MANILA, Philippines — The new chief of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the agency which regulates the minerals and non-minerals sector, maintained that the review on the orders of former environment chief Gina Lopez will continue to further improve the industry.
New mining chief Wilfredo Moncano said he will continue the review started by former MGB chief Mario Luis Jacinto on the controversial issues that hit the mining sector.
“For the short term while the previous orders of former Secretary Gina are still in place, I am starting the review of the processes in the MGB with the objective of reducing the processing time of any application by removing redundant steps, if there are any, to improve the ease of doing business espoused by the Duterte administration,” Moncano said in a text message to The STAR.
Moncano is the former officer-in-charge of MGB-Davao Region since July 2015 and is replacing Jacinto who is on medical leave and will resume work as full-time DENR Undersecretary upon his return.
Moncano also held the position of senior science research specialist and officer-in-charge of the Mine Management Division in the same office.
A practicing mining engineer in the private sector, Moncano said he will continue Lopez’s protection of the environment and see to it that laws will be strictly followed.
“I will also try to galvanize support from the mining industry stakeholders in the form of networking with them and engaging them in technical discussions on persisting negative issues to arrive at a well thought out decision,” Moncano said.
The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, meanwhile, welcomed Moncano and expressed confidence that he will work well with the sector given that he is a mining engineer.
“The industry is confident that a reversal of the suspension orders made by the previous Secretary without considering MGB audit reports and due process as well as the ban on open pit mining have already been studied well,” COMP Artemio Disini said