MGB-7 lifts suspension vs. quarry operations
Except for the operations of APO Land and Quarry Corp. (ALQC) in Naga City, Cebu which will remain suspended, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Central Visayas (MGB-7) has lifted its suspension order against eight large-scale mining and 15 industrial sand and gravel (ISAG) activities in the region after the companies were cleared to operate by the MGB central office.
MGB-7 information officer Marian Codilla said that the suspension of large-scale quarry operations was lifted last Friday, October 5; while ISAG operations were allowed to resume a week later or yesterday.
“(These companies have ) have either complied or they are about to comply with the recommendations stipulated by the team because they have different situations,” Codilla said.
Codilla, however, warned the firms to comply with all the MGB recommendations, especially those concerning the communities surrounding the area where they operate, even if their operations were found to be safe by the MGB composite teams who con- ducted the review.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu had announced the 15-day suspension of all quarry operations in Regions I, III, IV-CALABARZON,V, VII, X, XI, and XIII, last September 20, a day after a massive landslide hit Naga City, Cebu.
In Central Visayas, a total of 26 large-scale quarry and ISAG operations were suspended at that time.
Among the companies now given the go-signal to operate are: Solid Earth Development Corp. in San Fernando, Cebu; Dolomite Mining Corp. in Alcoy, Cebu; Bohol Limestone Corp. in Garcia-Hernandez, Bohol; Lazi Bay Resources Development Inc. in Lazi, Siquijor; JLR Construction and Aggregates, Inc. in Cogon, City of Naga; Heirs of Arturo Zayco in Ayungon, Negros Oriental; and Republic Cement and Building Materials, Inc. in Danao City, Cebu.
The operations of ALQC in Naga City remains suspended, pending an on-going investigation conducted by the MGB Central Office.
Residents of Sitio Tagaytay and Sindulan, Barangay Tinaan had blamed ALQC for the massive landslide which resulted to the death of at least 78 individuals while 5 are still missing.
The landslide also left close to 8,000 people homeless.
“From what we have known, their report (on the investigation) has now undergone peer review. Since the report is technical, it has to pass all experts reviewing it before it will be released to the LGU (local government unit) and to the public,” said Codilla of the investigation involving ALQC.
Codilla added that aside from MGB-7, other agencies were also investigating other aspects of the Naga City landslide. Industrial Sand And Gravel (isag)
Those cleared for ISAG operations by MGB-7 are the following: WTG Construction and Development Corp. of Willy T. Go in Combado, Balamban; Balamban Construction and Marine Services Ltd. Co of Ceilito T. Bardenas in Biasong, Balamban; Stanley S. Chona in Liki and Cabagdalan, Balamban; Annette J. Navarro in Liki, Balamban; Gimar A. Besañes in Media
Once Toledo City; Ma. Celeste L. Dolino in Dumlog, Toledo City; Ophelio L. Dolino in Capitan Claudio, Toledo City; Merriam Jane B. Dumadag in Cambangug, Toledo City, Arlene T. Borja in Biga, Toledo City; Mervin R. Teo in Lagtang General Climaco, Toledo City; Humprey R. Benitez in General Climaco, Toledo City; Willy U. Te’s Jute Rocks, Inc. in New Bago, Agbanga and Sta. Rita, Asturias; Ceilito T. Bardenas in Sta. Rita, Asturias; Anna B. Suba in Arpili, Balamban; and Oliver Sobere Yu in Ayungon Negros Oriental.
Codilla said that MGB-7 will continue to regularly monitor and visit all quarry and mining operations in the region.
"We will monitor every aspect of their operations quarterly especially in their compliance on the safety and health program, social development, environmental programs and projects ,” she said.
“We also conduct meetings with the mining companies, while the Multipartite Management Team (MMT), a composite team of an NGO (non-government organization), LGUs, MGB, Department and Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) is also monitoring their operations," Codilla added.
Meanwhile, the suspension of operations within the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) of Quarry Ventures Philippines Inc. was also lifted except for the operation in one parcel of its permit area.
MPSA is one of the three modes of mineral agreement between the government and a private individual or company for purposes of mining, as stipulated in Section 26 of RA 7942 or the Mining Act of the Philippines.
This is an aerial snapshot of the landslide area in Sitio Sindulan, Barangay Tinaan in Naga City. The photo was taken from an Air Force helicopter surveying the landslide area on Oct. 3, 2018.