RAMON J.P. PAJE: A PROFILE
Secretary Ramon Jesus P. Paje is the 19th secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Prior to his appointment, he was DENR's undersecretary for field operations and executive director of the Minerals Development Council under the Office of the President in concurrent capacity.
A holder of a doctorate degree in public administration and a top-rank Career Executive Service Officer (CESO I), Sec. Paje's ascension to the post marks the second time in the DENR's 23-year history to have the proverbial "bottom-to-top" success by a rank and file employee.
Fresh from college, he started his government service in 1982 as a junior forester conducting field inspection of reforestation projects of then Bureau of Forest Development (now forest Management Bureau), then rose from the ranks serving the environment and natural resources sector in various capacities, including undersecretary for environment and programs development, assistant secretary for management services, director for human resources development, among others.
Sec. Paje is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños, Laguna (UPLB). He finished his M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning and Doctor of Public Administration at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. He has a Certificate on Environmental Economics and Policy Analysis from the Harvard University in Massachusetts, USA.
In 1996, the newly installed DENR chief received the following awards: Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) from the Philippine Jaycees, Outstanding Professional of the Philippines from the Professional Regulation Commission, and the Outstanding Alumnus in Government Service from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños. In 1999, he was the Dr. Jose Rizal "Huwarang Pilipino Awardee" for public service given by the Parangal ng Bayan Awards Foundation.
Parties ink Cagayan River Management Agreement
The rehabilitation, protection and conservation of one of the most important river basins in the Philippines have been ensured following the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) of the Cagayan River Basin Management Council (CRBMC).
The signing of the MOC has formalized and operationalized the management council for Cagayan River Basin which covers the Cordillera Administrative Region and Regions 2 and 3.
Led by DENR Undersecretary for Field Operations Demetrio L. Ignacio Jr., the ceremonial signing was held on June 7, this year at the Crown Pavilion, Tuguegarao City.
Representing Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje, chair of the CRBMC, USEC Ignacio underlined the national impact of the Cagayan Riverbasin as one among the 18 priority major river basins in the country.“Power generation, agricultural and industrial production, tourism and biodiversitynot only impact regionally but also outside the three regions,” he explained.With these important roles, the Cagayan River should be conserved and protected according to the DENR field operations chief.
The top official also stressed the critical role of the local government units in the implementation of the Cagayan River Basin Integrated Management and Development Master Plan (CRBIMDMP) being the managers on the ground and having jurisdiction over the River Basin.
Four years in the making, the CRBIMDMP addresses four thematic areas, namely; water resource management, watershed management, climate change adaptation/disaster risk reduction management; and coastal and freshwater resources management.
The Master Plan has recommended the creation of an organization as the governing body that shall oversee and coordinate all relevant departments, agencies, non-government organizations, state universities and colleges and all other stakeholders for the proper management of the Cagayan River basin and its resources.
According to USEC Ignacio, the ridge to reef approach was adopted in the preparation of the Plan. He emphasized that the programs and projects as indicated in the Master Plan should be integrated in the budget of the national government agencies starting 2017.
The official pinned his hopes that the stakeholders will continue joining hands in the conservation of the environment and natural resources as he thanked themfor working on the Master Plan. # (CCC)
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