THE DAILY TRIBUNE – METROFILE May 2009
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Lito Atienza maintained his top spot on the recent nationwide performance rating survey among Cabinet officials with a rating of 63 percent done by the Asia Research Center in partnership with HKPH Public Opinion and Research Center conducted last April 1 to 15, followed by Tourism Secretary Ace Durano with 58 percent. Placing third behind Durano was Health Secretary Francisco Duque, 56 percent; Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral, 54 percent, and Agriculture head Arthur Yap, 50 percent. The survey revealed Atienza’s performance rating increased significantly from 59 percent (October 2008) to 63 percent, for a +4 percent net satisfaction. With an exceptional background as the mayor who brought Manila back to life, Atienza not only flourished Manila but also penetrated the national scene on environment protection when he was assigned by Her Excellency to head the DENR. A man of action, Atienza brought many firsts to DENR. He implemented a Supreme Court decision which, for various reasons, has not been executed for 40 long years, redefining the boundaries of the Zobel de Ayala’s Calatagan hacienda; he negotiated the fast-tracking of the setting up of wastewater treatment facilities by Manila Water and Maynilad and dismantled illegal fish pens and fish cages in the Cavite bay portion of the Manila Bay as well as in Laguna de Bay. He proved his faith on the youth of today when he forged an agreement with the alliance of law students to monitor environmental cases in various courts following the establishment of Green Courts by the SC and worked closely with the Green Ombudsman led by its head, Merceditas Gutierrez. The same survey revealed House Speaker Prospero Nograles with 61 percent performance rating while at third place is Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile with 53 percent performance rating. Speaker Nograles’ ratings have been consistent due to the balanced system he implements which works effectively within the members of the House of Representatives. As for Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, it may even be indeed a well-deserved rate since Enrile showed effective leadership and management of the Senate after he won the Senate coup over Manny Villar in November of 2008. According to Jonn Marvine Dadan, project manager of HKPH Public Opinion and Research Center, survey groups will be conducting regular surveys to pulse the political climate in the Philippines especially now that the elections are fast approaching.