DENR chief rehires exec after Duterte replacement
RIGHT after he was replaced by President Rodrigo Duterte, Environment Secretary Regina Lopez reengaged the services of former mining official Leo Jasereno as a consultant despite the objections of the mining industry.
“Environment Secretary [Regina] Lopez tapped Jasareno as consultant. Right after his replacement, Jasareno assumed work as a consultant,” DENR Assistant Secretary Rommel Abesamis told the Manila Standard.
Abesamis said Lopez reengaged Jazareno although Duterte had already appointed mining engineer Wilfredo Moncano as acting head of the MGB to replace Jasareno.
The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines had earlier scored Jasareno for the high-handed audit of the regulatory compliance of mining firms, saying he ignored appeals for miners to correct perceived violations of MGB rules.
Jasareno’s audit resulted in the suspension of eight of its members—the Filminera Resources Corp., Marcventures Mining and Development Corp., Agata, CTP Construction and Mining Corp., Hinatuan Mining Corp., Benguet Corp., Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corp. and OceanaGold Philippines Inc.
At least 10 other mining companies, including Benguet Corp. Nickel Mines Inc., Zambales Diversified Metals Corp., LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc. and Eramen Minerals Inc., were previously suspended.
Other suspended firms were the country’s only iron-producing mine Ore Asia Mining and Development Corp., Samar-based operations Mt. Sinai Exploration Mining and Development Corp., EMIR Mineral Resources Corp., Berong Nickel Corp., Claver Mineral Development Corp., and Citinickel Mines and Development Corp.
CoMP vice president for policy Ronald Recidoro challenged the failure of the government to give supposed erring mining firms the chance to rectify their mistakes and save the jobs of employees who became jobless because of the suspension.
“When one suddenly changes the rules of the game, a dialogue between companies and the DENR is needed considering the audit report was completed in August,” he said.
If only there was a dialogue and consultation, the mining operators could have the opportunity to undertake rehabilitation measures, instead of DENR imposing a suspension order on these firms, CoMP said.