No more probe on Alcoy dolomite transport to Manila Bay — PB exec
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Capitol will no longer push through with its investigation on the transport and use of crushed dolomite from Alcoy for the “rehabilitation” of Manila Bay.
Board Member John Ismael Borgonia, chairperson of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, said the provincial government would put its faith in the statement of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) that the transportation of the minerals from the southern Cebu town was done aboveboard.
“Considering nga ni-issue na ang MGB [og statement]… ang statement sa MGB ato gyud na tagaan sa atong full faith and confidence especially nga sila ang chief implementor [of the concerned environmental laws],” Borgonia said in an interview this Monday, September 7.
(Considering that the MGB was the one who issued [a statement] … then we should give our full faith and confidence to the statement of the MGB especially since they are the chief implementor [of the concerned environmental laws].)
Last Saturday, MGB-7 confirmed that it had issued last August a transport permit that allowed a mineral-processing firm in Alcoy town to transport 3,500 WMT (wet metric tonne) of processed dolomite to Manila Integrated Terminal in the city of Manila.
The agency’s statement came two days since the filling of the minerals first construed as “white sand” on the shores of Manila Bay which drew flak as some environmental advocacy groups tagged the move as destructive not only for Manila Bay but also for the place where they dumped minerals were sourced.
Following inquiries last Friday, Borgonia told reporters that the province would conduct a probe on the matter expressing alarm that extracted minerals from the province were being used to fill up the bay.
On Monday, September 7, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice called on the Provincial Board for a full investigation “to hold MGB-7 and the DENR accountable for their lenient regulations on extremely harmful industries.”
“We hope a swift and decisive action shall be taken against the violators. The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice Cebu Chapter will fully support ordinances to ensure that environmental impacts are given the utmost importance for such industries to be fully implemented,” PMCJ said in its statement.
However, Borgonia said the statement released by the MGB and the agency’s assurance that mandated regulations were duly followed were enough to answer the questions arising from the “white sand” controversy.
“As much as we want to, but MGB and DENR na ang niingon (are the ones who have spoken). We cannot be holier than the pope. The agencies in-charge [of the] environment kay ni-rule out na (because they have decided), how much more kita diri sa (we here in the) province?” Borgonia added./dbs
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