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Cayetano: DENR Must Be The Constant Voice For The Environment In The Cabinet

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Cayetano: DENR Must Be The Constant Voice For The Environment In The Cabinet

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Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday urged Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga to be the “constant voice” championing environment protection in the Cabinet, saying the Secretary should play both an offensive and defensive role at the helm of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

“I’d just like to encourage you to be the constant voice in the Cabinet of reminding the departments of their duty to protect the environment,” Cayetano told Loyzaga in a manifestation during the Commission on Appointments (CA) environment and natural resources committee meeting on September 27, 2022.

Cayetano pointed out that protecting the environment must be a whole-of-government agenda and not the sole responsibility of the DENR.

“Every single department we have will have to protect the environment (and) will have a role to play in protecting the environment. It’s God’s creation, and we are all stewards, so it’s not only you who’s the steward but all of us,” he said.

Referencing the basketball exploits of Loyzaga’s husband former pro-league player Chito Loyzaga, Cayetano said the Environment Secretary must be “both an offensive player in protecting the environment but also a defensive player in stopping corruption (in the DENR).”

He also acknowledged that the Environment Secretary must commit to a tough balancing act since the DENR functions both as primary conservationist and as regulator of the country’s extractive industries.

However, the senator said the DENR’s most important task is the protection of the environment and not the approval of permits to make use of it.

“Hindi rin ang trabaho ay magbigay ng permit o huwag magbigay ng permit, ang trabaho talaga is to protect the environment,” Cayetano said.

Beyond environment regulation, the senator floated the idea of forming an attached agency of the DENR similar to the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which could be more able to clamp down on industries and corporations that harm the environment.

“Kung talagang destructive e ‘di destructive, kung talagang palpak e ‘di palpak, kung talagang dapat i-fine yan e di i-fine yan, kung dapat isara e di isara,” he said.

Source: http://www.senate.gov.ph

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