Undersecretary for Mining Mario Luis J. Jacinto, the concurrent director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), on Tuesday said he is optimistic on working with retired Gen. Roy Cimatu following his appointment as Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary.
“We will continue the things we need to do here [at MGB],” Jacinto told the BusinessMirror in a telephone interview, adding he believes in the wisdom of President Duterte’s appointment of Cimatu, a former chief of staff of the Armed Forces, and vowed to work with the new DENR chief.
“I’ve known General Cimatu when he was the AFP chief of staff [when] I was in Mindanao. But I am not sure if he’ll remember me,” Jacinto said.
An appointee of the current administration, Jacinto was reportedly “sidelined” by former Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez, whose hands-on policy led to the closure or suspension of 28 large-scale mines and the cancellation of 75 Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSAs) plus the Financial and/or Technical Assistance Agreement of the multi-billion-dollar Tampakan-Copper Gold Project.
Days before Lopez’s appointment was rejected by the bicameral Commission on Appointments, the feisty former DENR chief declared a policy to ban prospective open-pit mines.