MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Mining Chamber Welcomes Appointment Of New Denr Secretary

Published by MAC on 2007-07-24

Mining chamber welcomes appointment of new DENR Secretary

Balita -

24th July 2007

Contrary to some quarters rejecting the appointment of former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza to head the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines has welcomed the appointment of Atienza to the top post by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Benjamin Philip G. Romualdez, President of the influential mining association, said Atienza's long experience as a local government chief has helped prepare him for the position.

Since the DENR has a lot of dealings with LGUs in several of its decentralized but critical functions and the concerns of local communities, "it would be easier for the new Secretary to deal with issues and concerns concerning environmental protection and natural resource development at the local levels since he was once one of them and the level of confidence with local officials has long been established," Romualdez said.

With the sphere of the new mandate given to the incoming DENR Secretary enlarged, covering the entire Philippines, the industry hopes to work in partnership with him and the government to move the country forward, he said.

"We always respect the prerogative of the President in choosing her cabinet because at the end of the day, she is focused in seeing that her economic and environment programs and policies are fully implemented," Romualdez said.

Romualdez also wishes well for Secretary Angelo Reyes in his new role as energy secretary, noting that in his short stint at the DENR, he has earned the goodwill and respect of its many stakeholders, including the mining industry.(PNA)

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