RAMON J.P. PAJE:  A PROFILE

secretary-profileSecretary Ramon Jesus P. Paje is the 19th secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Prior to his appointment, he was DENR's undersecretary for field operations and executive director of the Minerals Development Council under the Office of the President in concurrent capacity.

A holder of a doctorate degree in public administration and a top-rank Career Executive Service Officer (CESO I), Sec. Paje's ascension to the post marks the second time in the DENR's 23-year history to have the proverbial "bottom-to-top" success by a rank and file employee.

Fresh from college, he started his government service in 1982 as a junior forester conducting field inspection of reforestation projects of then Bureau of Forest Development (now forest Management Bureau), then rose from the ranks serving the environment and natural resources sector in various capacities, including undersecretary for environment and programs development, assistant secretary for management services, director for human resources development, among others.

Sec. Paje is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños, Laguna (UPLB). He finished his M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning and Doctor of Public Administration at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. He has a Certificate on Environmental Economics and Policy Analysis from the Harvard University in Massachusetts, USA.

In 1996, the newly installed DENR chief received the following awards: Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) from the Philippine Jaycees, Outstanding Professional of the Philippines from the Professional Regulation Commission, and the Outstanding Alumnus in Government Service from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños. In 1999, he was the Dr. Jose Rizal "Huwarang Pilipino Awardee" for public service given by the Parangal ng Bayan Awards Foundation.

News

DENR slaps criminal charge against Ipilan Nickel Corporation

 

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July 14, 2017. Puerto Princesa City. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, through Brooke’s Point Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer Conrado Corpuz, files today at the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor a criminal charge against Ipilan Nickel Corporation for violation of Section 77 of Presidential Decree 705 or the Forestry Code of the Philippines.

The case filed by DENR involves a 1.7 hectare area out of the total 24-hectare forest cleared by Ipilan Nickel Corporation in Barangay Maasin, Brooke’s Point which DENR argues to be undoubtedly outside the company’s tree cutting permit.

DENR issued INC a special tree cutting permit in May 2016 as part of its Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA). However, former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez cancelled INC’s environmental compliance certificate (ECC) on December 16, 2016, rendering its tree cutting permit invalid. INC argues its tree cutting permit remains valid.

“Granting without admitting that INC’s tree cutting permit was valid, DENR has a strong case against the company on the 1.7-hectare cleared area,” asserts DENR MIMAROPA Regional Director Natividad Bernardino.

“This is just the first in a series of cases against INC,” says Corpuz. He said that DENR will also file other charges against INC upon completion of the inventory of the trees cut in the remaining 22.3 hectares. The onset of the rainy season and the huge number of felled trees has slowed down the retrieval and inventory of trees.

DENR is also investigating another violation – the construction of a mine yard road without clearance from DENR. Apart from this, Brooke’s Point Mayor Jean Feliciano is also batting to revoke the SEP (Strategic Environmental Plan) clearance issued by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development to INC.

“INC is criminally liable and Secretary Roy Cimatu wants to ensure that irresponsible miners do not get around the law,” says Palawan Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Felizardo B. Cayatoc referring to the Secretary’s instruction to not let INC off the hook.Further, President Rodrigo R. Duterte announced on July 12, 2017 that mining companies must make up for the destructive impact of their operations on the livelihood of farmers and fishpond owners.

“With the string of cases facing INC, there is little chance it will be allowed to continue its mining operations,” adds Bernardino.

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