Operators may need to rehabilitate quarry sites before ban will be lifted
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Quarry operators in Cebu province may need to rehabilitate first the sites where they operate before the Capitol will allow them to resume operations.
Governor Gwendolyn Gacia said two teams from the Capitol were already sent out to inspect and document the conditions of the quarry sites located in the component towns and cities of the province.
The inspection teams, Garcia said, only had one week to complete the documentation of all the quarry sites in rivers, for sand and gravel, and mountains for mineral quarry.
“Kuhaan og pictures, magdala sad sila og drones para makita gyud kung unsa na gyod ang estado, sapa o bukid. I am hearing reports nga grabe ana ang damage sa mga sapa ug kabukiran. We are tasking these two teams to finish this in a week’s time and the CPPO (Cebu Police Provincial Office) will be escorting them for their safety,” said Garcia.
(They will take pictures. They will bring drones so that they could see the state of the rivers and mountains. I am hearing reports that the damage of the rivers and mountains is really serious. We are tasking these two teams to finish this in a week’s time and the CPPO will be escorting them for their safety.)
Once the documentation of the quarry sites is completed, Garcia said, the Provincial Engineering Office (PEO) and the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) would be assessing the situation in the quarry site to evaluate if rehabilitation would be needed.
“If they (the areas) need rehabilitation, they might need to do it first before permits will be released again. That’s the way it’s going to be regardless kung dunay mga naalkanse sa negosyo (if there are those who incurred losses in their businesses),” Garcia added.
Garcia also said that upon their initial inventory on the quarry permits issued by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro), only one was not yet expired when she ordered for the suspension of all quarry operations on June 1.
“Ang sand and gravel lang daan, [out of] 74 permits, 73 are expired. Pero nagpadayon og quarry before my order. Ang uban dugay na kaayo nga expired, may be under process ang pagrenew, pero ngano kaha nga dugay kaayo ang pagrenew? Duna pay kinahanglan nga mga cashabotan?” Garcia said.
(In the sand and gravel permits, 73 out of 74 operators have expired permits, but they still continued their quarry operations before I ordered a suspension of quarry operations. The permits of the other operators have long expired while others were still under process for renewal. But why did it took time for them to renew their permits? Was their a need for ‘cashabotan’?)
She also said that there were permittees, who hauled minerals other than what had been stated in their permits to quarry.
Garcia said the continued operation of the 73 permittees even after their permits had expired and before the governor’s memorandum was issued on July 1 might become grounds that their permits would not be renewed.
The governor issued a memorandum order on July 1 suspending all quarry permits issued by the Penro pending review after she received information from resident and local officials of the damage that were purportedly brought about by the quarry operations.
Garcia also ordered for a moratorium of all applications for quarry permits pending at the Penro./dbs
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