Still no COMP-DENR meeting yet?

It has been about 1 1/2 month since retired Gen. Roy Cimatu became DENR Secretary and it seems that there was no official meeting yet between the chamber of big miners and him. See this BWorld report.


… Mr. Cimatu, a retired general and diplomat who was appointed to head the DENR last month, said he had general guidelines for “responsible mining” under his watch, telling a gathering of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) that the agency will continue to “strictly enforce mining and environmental regulations.”

“Mining in the Philippines can only be responsible if the development of the country’s mineral resources will be on the basis of technical feasibility, environmental sustainability, cultural and social acceptability and financial viability. The absence of one will not render the project responsible,” Mr. Cimatu was quoted as saying in a DENR statement on Monday.

Chamber of Mines of the Philippines Executive Vice-President Nelia C. Halcon said the group is seeking to meet with Mr. Cimatu by this month to discuss policy details.

“We agree on what he said including the four basic parameters upon which mining can be considered responsible. The industry has yet to meet with him,” Ms. Halcon said in a mobile phone reply yesterday when sought for comment on Mr. Cimatu’s statement.

“Yes, [the] meeting is being scheduled by the appointment secretary. [This month], we hope so,” she said on the timeline of the meeting.

Also sought for comment, ECCP President Guenter Taus voiced the support of the group for the implementation of responsible mining.

“In line with Secretary Cimatu’s statement on responsible mining, the ECCP fully supports the department’s continued stance on strictly enforcing mining and environmental regulations in line with Philippine law. We applaud the Secretary and continue to look forward to the good work done by the DENR. We must uphold due process and give violators a chance to remedy any wrongdoing should such occur,” Mr. Taus said in an e-mail yesterday.

The ECCP met with Mr. Cimatu in a joint membership luncheon which it hosted on June 15.

“While we agree with the said fundamentals of responsible mining, I personally believe that this could be discussed more deeply in the very near future. In any case, we look forward to working closely with the Secretary on these issues and moving towards a business environment for all,” Mr. Taus further said in his e-mail….

Perhaps unofficially, some of the chamber’s leaders and members should have met with the Secretary already, like in public fora organized by other groups like this ECCP event.

I think Mr. Cimatu has not run any private organization or firm in the past as he has been a soldier then a bureaucrat in other government agencies when he retired from the AFP. The mind of a bureaucrat and regulatory is very different from the mind of a business entity being regulated. So I hope that wisdom from ageing and regular meeting with civilian and business leaders should have made his mind become more business-friendly, not regulate-this-prohibit-that-tax-them mindset of a typical bureaucrat and regulator.

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