Sec. MARY ANN LUCILLE L. SERING
Climate Change Commission
Secretary Lucille L. Sering is an environmental education advocate. Prior to her stint in Government, she served as the College Secretary or Associate Dean of the San Sebastian College of Law. She was also a professor handling environmental law and banking and finance subjects. While in the academe, she advocated for environmental law to be a mandatory subject in law schools. While teaching, she also studied her masters and earned her Masteral degree in social entrepreneurship specializing on microfinance from the prestigious Asian Institute of Management.
In 2007, she joined Government and was appointed as Undersecretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources or DENR, handling Administration, Finance and Legal. One of the youngest appointed to the post. While head of the legal department, she formed the Green Legal Warriors, a volunteer program for law students. She pushed for a specialized curriculum of Mandatory Continuing Legal Education to focus on environmental laws for all lawyers at the DENR. The first of its kind ever introduced at the Department and in any MCLE course.
In 2009, she was selected as a member by then Chief Justice Reynato Puno of the Supreme Court, to the technical working group that drafted the landmark and the first Environment Rules of Court of the country. She was one of only two non-Supreme Court justices members that drafted the rules. The Environmental Rules of Court allows the filing of the Writ of Kalikasan, a legal remedy that protects one’s right for a healthy environment.
From the DENR, she was appointed as one of the pioneer member of the Climate Change Commission. A commission created by virtue of the law, the Climate Change Act of 2009. The President of the Republic of the Philippines sits as Chairperson of the Commission. From a commissioner member, she was eventually promoted as a Vice-Chairperson of the Commission with the rank of Secretary in 2010.
In just two years in the Commission, she helped pushed for the passage of Republic Act 10174, amending the Climate Change Act. The law created the Peoples Survival Fund, a fund that will help local government finance its climate change adaptation and disaster risk management programs.
She also conceptualized the Eco-Town, a framework that will help local communities plan on how to protect the environment and still earn from it. This framework is now currently piloted in 2 of the top poorest provinces in the country.