Reassigning Gina Lopez as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary
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In the short time Gina Lopez has spent as the secretary of the DENR, she probably has accomplished more for the environment and the Filipino people than anyone else. Wikipedia beautifully sums up her achievements as follows:
She audited all mining sites and firms in the entire republic and stripped environmental certificates from a bulk of the mining industry due to massive violations against the environment and the law, the first time a secretary of environment did so. This led to a massive public support for her work as DENR secretary…Few of the many notable certificates that were stripped were those for mining companies doing operations in Semirara Island (a key biodiversity area) in Antique, Eastern Samar, Surigao del Sur which is home to indigenous Lumad communities, and Cordillera Administrative Region, which is the melting pot of northern Luzon indigenous people. She has advocated a 100% renewable energy Philippines and is vehemently against mining saying, "The Philippines does not need mining." Her anti-mining sentiment is backed by years of Philippine research on mining, both ecologically and economically. She also said that there will be no mining operations of any form in Palawan, which is popularly known as the last ecological frontier of the country. Within less than 2 months, she has audited all mining firms from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. She is also an indigenous people (IP) advocate. She immediately established forums for consultations between the DENR and the indigenous people sector in the Philippines, the first time a DENR secretary did so. She also established the first ever DENR public hotline wherein the public can tell all environmental violations of any entity in the country directly to the DENR and her office. She is against nuclear energy due to years of research about the matter. The Nuclear Power Plant in Bataan will only contribute to less than 0.5% to the National Energy Grid when operated and its costs will be much higher, making it unsustainable. She prefers the establishment of more wind and solar power plants, which are much cheaper and sustainable in the long-run, and the possible cooperation of the Philippines and Australia to establish the first wave energy plants in Asia. The Philippines is the center of the Pacific Typhoon Belt, bestowing it with the most maximized wind and wave shocks in the world.
In a public announcement, she told media that all buffer zones in all protected areas in the country shall also be revitalized into their natural state. She is also pushing for the establishment of numerous protected areas in the country such as the West Panay Mountain Range National Park. She also announced that the UP Arboretum will be an ecological paradise where the informal settlers in the area will be the partners for its development. Her environmental policies are much criticized by some big business ventures and pro-mining lawmakers in the republic (her father owns one of the biggest companies in the country), but are backed by numerous environmental and human rights NGO's. In a recent survey, Filipinos back Lopez's environmental policy by a huge majority. She has been called a symbol and champion of environmental conservation in the country ever since.
The rejection of the Commission of Appointments (CA) is clearly against the interest of the Filipino people. It becomes more and more apparent that the members of the CA have personal and corporate interests in mind. This makes their rejection morally invalid and ethically detestable. Given that governmental appointments should serve the interests of the people, we petition that the rejection of the CA be invalidated and, consequentially, the appointment of Gina Lopez as secretary of the DENR should be reinstated. We further petition that the conflicts of interest of the members of the CA be thoroughly investigated.
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