Environmental consciousness pervades — DENR PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 07 September 2014 16:22

In the latest congressional deliberations on the proposed 2015 Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) budget, more than a dozen House of Representatives members commended this agency for successfully implementing environmentalprograms and policies of President Benigno Aquino III’sadministration.

DENR Sec. Ramon Paje said the agency’s Cadastral Survey Program – which was signed into law on Feb. 11, 1913 – was able to cover in nearly 100 years, only 46 percent of the country’s entire land area.

He said the agency expects the remaining 54 percent to be completed within President Aquino’s term, however.

Paje also said the National Greening Program, which aims to reforest 1.5 million has. by 2016, expects to reverse the nation’s forest cover.

“By 2016, there will be more forested areas than denuded ones,” he said.

DENR likewise expects to complete next year production of geohazard maps covering the entire country and which are drawn to scale 1:10,000 m. each, Paje continued.

With Congress throwing its full support behind the State’s environment programs, Paje observed a “pervading environmental consciousness” in the three branches of government.

He noted the judiciary showed strong environmental consciousness through Supreme Court’s green decisions like ordering the Manila Bay mandamus and issuing various Writs of Kalikasan.

Paje cited results of the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) and Pulse Asia surveys showing more and more Filipinos believe the Aquino administration is doing a good job of protecting the Philippine environment.

The June 2014 SWS survey showed government’s environmental protection efforts ranked first among 17 concerns which the public rated.

Pulse Asia’s March 2014 report indicated a leap of seven percentage points in “protection of the environment” from +41 in December 2013 to +48 in March 2014.

Paje thanked DENR’s employees for their dedication and hard work.

“Results of the surveys indicate impact of the Aquinoadministration’s environment programs is already being felt by majority of our people,” he told DENR employees in his letter to them.

Amidst such encouraging survey results, he said the DENR family takes “distinct pride in contributing to the Aquino administration’s laudable environmental performance.”

Paje also expressed gratitude to civil society, people’sorganizations and other stakeholders for their vigilance andheightened consciousness on protecting the Philippine environment.