate as DENR secretary to declare no mining in watershed areas. "I'm just following the law (Philippine Mining Act of 1995)," she pointed out.

Lopez also warned of repercussions of open pit mining, which mining companies could do if they are allowed to operate in watersheds.

"Open pit mining is illegal and makes soil acidic," Lopez said. #

DENR press releases and other news/feature articles are posted at the DENR website: www.denr.gov.ph. For queries/comments, write: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

News

DENR recognizes partners on environmental protection, Kicks-off observance of Month of the Planet Earth

tabaoIn observance of April as Month of the Planet Earth, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in region 8 recognizes the contributions of its partners in environmental protection and natural resources conservation.


As a kick-off activity for the month-long celebration, DENR presented a Certificate of Recognition to Barangay Chairman Noel Tabao of of Barangay 69, Anibong, Tacloban City. Chairman Tabao’s invaluable assistance to the rehabilitation of mangrove areas in Leyte through the Leyte Gulf Rehabilitation Project launched after Super Typhoon Yolanda, particularly in the rehabilitation and development of a 12-hectare mangrove area in Bgry. 69 was recognized by the DENR. His assistance in organizing the Greening Initiators and Nature’s Advocate People’s Organization or GINAPO as DENR partner in the establishment, maintenance, and production of seedlings for DENR 8 Central Nursery in Anibong was also cited.

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Photo Releases

DENR Secretary Gina Lopez leads employees of DENR region 8 in an oath to take care of the environment and be better stewards of the earth. Employees also committed to work for integrity, public service, and common good. The oath of commitment was made by the employees during the visit of Secretary Lopez to DENR regional office on January 16, 2016.

DENR 8 Regional Director Leonardo Sibbaluca presents the region’s central nursery and the 12-hectare Leyte Gulf Mangrove Rehabilitation Project site at Brgy. Anibong, Tacloban City to Green Climate Fund (GCF) Director Javier Manazares (seated, 3rd from left) and Demetrio Innocenti (seated, 4th from left). The project implemented in 2014 in the hardest hit provinces of Leyte, Samar, and Eastern Samar by Typhoon Yolanda envisions to restore the lush mangroves in said areas, emphasizing on the crucial role these mangroves play in protecting the coastline, preventing coastal erosion, serving as buffer for tidal currents and storm driven waves, and mitigating the unavoidable impacts of climate change. GCF visited the area for an ocular inspection in response to the request of Secretary Lopez for financial assistance in support to the department’s programs and projects on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Also in photo are (seated L-R) ERDB Director Henry Adornado, ASec Junie Hernandez, Assistant Secretary Evelyn Cruzada of the Performance and Projects Management Office, office of the Cabinet Secretary.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in region 8 recognizes the important role played by indigenous communities in the protection and preservation of the region’s protected areas. In photo is the Mamanwa Indigenous Community in Burauen, Leyte joining this year’s Mahagnao Volcano Natural Park Outdoor Festival held on February 3, coinciding with the declaration of MVNP as a protected area under the National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS) Act. The event intends to showcase the natural park as a home to various species of flora and fauna including the Philippine Eagle, and promote the preservation of the rich biodiversity in the area. 

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