Former Environment warrior from Isabela, former Senator Heherson T. Alvarez dies from Covid-19 according to Congressman Joey Sarte Salceda.
Senator Heherson T. Alvarez was born in Santiago, Isabela on October 26,1939. He is married to Cecile Gidote, with whom he has two children.
He served as Senator for two inextendible terms of 12 years. In May 1998, he was elected as Member of the House of Representatives. He is the former Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources.
He has a Master’s Degree in Economics and Public Administration from Harvard University, USA, and a recipient of the Outstanding Alumnus award of the University of the Philippines.
He is a veteran warrior in many arenas – in human rights, the environment, modernizing the economy, democratizing Philippine politics.
He was one of the youngest delegates to the 1971 Constitutional Convention. He opposed the Marcos Dictatorship and was a recipient of the Outstanding Human Rights Award by the Fund for Free Expression in New York, USA.
In 1972, he was declared one of the Ten Most Outstanding Leaders of the North along with other senior political figures like Gen. Carlos P. Romulo of Tarlac and Quintin Paredes of Abra.
He became the first Secretary of Agrarian Reform in 1986. Former Chairman of the premier Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, he also chaired the Senate Committee on Environment for ten years. He has been at the forefront of the environment movement both in the Senate and in Congress. He is responsible for the introduction of unleaded gasoline in the country through a voluntary negotiation with the three oil companies, dubbed as the Healthy Air Pact signed in Malacanang by then President Fidel Ramos. That was the beginning of the crusade that now brings us the cleaning of the air we breathe with the Clean Air Act. Practically all the laws and initiatives in environmental issues were launched by him. “He is Mr. Environment.”
He founded the Earth Savers Movement and authored the resolution declaring April 22 as “Earth Day.”
Over the years that he was in the Senate, he was consistently adjudged Outstanding Senator by the different print and multi-media award giving bodies.
He is the first Asian to be honored with the Outstanding Public Policy Achievement Award from the prestigious Washington-based Climate Institute.
He authored the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) the centerpiece program of the Aquino administration and the Law Creating the Department of Energy which was the basic instrument of the Ramos administration in solving the brownouts in 1993. He vigorously pushed for the Export-Armada Approach to Development which paved the way to a vigorous export growth.
He has always been considered an exceptional leader in times of both danger and peace. A stable statesman with a broad humane vision for the interest of the Filipino people.