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To: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
Reappoint Gina Lopez as DENR Secretary
Dear Mr. President, we believe that to address your concern for the poor and the urgent need to protect our environment and the rational management of our natural resources, you must re-appoint Gina Lopez as DENR Secretary.
Why is this important?
Gina Lopez has been the only DENR secretary that has enforced our environmental laws without fear or hesitation. She has extensively visited and documented the environmental degradation of mine sites, watersheds, coastal areas, and forests, all over the country. She has comprehensively sought, listened and decisively acted on the complaints of affected communities. She is qualified to this position considering her knowledge of environmental issues and her previous experience managing development initiatives such as social enterprises, eco-tourism and the rehabilitation of the Pasig River.
To ensure the continued advance for real change in your administration, Gina Lopez is imperative because:
a) She can inspire people within the agency and the communities to commit towards a green economy;
b) She has a solid history of being able to work with other government agencies local governments, and private sector and civil society groups to implement an integrated area development approach that is crucial to helping the poor;
c) She can check and possibly end corruption in the DENR, as she herself has shown that she has zero tolerance for corruption;
d) She can effectively communicate the environmental challenges we face, and inspire millions of citizens to address the issues they face at ground level.
We realize that as President, you have to make choices and follow the law. But in the case of Gina Lopez, you yourself correctly recognized that powerful economic interests and corrupt politicians have obstructed your resolve to bring change to DENR.
We must not allow this betrayal of the country, and the betrayal of our environment to remain unchecked.
Mr. President, millions of Filipinos – especially the poor – are relying on your will to make the right decision. It is in this spirit that we, along with many of our fellow Filipino citizens, ask that Gina Lopez be re-appointed as DENR secretary.