Category Archives: Career Notes

When you love something

Today,  the Paris Agreements which calls for global climate action is set into force. Does anyone among the people I truly love understand what this is all about? Even the President of the Philippines does not even understand the context of the Paris Agreements and he has to rely on his advisers on how to go about this global pact.

Hopefully the trip of …Sec.. Gina Lopez…hello call me… to COP 22 on Marrakesh become fruitful. I hope she understands the technical protocols involved. I hope she’s not there for the side events only, but most probably, she will be in one of those. The Philippines has a quite a number of official delegates to COP 22 compared to the Kigali Meetings of the Montreal Protocol, we only have one official delegate, the program manager of the National Ozone Unit. There is so much irony, so much oxymoron, and so much pun. So much, that some things I just don’t understand. Like, love?

Why am I talking about love at this point in time? Its so out of place, out of context. Its not February, way far from Valentines. Way far from my wedding anniversary and mother’s birthday. What if something you really love was taken away from you, because they think its not important, even if you have spend most of your working life to achieve it?  If you read my ABOUT page, all I wanted to be was a GHG Verifier, did I even put Lead Verifier?  Let me check. So why am I not one? At this point I could never truly understand, I don’t fully understand, and I could not comprehend the turn of events since the end of 2013.

Based on the internal rules of my former designated operational entity,  a prerequisite, is a Lead Auditor Qualification in ISO 9001 or ISO 14001. I admit, I’m such a terrible auditor for ISO 9001, I needed more training, supervision, more exposure to product design and development. I was not provided any competence intervention related to my critical competency lapses , my DOE a dear (female dear with antlers), does not really care about me since 2013…they have shown a genuine distaste of me. Hope, they get preyed on by wolves.

That’s only partial, a Lead Auditor qualification in ISO 14001 will do. On 27 November 2013, I got an acceptable partial evaluation for ISO 14001. The next step…..I left after three (3) years of inaction. Why are they so mean and ugly? Why do they want to cause me so much pain and anguish? Why can stupid human beings be so evil? I could not say anything good about them at all. You people have caused me so much pain, you did your best to destroy me personally and take away something very important and valuable.

Tonight,the Paris Agreements is in force… I have to move on. Articles 2, 4, 6, 13, 14, 15 will require GHG verification in the future. The Philippines keep on saying there is no local expertise and we have to rely on foreign assistance…and they get jet lag after travelling half-way around the world, we can be truly mean sometimes.

This is a point in my life where I am taking things slow, just being thankful for blessings that come my way, learning new things, polishing my knowledge and competence in sector scopes on fugitive emissions, gaining the safety and health  competence related to that. Oh, H&S is also another issue and I’m taking it really seriously.  Learning is really a lifelong process. Be modest, be humble, but  also  expect for the best. If they can not give you the best, leave them, because they are not good at all.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Career Notes, Climate Change, Environmental Audit, Environmental Management System, GHG Mitigation Effort, Quality, Health, Safety & Environment, Random, Sustainability

Mt. Apo Calling

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The time stamp on this photo is 3:47 am.  I think this is somewhere in Makilala, North Cotabato in 2012. I wanted to master night photography, but I need a stronger lens to do so. I haven’t maximized the use of my Olympus EPL-2, do plan to buy a Panasonic 20mm pancake lens, five years delayed. I hope the quality remains.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Biodiversity, Career Notes, Ecotourism, Environmental Audit, Environmental Management System, Pollution Control, Quality, Health, Safety & Environment, Travel

OH my S! No turning back, I guess.

ghs-pictograms2-700x694On April 21, 2015, I wrote a post about going into Health & Safety as part of my work responsibility and finding my level of expertise too shallow.

Good industry experience is essential to gain expertise, but the lack of professional direction,  mentorship, technical supervision and even the lack of audit assignments on OH&S was extremely frustrating on my part. Such condition have partially led to my decision to seek change.

