Capitol to furnish Cimatu ‘full report’ on dolomite damage in Alcoy seabed

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | November 07,2020 - 03:25 PM

Capitol to furnish Cimatu ‘full report’ on dolomite damage in Alcoy seabed

Jerry Dueñas, a fisherman from Alcoy, Cebu, looks at the conveyor belt that juts out of a mineral-processing plant in Barangay Pugalo. Dueñas said despite the controversies involving their town’s dolomite rocks, it has not severely impacted their source of livelihood. CDN Digital photo (Sept. 25, 2020) | Morexette Marie Erram

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Cebu Provincial Government is expected to send the full and consolidated report of the environmental assessment made on suppliers and exporters of dolomite in Alcoy town to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia made this announcement in a recent press conference, adding that the Capitol is also planning a ‘two-pronged approach’ in dealing with the issues arising from the processing and transporting of dolomite rocks by Philippine Mining Service Corporation (PMSC).

“I hope I should be able to report and give a copy of this (report) to Secretary Cimatu within the week,” said Garcia.

PMSC, based in Barangay Pugalo, Alcoy town in southern Cebu, is the sole processor and exporter of dolomite rocks in Cebu.

Garcia said while they are waiting for the official inter-agency report on the dolomite firms’ environmental impact in Alcoy’s seabeds, they are currently working to lodge formal complaints related to alleged tax violations against PMSC.

RELATED STORY: IN PHOTOS: Cimatu visits dolomite-processing, exporting firms in Alcoy

“I’m saying, this is a two-pronged approach. We’re dealing with their financial obligations to the Province of Cebu and the environmental damages,” she explained.

The governor said the provincial government has already issued a demand letter to the company, asking them to explain why they were not able to comply with an existing Provincial Ordinance that mandates operators doing businesses in Cebu province to pay 10 percent of the fair market value of their products as tax.

“We will first start with their tax obligations since we have already sent them a demand letter. It will be a tax case,” said Garcia in a mix of English and Cebuano.

Garcia, quoting findings from the Provincial Treasurer’s Office, said PMSC should have paid a total of P1.9 billion in tax when the ordinance took effect last 2011.

“They have been assessed based on the tax volumes from 2012 to 2020… Under our Provincial Revenue Code, Section 124, they should be paying tax amounting to 10 percent of the fair market value and the amount does not include surcharges and penalties yet,” she added.

Issues surrounding and tied to dolomite processing in Cebu surfaced when government officials earlier confirmed that processed dolomite rocks used as the artificial, white-sand beach component of Manila Bay’s rehabilitation project were sourced from Alcoy, a fifth-class municipality located more than 110 kilometers southeast of Cebu City. /rcg

RELATED STORY: Corals in Alcoy destroyed by heavy siltation from fallen crushed dolomites — Penro


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TAGS: Alcoy, Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia, dolomite

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