ENVIRONMENT Secretary Regina Lopez has ordered the creation of a P9.4-billion backyard industry for charcoal making that would exclusively benefit the private company Biochar, which is owned by her trusted lieutenant Undersecretary Philip Camara, a Lopez critic said Monday.
In DENR Administrative Order 2017-05, a copy of which was obtained by the Manila Standard, Lopez orders all regional offices, bureaus and attached agencies of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to implement the multi-billion-peso Biochar program nationwide.
The order designates DENR Undersecretary Philip Camera, who is also the president of the privately held Biochar, as the manager and supervisor of the program.
Earlier, Biochar was awarded the P9.4-billion contract without the benefit of a public bidding, and no feasibility or scientific study, said Manuel Galvez, a general partner of Airboard Co. and one of the 23 parties that opposed Lopez’s confirmation before the Commission on Appointments.
It was Camara who drafted and recommended the approval of the administrative order that he and Lopez signed on Feb. 23, Galvez said.