DENR chief tightens noose on erring personnel

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Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez deputized local NGO Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) to help her eradicate corruption, anomalies and crimes involving Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) personnel nationwide.

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She said by helping address such irregularities, VACC “will do the country a great deal.”

Deputizing VACC is aligned with Lopez’ campaign to further enhance DENR’s effectiveness in protecting and conserving the environment so this agency can better promote social justice nationwide.

Enabling all Filipinos to benefit from the country’s natural wealth is among manifestations of social justice, she noted earlier.

VACC president and founding chairperson Dante Jimenez said his organization will deploy members who’ll gather information and evidence regarding DENR personnel’s involvement in corruption, anomalies and crimes.

He said VACC will furnish DENR such information and evidence so this agency can act on these as soon as possible.

“Our nationwide monitoring will cover officials and all others working for DENR,” he said.

On Thursday (April 27), DENR and VACC signed in Metro Manila the memorandum of agreement formalizing these parties’ partnership on the matter.

Lopez and Jimenez signed the agreement on behalf of DENR and VACC, respectively.
The agreement took effect upon their signing.

DENR is the primary Philippine agency responsible for conservation, management, development and proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources

VACC is a local non-stock, non-profit NGO working for a relatively corruption- and crime-free Philippines.

Aside from monitoring and reporting, the agreement provides that VACC will also assist victims of and witnesses against DENR personnel involved in corruption, anomalies and crimes.

The agreement likewise provides for VACC’s assistance to the National Anti-Environmental Crime Task Force and DENR’s environmental protection initiatives.

DENR will allow VACC to monitor and participate in proceedings covering cases and related matters this NGO referred to the agency.

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