Cimatu picks W. Visayas as role model in environmental management

ILOILO CITY — Secretary Roy Cimatu of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Tuesday said that he chose Western Visayas to be the country’s role model in terms of environmental management.

“I was very much impressed with the environmental protection measures that the office here is doing and the local government units,” he said.

Cimatu, who met with the officials of the DENR-6 at noontime, recalled that he was talking with the bureau chiefs of the department after he was appointed by the president as environment secretary last week when he decided to choose a region to become a role model in terms of environmental management.

Cimatu stressed that “all the rivers in the region are clean,” indicating the region is good in protecting the environment.

Iloilo River serves as one of his benchmarks in choosing this region. He considered it as the “cleanest” among all other rivers in the country.

To recall, the city government created the Iloilo River Development Council, which later on was expanded and named as Iloilo Batiano River Development Council to already include the adjacent river in Oton town.

The secretary, early this morning, visited the Iloilo River Esplanade along the Iloilo River. He said that the good management of the Iloilo River was something that other regions should emulate.

Also, the secretary said that the passion of Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. in protecting the environment was another reason that encouraged him to make this region as a role model.

He said that he was impressed with the governor’s initiative on the annual planting of one million trees in the province through its Action for Re-greening and Transformation for Climate Change Adaptation (ART for CCA).

DENR-6 regional director Jim Sampulna has presented the region’s accomplishments and best practices to the secretary during his visit to the regional office.

Cimatu said that further improvements in environment like massive tree planting should be continuously done in the region.

The visit of the secretary in the regional office here was his first outside Manila since his appointment to the post. Cindy Ferrer/