23 May 2010

Noynoy Urged to Put Together "Best, Brightest and Greenest Cabinet"

Environmentalists today urged President-apparent Noynoy Aquino to encircle himself not only with the “best and brightest minds,” but also with the “greenest” to ensure a pro-environment government.

Noynoy in a recent TV interview told reporters that his Cabinet will be a “mix of new and old faces, best and brightest minds.”

The EcoWaste Coalition pointed out that all Cabinet officials, not only the Environment Secretary, should have a demonstrated love and concern for the Mother Earth.

The EcoWaste Coalition and over 60 groups had earlier provided Noynoy with a 10-point criteria to guide him in selecting the next Environment Secretary who should be "a person with indubitable integrity, indefatigable leadership, unstinting political will and above all, faithfulness to ecological values."

“A green Cabinet will be Noynoy’s principal partner and machinery for achieving his Social Contract with the Filipino people, specifically in delivering his promise to advance and protect the public health and the environment,” said Roy Alvarez, President of the EcoWaste Coalition.

“We hope that Noynoy will be able to assemble the best, brightest and greenest Cabinet with a committed heart for the poor who will work in sync to release the people from poverty, reverse the unimpeded destruction of our natural environment, combat toxic pollution and mitigate climate change,” he added.

“Protecting the environment is pivotal to the success of Noynoy’s reform agenda, and he will surely need a team of leaders who will do exactly just that,” Alvarez emphasized.

For her part, Eileen Sison, NGO Representative to the National Solid Waste Management Commission, stated that: "The cleansing of our country should not be limited to sweeping corruption away, but also cleansing our country of policies and practices that encourage a throw-away culture. Ecological resource recovery and protection should be one of the pillars of the Aquino presidency."

Green Cabinet officials, according to the EcoWaste Coalition, segregate and recycle their discards at home and in the workplace and are not wasteful, respect trees and defend our dwindling forests, uphold human and ecological health from toxic and mindless development, and subscribe to the “Philippine Agenda 21” or the national agenda towards sustainable development.

The presumptive President-elect through the Social Contract has committed a shift “from a government obsessed with exploiting the country for immediate gains to the detriment of its environment to a government that will encourage sustainable use of resources to benefit the present and future generations.”

In the same Social Contract, Noynoy expressed his commitment to turn around the environmental blight, congestion and decay afflicting our cities by “planning alternative, inclusive urban developments where people of varying income levels are integrated in productive, healthy and safe communities.”

The group also cited Noynoy’s response to the pre-election green survey jointly conducted by the EcoWaste Coalition and Greenpeace where the now President-apparent indicated several of his environmental plans, including his plan to certify as urgent a legislative measure that will “delineate once and for all forest lines in the country, as a clear basis for the crafting of a comprehensive national land use policy.”

As far as addressing climate vulnerabilities, Noynoy plans “to draw up detailed local and community-based action frameworks for adaptation with a clear emphasis not just on rescue, recovery and rehabilitation but on research, risk-management and restoration of damaged communities over a longer term.”

“To be able to carry out his environmental plans, Noynoy will require a green-minded Cabinet who will work hand-in-hand to strengthen and accomplish his green agenda with the indispensable support and participation of the Filipino people,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.

-end-

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 329, Eagle Court Condominium
Matalino St., Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 441-1846ecowastecoalition@yahoo.com

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