Advocates and practitioners of zero waste resource management for a toxic-free future today appealed to the members of the Commission on Appointments (CA) to give Gina Lopez a chance to officially lead the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Through a press statement issued before the scheduled CA meeting on Wednesday, the EcoWaste Coalition prodded the lawmakers to decide in favor of confirming Lopez as DENR Secretary.
“We urge the CA to bestow upon her the task of leading and managing the DENR, the lead agency in charge of conserving and protecting the country’s environment, to ensure the sustainable use of our natural resources for the benefit of the Filipino people today and the succeeding generations,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“We support the decisive actions that she has taken so far to protect the country’s environment and natural resources against destructive mining activities. We are one with her in halting such activities that have ravaged our mountains and rivers, threatened the water systems and kept communities in abject poverty, while fattening the pockets of a few,” she added.
"Let us all give Gina the chance to pursue her activism within the DENR. Things will go well for Mother Earth with her at the helm," she stated.
At the same time, the group pledged to extend its cooperation and support to other essential environmental policies and programs that should be pursued by the DENR towards a truly green, zero waste and non-toxic economy.
This will include the vigorous enforcement of R.A. 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, to safely manage society’s discards, reduce waste volume and toxicity, and spawn clean recycling-based livelihood jobs, as well as pull the plug on deceptive quick-fix disposal schemes that bury or burn waste resources.
Under her watch, Lopez was able to, as reported to the CA, dismantle illegal structures in Laguna Lake, stopped ash spill in Bataan, shut down 50 illegal quarrying operations in Mt. Banahaw, and intensified law enforcement operations in “illegal logging hotspots.”
“We remain hopeful that CA members would be able to go beyond their verbal appreciation of Gina’s passion to protect the environment. We urge them to stand by her in fulfilling such colossal task by confirming her as DENR Secretary,” Lucero said.
The EcoWaste Coalition has provided the CA with a copy of their statement of support for Gina’s confirmation signed by over 250 groups and individuals.