Thirteen lawyers of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) were honored on Monday, four of them for outstanding academic achievement and the other nine for passing the 2017 bar examinations.
Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu led the recognition rites during the flag-raising ceremony at the DENR Central Office in Visayas Avenue, Quezon City.
“We have a very high batting average. Imagine 9 out of 13 passed the bar,” Cimatu said, noting that 13 fresh law-school graduates were hired by the DENR as legal researchers.
“It only means that we have the best people here in DENR,” Cimatu said. The success of his program of accelerating the resolution of cases currently clogging up the DENR’s legal office is more assured now that the nine law graduates have become full-fledged lawyers.
The nine are lawyers Wendell Caoagas, Andrea Victoria Amog, Jiana Joselle de Guzman, Fatima Angeli Tan, Lovely Grazette Quiben, Minette Sioson, Edna Francisco, Joseph Chrispher Torralba and Kris Rajiani Nagera.
All nine are working at the Legal Affairs Service of the DENR Central Office.
Cimatu, likewise cited four other lawyers for outstanding academic achievement in their postgraduate programs, stressing their achievements are widely regarded by the Department as “a significant push” to raise the quality of professionalism and competence being cultivated by the DENR management for its 16,000-strong work force.
The four are lawyers Amiel Ian Valdez (summa cum laude), Ronnel Sopsop (class valedictorian), Arlyn Buduhan (best paper) and Ismael Manaligod (with honors).
Valdez, who is with the Claims and Conflicts Division of Legal Affairs Service at the DENR-Central Office, finished his Master of Environmental Law with “First Class Honors” (equivalent to summa cum laude) at University of Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia.
Part of Valdez’s academic achievement was a paper he wrote, “Examining the extent and limits of the Philippine Writ of Kalikasan as tool to compel the government to fulfill its Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement,” which garnered the gold award during the 23rd Conference of the Parties at United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change” in Bonn, Germany.
Sopsop came out as the “class valedictorian” from this year’s batch of DENR scholars under the Environment and Natural Resources Management Course at the DENR’s Environment and Natural Resources Academy in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija. He was also given the “Leadership Award” by the EBR Academy.
Buduhan, chief of Enforcement Office in DENR Region 1, finished her Masters Degree in Development Management at the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) with a paper she authored, “System of Monitoring and Regulating Sources of Raw Materials of Small-Scale Wood Processing Industries,” which received the “Best Smart Regulation Re-Entry Project” prize.
Meanwhile, Manaligod, head of the Legal Office, DENR-Region 2 in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan finished his Senior Executive Class in Public Management Development Program also at DAP with a special award, “Outstanding Capstone Paper,” for his paper “Grill or No Grill: Exploring Policy Alternatives on Wood Charcoal Value Chain in the Philippines.”
Image credits: jun Mestica