The Geographic Society of the University of the Philippines (UP GeogSoc) on Thursday urged Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Usec. Benny Antiporda to resign over his “bayaran” remark against UP scientists.

The group stressed that it is unacceptable for a government official, especially for someone who works in the environment department which is mandated to make science-based decisions.

“Considering your-ill fitting background for the job as well as your disregard for the opinions of other Filipino scientists, we call on you to formally retract your statements against the [UP Marine Science Institute] and to resign from your position as undersecretary, as both a form of accountability and to give way for other, better-qualified candidates to work in the department,” UP GeogSoc said.

“The DENR needs a spokesperson who, instead of antagonizing homegrown scientists, articulately expresses and explains the department’s goals and policies. Moreover, this country deserves a DENR undersecretary who is credible, responsive, and committed to protecting, conserving, and managing our environment and natural resources,” it added.

On Wednesday, Antiporda accused UP Marine Science Institute (UP MSI) of charging the agency some “half a billion pesos” in consultation fees, calling the institute’s experts “bayaran” who have no right to criticize the government.

“UP scientists work tirelessly for the benefit of Filipino society, despite being underfunded, yet you, Usec. Antiporda, have seen it fit to attack not only the MSI but the valuable contribution of the scientific work of the Filipino academe,” UP GeogSoc stressed.

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