Tag Archives: Gina Lopez

I didn’t learn politics from school

This is the best time to write about Gina Lopez. She has been my favorite subject matter for a few years now ever since that fateful first impression at the Development Academy of the Philippines seven years ago.  “What is DAP?” she haughtily asked, that bravado kind of turned us off,  given her limited knowledge of those working for a government think thank.  How come she doesn’t know what we do, what is our purpose and mandate. I think that meeting was merely using the facilities of DAP. We were looking for funding and we were thinking she would be a good benefactor for sustainable development projects and policies.

I have no idea what was the outcome of that meeting but fast forward to 2017, we meet again at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  I’m writing this at my temporary space at the DENR compound a few days after her rejection by the commission of appointments as DENR Secretary.

Her leadership approach was totally unconventional but at the end of it all what can we learn from it?  I have encountered people from the entire spectrum of for and against her, I don’t want to comment on that, I respect their stance.  The last blog I wrote on her was the fact that people compare me to her given my educational background in environmental science. I remember my early years in UPLB when former classmates perceive our presence in the university as merely farming, similar to that, environmentalists are like Gina Lopez, which is totally stereotypical.

How about people who have worked all of their lives at the DENR, particularly the Environmental Management Bureau, are they environmentalists, or are just government employees working for the environment. The public will judge not only Gina, but the DENR itself, but after her 10-month stints, some thing will totally change  drastically.

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Biodiversity, Climate Change, Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Management System, Greenwash, Pollution Control, Random, Sustainability

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

Palawan’s complicated politics

Palawan’s complicated politics.

I would like to share this commentary from the Manila Standard Today. To me, and based on my discussions with a number of people in Puerto Princesa, the conspiracy theory is true.   In dealing with corporate entities, compliance to applicable legal requirements is essential in having a sustainable operation.  Noncompliance to the law is a major nonconformity. If the political situation does not allow such political stability to conform to requirements, investors can always move to another country and make their investments there.

Such is the case with Palawan.  However, a number of entities, with political intentions  are trying to paint a picture that investments, particularly corporate entities, bring more bad than good. Rather than promote compliance to the existing laws and regulations, these entities are trying to put the law into their own hands.

With all these talk, I could not seem to hear the side of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, which is the main entity tasked to ensure sustainable development in the region under Republic Act 7611 which is the Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan.  Palawan is the only province that has a legislated strategic environmental assessment which should be the bench mark for all provinces, cities and municipalities in the Philippines.  Yet, none of these is highlighted in the media. Gina Lopez keeps on banging our ears with her empty talk but she is already defying the law in the by-pass of RA 7611.

It is disappointing that media has  been louder than policy, when policy is far more imporatant than publicity.

Leave a comment

Filed under Biodiversity, Corporate Social Responsibility, Ecotourism, Greenwash

Meeting Gina Lopez

I met Gina Lopez in 2010 and all I remember about her was what she wore. She was wearing a white tube romper, which was quite scary since it poses the hazard of slipping off and exposing  whatever is underneath.  Being rich she must be aware of those fashionable adhesive badges which allows you to stick on clothing to your body.  For those out there who have no idea, below is a picture of one, except that its in white and the fabric is chiffon and it looks far more expensive.

Her dress has far more impact than her speech, to the point that I felt that she can be somehow gullible, as if she swallowed whatever environmental advocacy there is out there without chewing and really knowing how it tastes.  It made me conclude that her target audience are people like her who can be somewhat gullible yet have enough resources to spare to take some action.

Sitting beside me was Dr. Macrina Zafaralla, who was one hell of a marine biologist, yet Gina spoke as if she knew better, but obviously for technical people like most of us sitting in that room, she obviously doesn’t know any better. Those little slip-ups really exposes her just like her argument with Manny Pangilinan when she said “Those places are ugly anyway!”.  She could have  clarified with concepts on ecological productivity and succession but hell they keep on saying the word ugly… yuck! She must have gotten some feedback, that at least she was wearing something acceptable and less scary when she was arguing with Manny.

After her mega-graphic presentation on the Laguna de Bay, Pasig River and its tributaries, all I could remember was Dyosa and Eugene.  The good thing about her though is that she shares those mega-graphic presentations that kids would love!

1 Comment

Filed under Biodiversity, Corporate Social Responsibility, Ecotourism, Greenwash