Newly appointed Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Wednesday pledged to protect the environment and safeguard mining laws, but asked for more time to study his new responsibilities as head of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
As chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the past, Cimatu said he remembered his role was to to protect the people and the land. Then, when he was designated by President Rodrigo Duterte as special envoy to overseas Filipino worker-refugees, his role was to protect the OFWs.
"My third 'P' as secretary of the DENR is to protect the environment and safeguard the mining laws that they should be implemented," Cimatu said in his remarks during the turnover ceremony of the DENR leadership in Quezon City.
He took over the helm of DENR from former Environment Secretary-designate Gina Lopez who was rejected by the bicameral Commission on Appointments
Cimatu noted his new job is far from his background and experience as a ranking military officer, and he asked that he be given enough time to learn how he can do his job properly.
"Please, excuse me if I may ask to be given time to scan and study the terrain," he said.
On the sidelines of the turnover rites, Cimatu doused speculations that he will serve to the interest of mining companies. "I will see to it what is in the law is followed," he said.
Cimatu addressed the employees of the DENR and asked them to work as a team.
"Please help me learn the ropes and earn your respect. We are all in this together," he said. — VDS, GMA News