Cebu BM wants MGB issuance of transport permit for dolomites shipment to Manila ‘condemned’

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | September 09,2020 - 11:37 AM

WHITE SAND- Workers continue to pour white sand composed of crushed dolomite over the 500 meter stretch of Manila bay, part of the DENR’s Manila bay rehabilitation project aimed at discouraging people from littering in the ocean that has now drawn ire from advocates.

CEBU CITY, Phillippines — A Capitol official seeks to condemn the actions of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Central Visayas (MGB-7) in issuing the ore transport permits (OTP) that allowed crushed dolomites from Cebu to be brought to Manila for the makeover of the Manila Bay.

Board Member John Ismael Borgonia filed before the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Secretary on Tuesday, September 8, a resolution condemning the issuance of the OTPs “in absence of public transparency and consultation of Cebuanos and in utmost disregard to the authority of the local government of the Province of Cebu.”  His resolution will be discussed during the PB session on Monday, September 14.

Borgonia, who chairs the Committee on Environmental Conservation and Natural Resources, said they found during a meeting held on Tuesday morning that there was no prior public consultation on the extraction of the minerals in the southern Cebu town of Alcoy and its eventual use for the Manila Bay rehabilitation project.

READ: 3.5k metric tons of dolomite for Manila Bay from Alcoy, Cebu

The Capitol and the local government of Alcoy had earlier said they had no knowledge that the crushed dolomite from Cebu was brought to Manila for the said project until news broke on local and national media outlets and with DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda confirming that the white minerals were being used to fill the stretch of the Manila Bay are crushed dolomites from Cebu.

Borgonia added that during the meeting, the MGB and the representatives of the mining firm operating in the town failed to produce an environmental impact study on the extraction of the dolomite rocks despite the location of the extraction which is supposedly within the fringe of the Alcoy forest cover. Alcoy town is considered the habitat of the endangered bird black shama, locally known as Siloy, which is endemic in Cebu.

“The act constituted a violation of a number of environmental principle and laws which include the precautionary principle in the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases, A.M. 09-6-8-SC, Section 8 (a) of DENR Administrative Order No. 2010-01, and the DENR Department Administrative Order No. 2003-02,” Borogonia’s proposed resolution cited.

“The issuance of an ore transport permit disregards the environment impact and preservation of a critical area in Cebu,” it added.

READ: Capitol: No more Cebu dolomite for Manila Bay

On Tuesday afternoon, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia had issued a cease and desist order (CDO) against the mining firm and the mineral processing firms in Alcoy prohibiting the two from further extracting, processing, selling, and transporting dolomites, associated mineral deposits, and other quarry materials. / dcb

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