THE Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday approved the appointment of Roy Cimatu as secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The retired military official got the CA nod after two hearings.
Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, chairman of the CA’s Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, sponsored Cimatu’s confirmation which was seconded by Senators Loren Legarda, Juan Miguel Zubiri and Vicente Sotto 3rd.
“He is a lover of the environment. It was reported that Secretary Cimatu ordered his men to clean the rivers, plant trees in his areas of assignment not thinking that one day he will head the department closest to his heart,” Pacquiao said.
“When I was even not born yet, the then Lt. Roy Cimatu planted a tree at Camp Peralta in Hamidan, Capiz and named it Lt. Cimatu tree,” he said. “Today, as I recommend to the plenary the approval of his ad interim appointment as Secretary of DENR. It was whispered to me that the good secretary will immediately visit the camp and plant another tree to be named this time as DENR secretary Cimatu tree.”
Legarda said she worked closely with Cimatu. “The environment is in crisis and therefore we need the might of a general like Secretary Cimatu to ward off the problems facing our clear air, facing our clean water and facing the problems of ecological solid wastes,” she said. “So, I look forward to the implementation of all the eight environmental laws that this representation has authored in the past three terms, hopefully with greater cooperation and support with the newly-approved secretary of DENR.”
Zubiri said the country needs a “strategist that has integrity, competence, full determination, and the heart to serve and protect the people.”
In an interview after his confirmation, Cimatu said he has to prove that President Rodrigo Duterte and the CA made the right decision “in placing their trust and confidence in my abilities to lead the DENR.”
He assured the public that his agency “will push for people-centered agenda in pursuit of environmental protection and sustainable development.”
“It is high time that every Filipino, regardless of status in life, should have equal access to the benefits of clean environment and sustainable natural resources,” he added.
With NEIL A. ALCOBER