Executives say fresh ideas needed to confront new challenges

Young blood excel at decades-old DENR

/ 01:04 PM May 22, 2018

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu congratulates the DENR employees who passed the 2017 Bar examinations. In photo are (from left) lawyers Wendell Caoagas, Andrea Victoria Amog, Jiana Joselle de Guzman, Fatima Angeli Tan and Lovely Grazette Quiben. Contibuted photo

Young, fresh and very dynamic.

These are the traits of the nine fresh law graduates when they ventured into the world of government service, dispensing their duties as legal researchers at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).


Now, they are reporting at the DENR’s legal affairs service with a new feather in their cap—the title “attorney” attached to their names.

The DENR’s new lawyers are Attys. Wendell Caoagas, Andrea Victoria Amog, Jiana Joselle de Guzman, Fatima Angeli Tan, Lovely Grazette Quiben, Minette Sioson, Edna Francisco, Joseph Christopher Torralba and Kris Rajiani Nagera.


Caoagas and Amog were from the University of Santo Tomas; Sioson, Torralba, Tan and Nagera were from San Beda College-Mendiola; De Guzman was from Far Eastern University; Quiben was from Saint Louis University-Baguio; while Francisco was from University of Santo Tomas-Legazpi.

They are among the 25.5% who passed the 2017 Bar examinations.

READ: FULL LIST: 2017 Bar examination passers

Organic officials at the DENR said the hiring of fresh talents is what makes the DENR relevant up to this day, thus, remaining to be in tip-top shape to face the daily challenges confronting the environment sector.

The DENR was established in 1917 and had been responsible for governing and supervising the exploration, development, utilization, and conservation of the country’s natural resources.

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu led the awarding of recognition to the nine new lawyers in a simple ceremony at the DENR Central Office in Quezon City on Monday.

The DENR also acknowledge the work of the four other legal counsels of the DENR legal affairs service for their outstanding academic achievements.


“We have a very high batting average, imagine nine of our very own… passed the Bar,” Cimatu said, noting that the nine legal researchers were hired by the DENR before they passed the Bar, just like the four of their colleagues in the legal affairs service.

“It only means that we have the best people here in DENR,” Cimatu said.

The DENR secretary also noted that the success of his programs regarding the acceleration of resolving environment-related cases now clogging up the DENR’s legal office is now more assured now that the nine law graduates are now to become full-fledged lawyers.

The four other lawyers were recognized for their outstanding academic achievement in their post-graduate programs. Cimatu stressed that 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 workforce.

The four lawyers who were recognized were Atty. Amiel Ian Valdez (Summa Cum Laude), Atty. Ronnel Sopsop (Class Valedictorian), Atty. Arlyn Buduhan (Best Paper), Atty. Ismael Manaligod (With Honors) and Atty. Amiel Ian Valdez (Summa Cum Laude).

Valdez, who is with the Claims and Conflicts Division of Legal Affairs Service at the DENR-Central Office, finished his Master of Environmental Law this year with “First Class Honors” (equivalent to Summa Cum Laude) at the University of Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia.

Part of Valdez’s academic achievement was a paper he wrote titled “Examining the extent and limits of the Philippine Writ of Kalikasan as tool to compel the government to fulfill its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.”

Valdez’s paper garnered the gold award during the “23rd Conference of the Parties sa United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change” (UNFCCC) in Bonn, Germany.

Sopsop came out as “Class Valedictorian” from this year’s batch of DENR scholars under the Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) 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.

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.”

DENR executives said the Department will be in good hands with these new honest and talented people on board handling sensitive posts at the agency.

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TAGS: Cimatu, DENR, environment, fresh graduates, law, legal affairs
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