I have been thinking hard about it for the past year, but additional academic experience on Occupational Health & Safety may extinguish this extreme frustration like a fire fighting equipment designed for a particular type of fire. Giving small toolbox talks on fire awareness, slips trips and fall or travel safety in a small office predominated by back office staff is not a highlight of my career. It seems like a sideline, particularly if you did it in your last trimester of pregnancy under orders of bed rest from my Ob-Gyn.  I find that so pathetic and frustrating.  There is more to life than this.

My maternity leave did offer an avenue for reflection and a year after a tumultuous mindset, small changes and efforts have led to some good results.  I have a new job on Climate Change Mitigation and I have been accepted to pursue further graduate studies in Occupational Health.  At the end of the day, there are a lot of things in my life that I have to be thankful about, even if it took a year of reflecting and contemplating.

1024px-GHS-pictogram-explos.svgWhen I was interviewed into the MOH program in UP Manila, I was reminded that I was still young.  So what if I did not get any specific qualification at the moment? I am still young. I am still in my mid-thirties. There is no other choice but to move forward with confidence (I love that tagline….hahaha).  Change does not need to be explosive, it can be a quiet proactive process.

Leave a comment

Filed under Career Notes, Climate Change, Quality, Health, Safety & Environment

I was not photoshopped into the Chocolate Hills

Bohol 2012

Be careful what you put to social media. People can manipulate images. I was not that Kenyan Girl who was obviously photoshopped into the Great Wall of China. Above was an old photo of mine taken January 2012.  It was my first trip to Bohol for Bureau Veritas. After five (5) years doing management system audits and documenting QHSE, I have decided to go back to development work.  I have done quite a bit of sustainable development work prior to joining BV, the difference maybe is that I just don’t own a really great high resolution camera, maybe the next time I travel, I may have one wherever my new work experiences could take me.

Ten years ago, I told myself that my career goals are to work for a Multi-Lateral Development Organization and become a Lead GHG Verifier. Maybe God is kind to me, I still have not achieved those goals…because maybe…my career could have been over by now….one things for sure though, such goals are attainable, but such goal could not be fully achieved if I stay in my current situation.  There are policy barriers,  market barriers, or personally motivated manipulative barriers. People fear the unknown. However, I do know where I want to go.

I am very much thankful for BV that I was able to gain the basics of auditing based on ISO 19011, data quality assurance, even actual implementation of ISO 17020 for inspection activities. These are the recommended Quality Standards specified by the IPCC. More importantly, I was able to get myself copies of ISO 14064-1,2 and 3. Though Part 3 is a struggle with Atoy, at least I was able to do actual GHG Verification work for Energy and Agriculture Sectoral Scopes.

Most of my verification work involved more studying, desktop review of data, recalculations and less physical verification. Now that I have gotten this knowledge, what should I do with it?

Leave a comment

Filed under Biodiversity, Career Notes, Ecotourism, GHG Mitigation Effort, Travel

A Reaction to Gina Lopez’ DENR Appointment

vampira-me-laffIt has been quite a while since I have written a post,  and Gina Lopez in the news have resurrected my ecoblogging from the grave. My last post  in 2012 was about my encounter with her in DAP in 2010.

The worst that you could tell me at this point in my life is that you see me as the future Gina Lopez, DENR Secretary.  I believe I have good scientific training and technical experience in environmental management. Being a media hype is not something I would dream about. I do want a certain degree of concrete expertise.

The appointment of Gina Lopez, is something I do frown about. The second one I frowned at after Mark Villar for DPWH. These are the cases that seem muddy rather than concrete. But the established safeguards in government systems will hopefully deliver regardless of leadership. I wish them the best, but I don’t like them. Some things will be difficult, but we can always wait for the next administration to patch things up.

Gina Lopez has always been a pet peeve for me.  Maybe its the energy she exudes when I met her. Why did I end up in that meeting anyway? Was it her seemingly lack of regard for Filipino Scientists?  Her know-it-all naivete with excerpts of arrogance?  Her “alalays” Diosa and Eugene…Oh gosh, the seemingly staged entrance to the meeting, the bohemian outfit or the fact that she kind of looks like my old boss, who was deeply insecure of me. Red flags here and there, naive comments on ecology and sustainability showing limited technical knowledge….blah blah blah.

Have I really come a long way? I have nothing to do with the DENR or LLDA at the moment. As much as possible I do not want to involve myself in shallow environmentalism and media propaganda.  I do want to exude technical expertise in the most modest, humble and  academically appropriate manner.  Being recognized as a media hype, will not be me because I don’t have  and will never have that advantage.

I do believe that Climate Change is the most critical environmental issue in the Philippines. Though our focus is Adapting to the Change, mitigation should also be focused at.  I believe I can contribute my training, experience and expertise on this area and I need to learn more.

I guess my issue with Gina Lopez is that people around me compare me to her, which to me is NOT a good thing. I have nothing against her, but her ways and means are not something I want to emulate. Gina Lopez is an environmentalist, I am not like that, and I am  doing my best to break away from that perceived mold.

Leave a comment

Filed under Career Notes, Climate Change, Corporate Social Responsibility, GHG Mitigation Effort, Greenwash, Renewable Energy and Biofuels

Is it too late to move on to HS?

Fifteen years is quite a long time to gain an expertise on something technical but if the current workplace demands that you learn something new and provide expertise, that is something I do feel quite uncomfortable with. I have been comfortable working and sometimes being an expert in the field of environmental science and management. I do have the education, training and work experience to back it up with but what if my job demands that I go beyond it more than just a logical thinking, common sense requirement?

I am not moving on to high school, I am being provided responsibility to manage health and safety concerns. I may have worked side by side with people who have  been experts on that field but what if my responsibility now is to manage that? I remember way back, quite a while I guess when people from outside our technical field were appointed as administrators or managers, specially those who made a shift from the military to our industry…the first negative comments came from people like me, too ingrained in the technical and academic…

Since I am not the person in power, of course I have no choice but to just work my ass up and be the best, now with age things have changed and reflecting on my approach to work, I know this is much closer than coming from outerspace, I still have some hesitation that I may not be the perfect expert on HS even if I am quite confident on the E after all these years.  Drastic changes that I plan to do is take a few learning expeditions on OH&S.  I have attended the mandatory regulatory training and the lead auditor course but I still finding it too shallow to provide any level of confidence in working for the industry. There is this hesitation that I am not going to be the best if something is provided to me in  a silver platter unless I have worked hard for it and gained expertise on it….the opposite is also true…if I am not interested in something….I just don’t put it on my table anyway and let others do it.

1 Comment

Filed under Career Notes, Disaster Management

MOLDS and LEED…S not the wine type

Mold infestations have been bothering me. In 2008, I worked in the 7th floor of a High Rise building. I was always sick, I can smell the sour stench from the carpeting, when Test America came, they could sense a degree of Sick Building Syndrome on the lower floors given the lack of ventilation among that levels. Should we get used to it or spend efforts on eliminating it?

Green buildings are not only limited to energy and resource efficiency but  also the health and wellness of the people using it. Molds are just one aspect, emissions of volatile organic compounds, thermal comfort, adequate acoustics, illumination and overall indoor quality is essential and as a requirement periodically tested. 

Sometimes that’s the irony of it all, such concepts are popular but are not fully implemented and lacks adequacy of implementation. How can I work efficiently and effectively if I don’t have a workplace at all and I have to utilize my creativity to improvise? 

In the Philippines, there are only two (2) USGBC certified buildings. I guess, there is the Philippine Green Building Council and they have more certified buildings. There is a premium on this building, but who gives a damn about this?

Leave a comment

Filed under Career Notes, Climate Change, Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Audit, Environmental Management System, GHG Mitigation Effort, Renewable Energy and Biofuels, Sustainability