WATCH | Split up of DENR proposed after CA rebuffs Gina Lopez

May 5, 2017 - 11:07 PM
Regina Lopez DENR
Regina Lopez failed to obtain the nod of the Commission on Appointments as secretary-designate of environment and natural resources.

Just this Wednesday, the Commission on Appointments delivered a stinging rebuff of Environment and Natural Resources secretary-designate Regina Lopez in the wake of her controversial moves to stop the mineral extraction activities of numerous companies that she deemed were less than deserving of having their operations continued.

One of the issues that unraveled out of this was the apparent inability of Lopez to achieve a balance between the competing interests of nature conservation and harnessing of natural resources for economic good.

Lopez’s detractors point out that her being a staunch and outspoken environmental advocate tilts too heavily against her role as a natural resources manager.

This is manifested by her tendency to skip regulations and “very often” decides on the basis of emotions rather than evidence, according to Atty. Ronnie Recidoro, Vice President for Legal and Policy of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines.

The Chamber takes the position that the nation has the right to benefit from responsible utilization of the natural resources.

As early as September last year, AKO-Bicol partylist Representative Rodel Batocabe moved to enact legislation meant to separately delineate the two functions of DENR and create a Department of Environment separate from a Department of Natural Resources.

denr split

Even before the time of Lopez, these two mandates have often clashed.

When Lopez came on the scene, she advocated for the preservation of the environment and the natural resources, but the Chamber of Mines pointed out that the Constitution also says the state has the responsibility to explore, develop and utilize the natural resources.

CMP observed that this was where Lopez failed to accomplish, voicing the view and the hope that the next secretary would be able to tweak and achieve a better balance between the two portfolios.

Click and watch the video report below: