Last week, I was informed that the Central Luzon office of the Department and Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has a new Regional Director (RD) in the person of Engr. Paquito T. Moreno. He replaced Forester Francisco E. Milla, Jr., who I heard was assigned as ground commander of Task Force Boracay. I tried to get a resume of RD Moreno from the regional office but I was referred to the website of DENR instead. So here is the background of the newly installed RD of DENR R-III.
RD Moreno is a licensed mining engineer. In his career, Engr. Moreno rose from the ranks in the government service and started as casual mining engineer in the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), DENR Central Office and later moved to the Cordillera Administrative Region as Environmental Management Specialist at the Environmental Management and Protected Areas Sector. He was then further designated as Chief of the Environmental Impact Assessment Division before he became the RD of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), DENR-CAR. He was later designated by then DENR Secretary Ramon P. Paje as OIC Regional Executive Director of DENR-CAR in 2013.
His graduate studies include, Masters in Management Engineering and Masters in Management, all obtained from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). After his studies at AIM, he was designated as the Project Manager of the World Bank-Global Environment Fund (WB-GEF). RD Moreno is a Career Executive Service (CES) Eligible conferred by the CES Board.
I asked some friends what the priorities of RD Moreno will be. I was told that he only promised to follow Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu’s vision and roadmap for the DENR, particularly in enforcing environmental laws. Nothing specific yet for Central Luzon. That will come later I suppose once he gets a full grasp of the situation in the region. I searched the web for any information about his stint from his previous posts.
Here’s what I got. In 2015, RD Moreno in his capacity then as DENR OIC Director of Region I, issued a Special Tree Cutting Permit to the contractor of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) undertaking the widening of the Manila North Road covering 181 supposed dead and dying trees. This angered the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Pangasinan because there was allegedly no consultation with stakeholders. In fairness to RD Moreno, the permit was issued following an earlier clearance issued by the DENR Undersecretary for Field Operations on July 20, 2015.
In October 30, 2015, a special tree-cutting permit for 589 trees and 107 other trees that are to be earth-balled was also signed and issued by RD Moreno. This was after the Sangguniang Bayan of Binalonan and Pozorrubio, Pangasinan passed Resolutions No. 2015-12 and 2015-04 respectively, requesting the DENR to cut the “certified dead trees along the national highway” within the territorial jurisdiction of the said municipalities.
Is this a cause of worry for the “Save the Trees Coalition” here in Pampanga?