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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has installed the 12th director of the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) and new supervising undersecretary in a simple ceremony held at the BMB Training Center on Sept. 23.

Sultan Datu Tungko Saikol officially took the helm at the DENR-BMB from the Bureau's outgoing Director Edilberto DC. Leonardo. BMB is a staff bureau of the DENR.

During the recent turnover ceremony, Saikol vowed to "uphold the mandate of the Bureau in conserving the country’s biological diversity and realizing a Philippine biodiversity that provides natural resiliency and sustained benefits for all."

Before his appointment at the DENR-BMB, Saikol served as DENR-Environmental Management Bureau-SOCCSKSARGEN Regional Director, DENR-SOCCSKSARGEN OIC Executive Director, and DENR-SOCCSKSARGEN Assistant Regional Director for Management Services.

Saikol was also Deputy Minister-designate of the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

For his part, Leonardo thanked all the BMB staff who helped him in his four-month stint as the director of the bureau.

"I have relished the joy and triumph in the realization of my advocacies through project and program launch, successful enforcement operations, approval of policies, and the promotion and regularization of some BMB employees," Leonardo said.

"I have also experienced the sorrow and grief of our employees as we mourn the loss of a colleague and some of their loved ones who succumbed to COVID-19," he added.

Leonardo will now assume the position of Undersecretary for Special Concerns and Protected Areas and will be the Supervising Undersecretary for BMB.

Leonardo served as chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Regional Field Unit in Region 11 before being assigned to the DENR as an undersecretary and BMB director.

In his message during the turnover ceremony, DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu emphasized that government service is a "matter of choice while deciding to stay in it is a matter of destiny."

"May our life’s mission be in sync with our Department’s mission of mobilizing the citizenry in protecting, conserving, and managing the environment and natural resources for the present and future generations," said Cimatu in his speech delivered by DENR Undersecretary for Legal, Administration, Human Resources and Legislative Affair, Atty. Ernesto D. Adobo Jr., who is the outgoing Supervising Undersecretary for BMB. ###