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From anti-drug to ‘green’ czar

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 12:46:00 01/22/2009

Filed Under: Environmental Issues, Politics, Global Warming

MANILA, Philippines — The anti-drug czar is a “green” czar, too.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has appointed herself again, this time as the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change, and mobilized her entire Cabinet for the “conservation, protection, and restoration” of the environment, amid global warming.

The President’s directive is contained in Executive Order 774, which was signed last Dec. 26, 2008, but was released only on Thursday, a week after she named herself as the “czar” of the government’s anti-narcotics campaign.

Arroyo replaced Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes, who was named chairman of the said task force in February 2007 under Administrative Order 171.

The appointments office of the Presidential Management Staff was ordered to devote five hours of the President’s schedule every Friday to “concerns and initiatives for environment security,” according to the EO.

All Cabinet offices were directed to practice proper solid waste management, and the President or the Presidential Adviser on Climate Change, Heherson Alvarez, would inspect their offices on Fridays to make sure that they were complying.

Arroyo also formed task groups on solid waste management, watershed protection, water conservation, rainwater conservation, water recycling, atmospheric activities, fossil fuels, information, fisheries, agriculture, foreign affairs, renewable energy, medicine, and outdoor and rooftop structures.

The Task Group on Atmospheric Activities, led by the Department of Science of Technology (DoST), was tasked with transforming the state weather bureau, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) into a “world-class” facility.

The Task Group on Fossil Fuels, headed by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC), was tasked to promote the conservation of fossil fuels and promote walking and cycling as alternative modes of transportation, under the principle of “those who have less in wheels must have more on the road.”

The Task Group on Foreign Affairs, headed by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), will coordinate with other island nations to explore ways to hold countries that emit the most greenhouse gasses accountable.

The Task Group on Outdoor and Rooftop structures, headed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), will require the shut off neon and high-wattage lights on billboards and other outdoor advertisement structures by 9 p.m., or pay a fine based on the structure’s wattage consumption.

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Written by joelguinto

ThuUTC2009-01-22T16:04:23+00:00UTC01bUTCThu, 22 Jan 2009 16:04:23 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm01

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