Duterte a NO-SHOW on Davao Mining Conference, MGB Jacinto explains

24 June 2017, Davao City – MGB Concurrent Director Mario Luis Jacinto wears three hats on the anticipated Mining Engineers conference in Davao City – His, DENR Cimatu’s and President Rodrigo Duterte’s.

The Concurrent Director also gives a hint, not only on the content of the DENR secretary’s speech, but what the Duterte administration really thinks of mining.

WATCH THE CLIP HERE:

Open Pit Mines as Assets for Ecotourism and Waste to Energy (WTE) Projects

During a recent Q&A with the DENR Secretary and his team on 15 June 2017 at Makati-Shangri-la, Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation (MMDC) President Isidro ‘Butch’ C. Alcantara brought into light the potential of rehabilitated open pit mines to become assets for ecotourism and waste to energy projects.

Alcantara added that since mining companies will eventually have to give up their rights on the open pit mines after rehabilitation, there are currently NO CLEAR RULES & GUIDELINES as to the handover of responsibility on the implementation of future projects once these mines have finished operations.

The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) said it is working in close coordination with the Mines & Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and is reviewing these open pit mines to become sanitary landfills after mine rehabilitation.

However, Alcantara was quick to add that “… it’s not just landfill. Some of them are really good prospects for ecotourism and waste to energy (projects)”.

For the full story, refer to the video clip below:

DENR Team gets grilled on Philippine Mining Taxes

EDITOR’S NOTE:
Featured in the video is Atty. Danilo Uy Kieng who is the MGB’s current Acting Assistant Director.

The captions provided in the video are from Deputy Speaker Romero Federico S. Quimbo who is the author of the mining revenue scheme together with the inter-agency Mining Industry Coordination Council (MICC).

The captions are from a previous interview (Business World, 22 May 2017) and aims to provide context to the answers provided by the DENR and MGB.

WATCH: DENR Sec. Gen. Roy Cimatu addresses foreign business leaders

IN FOCUS: General Roy Cimatu, DENR Secretary
15 June 2017, Makati Shangri-la

TALKING POINTS:
1. Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) between Japan & the Philippines
2. Environmental Clearances for Investors
3. Waste to Energy Projects through the aid of foreign countries
4. Water Security through DENR’s National Water Security Roadmap
5. Developments in the Philippine Mining Industry and the new fiscal regime

 

JOINT FOREIGN CHAMBER MEETING:
European Chamber of Commerce (ECCP)
Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (ANZCHAM)
American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM)
Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CANCHAM)

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All rights reserved © Maria Paula Tolentino

Lopez fights for DENR Post, CA still to give nod

What is the Commission of Appointments and How Powerful Is It?2

The CA is a constitutional body under the 1987 Constitution. It is an independent body separate and distinct from the Legislature, although its membership is confined to members of Congress.*

The CA does not curtail the President’s appointing authority but serves as a check against its abuse. It assures that the President has exercised the power to appoint wisely, by appointing only those who are fit and qualified…

‘Cognizant of the fact that the power of appointment is vested in the President of the Philippines, and that the President, in the exercise of that power, had carefully considered the fitness and qualifications of nominees or appointees, the Commission on Appointments shall accord the nomination or appointment weight and respect, to the end that all doubts should be resolved in favor of approval or confirmation.

‘On the other hand, the Commission, being part of our republican system of checks and balances, shall act as a restraint against abuse of the appointing authority, to the end that the power of disapproval should be exercised to protect and enhance the public interest.’

*Pimentel Jr. vs. Ermita (G.R. No 164978; 472 SCRA 587)

How is the Appointment Process done?2

The regular appointments which are contemplated under the 1987 Constitution go through the following stages:

  • nomination
  • consent
  • appointment
  • acceptance by the nominee

What the President sends to the Commission is just a nomination. After the Commission has given its consent, the President issues the appointment. It is only when the last stage has been completed may the officer concerned take his oath of office.

The second paragraph of Article VII, Sec. 16, of the 1987 Constitution also empowers the President to issue appointments while Congress is not in session. Such appointments are called ad interim appointments, and it goes through the following stages:

  • appointment
  • confirmation

An ad interim appointment is permanent in nature and takes effect immediately. Thus, one who was issued an ad interim appointment may immediately enter upon the discharge of his functions. An ad interim appointment ceases to be valid upon disapproval by the Commission on Appointments or, if not confirmed, until the next adjournment of Congress.


Engaging in innuendo and intrigues, DENR Chief-apparent Lopez takes flak.

Lopez’s unfair remark is the “height of irresponsibility” and puts undue pressure on Commission on Appointments.

Lopez told members of the Rotary Club of Makati of an alleged bribe offer of P50 million for every CA member  who would vote against her after she ordered the closure of 23 mines and the scrapping of 75 mining contracts. She did not name names, and neither did she say where she got the information. But she said then: “I was told every congressman was offered P50 million if they voted against me. Well, people talk. Let the dice fall where it may.”

However, Lopez on Thursday admitted that she could not substantiate her claim, stressing that she made the allegation “casually.”

But two CA members criticized Lopez  on Thursday, accusing  her of sowing intrigue ahead of the confirmation hearing.

“It is the height of irresponsibility,” said Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Treñas, the assistant minority leader on the CA, a constitutional body composed of senators and House members with the power to approve or disapprove appointments made by the President. “I was personally hurt by her statement,” Treñas told the Inquirer.

Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III, the CA’s majority leader, said Lopez should name the people she claimed were involved in this “alleged attempted bribery” so they could face investigation. Otherwise, she was just “merely engaging in innuendo and intrigues,” Albano said.“Is that an example of how she will run the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) should she be confirmed?” he said.

House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said Lopez’s “unfair” remark “now puts undue pressure on the way they (the CA) will vote.”1

After the controversial bribery comment, Lopez sends a message to the CA in an interview with DZMM:

http://players.brightcove.net/1878978674001/rkebVmmV4_default/index.html?videoId=5328280076001

Meanwhile, the mining industry which has taken a beating since Lopez took office, is strongly against her confirmation. In a separate email sent by the Philippine Mining & Exploration Association (PMEA) on February 27 2017, the group listed down individuals and organizations against Lopez’s confirmation. The group put in detail strong grounds why Lopez is unfit for the position of DENR Chief.

Download the “Grounds for Opposition Against Regina Paz Lopez  for the position of DENR Secretary” here: opposition-against-confirmation-of-denr-sec-lopez

Lopez who has been very vocal in her bias against mining, and through the nod of the Commission on Appointments, will stand to rid the country of employed miners estimated at 42.79% if she secures the cabinet post permanently.

The role of mining when it comes to employment generation whether direct or indirect in the rural areas cannot be overly emphasized. It is estimated that about four (4) indirect jobs may be generated from every direct employment in the upstream and downstream sectors. (source: MGB)

Confirmation hearings for the DENR post will commence on March 1, 2017.

References:
1 http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/874821/gi-lo-blames-inquirer-for-bribe-story#ixzz4ZwetL0s9
2 http://www.comappt.gov.ph/about-us/the-commission-on-appointments