Cimatu orders suspension of Alcoy firms mining, exporting dolomite 

Environment secretary Roy Cimatu speaks with members of the media during his visit in Alcoy town in Cebu on Friday, September 25, 2020, to lead the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) inspection of dolomite-quarrying and processing companies. CDN Digital photo | Morexette Marie B. Erram

Alcoy, Cebu–Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu has verbally ordered on Friday, September 25, 2020, the temporary suspension of all aspects of operations of the two firms quarrying and exporting dolomite here. 

Cimatu told members of the media in a press interview that the decision was made in order to pave way for their department’s investigation on the environmental impact of quarrying. 

“We have to suspend all of its operations as an investigation is ongoing. Starting today (Friday),” said Cimatu in a mix of English and Tagalog. 

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

Cimatu visited this southeastern town of Cebu on Friday to lead the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) inspection of dolomite-quarrying and processing companies. 

The Cabinet member has directed the Environmental Management Bureau in Central Visayas (EMB-7) to collect water samples and conduct air monitoring around the port of the Philippine Mining Services Corporation (PMSC). 

PMSC, based in Barangay Pugalo in Alcoy, processes and exports dolomite they bought from Dolomite Mining Corporation (DMC), the sole dolomite quarrying operator in the municipality.

Cimatu also said DENR will be closely coordinating with the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) to examine the extent of damage in Alcoy’s seabed, which, environmental groups said, have suffered heavy siltation due to the movement of crushed dolomite rocks in PMSC’s port. 

Read: Alcoy fishermen continue livelihood amid corals suffering from siltation

PMSC, for its part, said they will abide with whatever instructions that will come from DENR 

In the meantime, Engr. Antonio Castillo, Senior Manager of Corporate Planning of PMSC, said they will wait for the official order from DENR’s central office. 

“But nevertheless, as the regulating body, we will abide with whatever they will instruct us to do,” Castillo said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

Crushed dolomite rocks sourced from the mountains of Alcoy, a fifth-class municipality located approximately 101 kilometers southeast of Cebu City, were used for artificial white-sand component of Manila Bay’s rehabilitation project.