Concerted action needed to protect environment – Sec. Acosta

Sec. Neric Acosta, Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection with Editor Felix 'Boy' Espineda, Jr. Photo by
Sec. Neric Acosta, Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection with Editor Felix 'Boy' Espineda, Jr. Photo by

By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.

SORSOGON CITY – The need for a concerted agenda from various government agencies tasked to protect the environment is necessary to achieve a sound environmental economics.

This was the reaction of Sec. Neric Acosta, Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection and current Chairman of the Laguna Lake Development Authority yesterday when interviewed by at the Sorsogon State College here.

Acosta enumerated the flaws of policy planning on how to make best efforts for the protection of the environment and emphasized that the economics of development be given the chance to tap the abundant natural resources of a province since the country’s fuel needs is increasing.

Agencies such as the DOE, DENR, DILG, DOST, DOH, PNP, Regional Development Councils and local government units must plan-up an agenda recommending a three-dimensional mapping for the utilization of a certain area wherein, the flora and fauna, the destruction of forest covers, the waterways, air and water particles samples are collated, forming part of an in-depth study on how best to implement a project that affects environment, he said.

Oftentimes actions from the lead agencies are contradicts resulting disarray in the implementation of a government priority project.

Acosta’s role, as member of the cabinet is to recommend to the President mitigating measures and review existing operations of environmental affecting projects and coordinate with agencies of concern to have a holistic environment policy.

With regards to his role as presidential adviser, it will never be in conflict with the primary responsibility of line agencies tasked to oversee environmental protection and related environmental concerns in his answer to question on how he would locked-up with the Department of Energy in their exploratory contract to harness fossil energy in Mount Bulusan.

Again he repeated his argument that all can be treated fairly in terms of environmental benefits if all the stakeholders take their task seriously and looking far ahead on the accruing benefits of an environmental project.

When queried on how to save the Bicol National Parks from illegal loggers, he narrated the role of NAMRIA to undertake an aerial mapping, identifying deforested acreages, ancestral lands of indigenous people, and a strong community involvement to be partners in protecting the area.

The question of the operation of the iron ore mines in Baragnay Bolacawe, Matnog town raised by Radio Natin Sorsogon, he repeated the equation of multi-agency participation as key in determining the extent of damages if any, to the locals and the environment.

He avers that a collated data will determine if such operation is not in conformity with environmental and other laws safeguarding the well-being of the community. Finding such faults can be a cause for the closure of the operation.

However, Secretary Acosta was peeved when queried about the GMA 7 news report that Malacañang has prior knowledge that the New People’s Army guerrillas will attack the Surigao mine, he took to tasked the report that the palace don’t have the information as alleged by the network.

Let us have a clear intention in using the environment, must be beneficial to all was his parting statement. The secretary is more of a palace communication czar, observed by the local media doyen which was the same impression by this writer during the length of the interview.

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