Garcia urges Alcoy officials to ‘speak up’ on dolomite issue

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | September 11,2020 - 05:17 PM
Garcia urges Alcoy officials to 'speak up' on dolomite issue

Quarrying site for dolomite rocks in Alcoy town, southern Cebu | Photo courtesy of MGB – 7

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia called the attention of local officials in Alcoy town, and urged them to shed light on the controversy involving the transport of crushed dolomite rocks for Manila Bay’s rehabilitation project.

Garcia, in a report from the province-ran Sugbo News, told Alcoy Mayor Michael Angelo Sestoso and Vice Mayor Jimmy Abajon in a meeting held at the Capitol on Thursday, September 10, to come up with their statement on the matter.

“What do we expect from the Municipality of Alcoy? In the midst of all of these, dili man mahimo nga ako lang magsige og tingog (it’s not enough I’m the only one who will speak up). Continued silence from Alcoy is very telling,” said Garcia.

Read: Garcia: CDO covers only transport, selling of dolomite in local market

Three thousand five hundred (3,500) tons of pulverized dolomite rocks mined in the mountains of Alcoy town were used to transform Manila Bay into an artificially-made white sand beach, a move that was met with widespread criticism.

Read: Kalikasan writ eyed against Manila Bay white sand project

The Cebu Provincial Government has intervened on the matter, with Garcia calling a meeting with local officials as well as those from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

During Thursday’s meeting, the report from Sugbo News stated that Garcia questioned why the local government of Alcoy was not able to earn more income from the two firms mining and processing dolomite — Dolomite Mining Corporation (DMC) and Philippine Mining Service Corporation (PMSC).

This after Sestoso and Abajon, according to the same report, told the governor that the operations of DMC and PMSC generated jobs for local residents there.

Garcia said the local government of Alcoy was unable to gain 70 percent of income in the sale of waste deposits.

This could have been done, she added, if the two companies were directed to secure waste disposal permits from local authorities.

“Alcoy has to come up with a statement. Nga after all kamo mismo nga nag-host niining duha ka kumpanya dugay na nga wala naka-realize sa income nga angay unta madawat sa Alcoy, nga madawat sa barangay,” she said.

(Alcoy has to come up with a statement. After all, you are the town hosting these two companies, and throughout their operations, you were not able to realize the income Alcoy could have earned, the barangay could have earned.)

Reporters on Friday, September 11, tried to contact Sestoso multiple times for his comments but to no avail.

MGB in Central Visayas (MGB-7) earlier confirmed that the raw materials used to fill portions of Manila Bay were sourced from DMC — a mining operator based in Barangay Pugalo, Alcoy town.

They said DMC holds a Mineral Processing Sharing Agreement (MPSA) to mine dolomite, a mineral composed of calcium magnesium carbonate.

PMSC, on the other hand, is DMC’s sole buyer and has been granted a Mineral Processing Permit by MGB. The plant, also situated within Alcoy, processes the mined dolomite rocks which were then sold to markets both locally and abroad.

Alcoy is a fifth-class town located around 102 kilometers southeast of Cebu City. Experts said huge deposits of dolomite rocks can be found in the town’s mountains. /dbs

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

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