Iloilo City –Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu addressed the 250 delegates of the 9th Visayas Minerals and Energy Summit in Iloilo City on May 25, 2019 as keynote speaker. He stressed that although mining is necessary in the infrastructure program of the government, it must be done in a responsible way. He said that the mining industry has been perceived negatively in the past years and this calls for the need to improve policies such as on strict monitoring and the needed political will to implement them.
Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said he was assigned as the cabinet official in charge for the development of Region 6 and infrastructure is one of the projects in the development plan, He said that the challenge in mining is how to ensure that environmental protection will be made of equal importance with the need to utilize mineral resources. He cited his experience in the rehabilitation of Boracay Island and Manila Bay to show that it is possible to pursue environmental protection despite the many challenges these initiatives may face. He urges everyone in the government to be optimistic and never stop in pursuing what can improve practices on environmental protection.
Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region 6 (MGB RO-6) Regional Director and president of the PSEM Visayas chapter and the national board expressed his appreciation that the DENR Secretary graced the event at the Diversion 21 Hotel in Iloilo City. The 3-day event was organized by the Philippine Society of Mining Engineers Visayas Chapter.
He related that the event gave the stakeholders the chance to be updated on recent policies and updates that may affect them, as well as developments in the industry and their profession through the paper presentations. Majority of the delegates were mining engineers and metallurgist from the public and privates sectors as well as representatives from the local government units.