Malacañang on Wednesday, October 4, welcomed the Commission on Appointments’ (CA) confirmation of the ad interim appointment of Roy Cimatu as the Philippines’ environment secretary.
In a statement, Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella expressed confidence that Cimatu would keep a “delicate balance” between the country’s economic development and environmental protection.
“We welcome the confirmation of the nomination of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu by the Commission on Appointments,” Abella said.
He went on to say, “The Palace is confident that Secretary Cimatu would be able to implement the president’s marching orders on natural resources development and environmental policies of keeping a delicate balance between economic development and environmental sustainability.”
Earlier this year, Cimatu was appointed by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to replace Gina Lopez, who was rejected by the CA in May.
The president said he had chose Cimatu because he believes in the retired general’s “honest” and “hardworking” character.
Senator Manny Pacquiao, who chairs the CA committee on environment and natural resources, recommended the approval of Cimatu to the plenary as he remarked that the retired general is “perhaps the most fit and best qualified for the DENR highest post.”
“It is with great pleasure and honor to report to the commission, to the president, to the men and women of the DENR, and to the whole nation the overwhelming yes, votes, of the members of this commission confirming and affirming the ad interim appointment of our DENR Secretary in the person of Roy A. Cimatu,” Pacquiao said.
For his part, Cimatu said that the “challenge” for him now is to prove to Duterte that the CA made the “right decision in placing their trust and confidence” in him.
“I am pleased, honored and humbled by the vote of the Commission on Appointments confirming my nomination. I am excited about this opportunity to continue serving the public as Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources,” Cimatu said.
He said that his confirmation would allow him to “continue to institute reforms, and pursue programs and projects that would truly protect the environment and improve people’s lives.”
“This gives me enough inspiration to carry out the seemingly gargantuan tasks of protecting the environment and ensuring sustainable use of the country’s rich natural resources in the face of climate change and dwindling natural wealth of the nation,” he added.
The Environment Secretary likewise reassured that the agency would push for “people-centered agenda.”
Prior to his current post, Cimatu served as the Armed Forces chief in 2002. He also served as the special envoy to the Middle East during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.