Senator Raffy Tulfo has recommended to the leadership of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to conduct a lifestyle check on all its officers and employees.
Tulfo said there is evidence that will implicate some DENR officials who are in connivance with illegal miners.
“There are many undersecretaries there who have been in their posts since the ‘dinosaur times.’ Can you please investigate them?” Tulfo said.
He noted that since they “have developed dementia, these undersecretaries have already forgotten to do their jobs,” he added.
“Maybe it’s about time you (DENR) assess who are these undersecretaries who have long been occupying their positions,” Tulfo stressed.
In response, DENR Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga said they are looking into this issue, adding that the DENR will create a team to inquire into this report.
“Many of your people are in cahoot with illegal minters. Do you not know it? Don’t tell me na hindi nyo po alam? Don’t tell me this kind of information has not reached you,” he said.
Tulfo said one of the ‘corrupt’ undersecretaries was with Yulo at the Senate gallery and suggested to the DENR chief “to clean the undersecretaries and assistant secretaries at the DENR.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Francis Tolentino said many islands have been added to the 7,207 islands in the Phillippines due to reclamation projects in the different parts of the country.
The DENR disclosed there are 187 ongoing reclamation projects; 19 of them are in Manila Bay, 2 in Cebu, and 2 in Samar.
If the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) will include them in the number of islands, he said there will now be 7,122 in the country.
He even said that if other countries are doing reclamation inside the West Philippine Seas, we can also do reclamation projects within our waters.
Due to this. Senate President Migz Zubiri asked if Filipinos can still enjoy the world-renowned Manila Bay sunset due to the many ongoing reclamation projects.
In jest. Sen Cynthia Villar said how can Filipinos enjoy Manila Bay when they are drowning in floods. At this juncture, Zubiri said we can already swim in Dolomite swimming pool in Manila Bay which was made by DENR under the previous administration.