"I cannot do this alone, President Duterte cannot do this alone. We need all hands on deck," Cimatu said in a speech after the DENR leadership was formally transferred to him by outgoing Secretary Gina Lopez.

The new DENR chief specifically mentioned "the men and women of the DENR from the senior officials at the central office to the rangers, foresters, geologists and even janitors on the ground."

He also mentioned the various clients of the DENR, including big and small businesses and all households, as well as agency's international partners.

"We have to work together as a team. With teamwork, we can do so much more in accomplishing the critical responsibilities we carry on our shoulders," he pointed out.

According to Cimatu, his appointment to the DENR has caught him "completely by surprise."

In a gesture of humility, Cimatu asked that he be given time to fully grasp the DENR and all its functions.

He admitted that the DENR is a completely different field for him since he has been known as a former chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and later as special envoy for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

"Here I am wading in into a field far removed from soldiery. That is why you will please excuse me if I ask that I be given time to scan and study the terrain in an agency which impacts considerably on our very life as a people and the future of our beloved Philippines," Cimatu said.

Meanwhile, Cimatu was all praises to Lopez, saying he wished he could approximate her passion for the environment.

He described his predecessor as a "very passionate and ardent advocate of environmental protection and inclusive growth."

The former military chief said his entry to the DENR was "even more challenging" as it came right after the "very heated confirmation debates" involving Lopez.

Nevertheless, Cimatu said he will try to do his best as "President Duterte's point man in the daunting task of protecting our environment in all its forms."

He vowed to promote the "wise and proper use" of the country's natural resources "for the public good." 

Prior to his appointment as DENR Secretary, Cimatu served as the 29th AFP chief of staff in 2002.

In the 1980s, Cimatu was sent to Northern Panay as Batallion Commander in Aklan province, which was then under the heavy influence of the New People’s Army (NPA).

At that time, the highway of the northern towns, especially in Ibajay, was heavily infested by the NPA. The highway was also a gateway to the present-day Boracay Island, to which his successful efforts to clear the area from threats led to the development of the top tourist destination spot in the country today.

He also became a Brigade Commander in Davao, Cotabato, and Sarangani, where he was promoted as a one-star general after his troops successfully rescued four hostages kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf. ###


  • Cimatu lauds law enforcement authorities behind large wildlife bust

    Tuesday, March 20, 2018

    Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has commended personnel of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the rescue of over 300 smuggled live animals and arrest of four suspects in what has been dubbed as one of the country’s largest wildlife busts. The successful operation was carried out on Tuesday by joint operatives from the NBI-Environmental Crime Division and the DENR’s Philippine Operations Group of Ivory and Ille…


Photo Releases

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu (in black coat) officiates the turn-over ceremony from outgoing RD Arleigh J. Adorable to incoming RD Crizaldy Barcelo.

DENR 8 Regional Director Atty. Crizaldy Barcelo lights the Flame of Sportsmanship to formally start the DENR Sportsfest 2017.

DENR 8’s ARD for Management Services Arturo N. Salazar presents Updates on Government Policy on Climate Change during the 2nd Regional Climate Change Conference conducted by PH Haiyan Cooperative in cooperation with the Climate Change Commission.

Mangrove forest and eco-park in Naungan, Ormoc City developed by the Naungan San Juan Mangrove Planters Association from what used to be a plain mudflat.

DENR 8 technical personnel record and monitor sightings of migratory birds in the wetlands of Eastern Visayas.

Residents of Brgy. Tagpuro join the mangrove tree planting activity spearheaded by the PH Haiyan Advocacy Cooperative.

CIMATU INSPECTS CONFISCATED ENDANGERED SPECIES. Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu inspects the confiscated sulfur crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita) at the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) Wildlife Rescue Center in Quezon City with BMB Director Theresa Mundita Lim (beside Cimatu). Three species of the cockatoos including the moluccan cockatoo (cacatua moluccensis) and the black palm cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus) totaling 154 heads were confiscated by the joint forces of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Philippine Operations Group on Ivory and Illegal Wildlife Trade (DENR POGI) and the National Bureau of Investigation Environmental Crime Division in a buy-bust operation in Pasay City. The cockatoo is considered an endangered species and is listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Its trade should be subject to a CITES export permit from the country of origin and a CITES import permit from the country of destination. A total of 316 heads of species were confiscated in the successful operation.

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