Update status on sinkhole, PB asks DENR-A A +A
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
THE Provincial Board passed a resolution inviting the environment officials in their next session to inform and apprise them about the sinkhole in Mantayupan, Barili.
PB Alex Binghay also initiated the creation of an ad hoc committee composed of PB members, after he received reports that human activities in the area caused the hole.
Binghay learned that there were reported illegal quarry operations, particularly in Barangay Mantayupan and the Nasipit area.
The sinkhole reportedly drained the river that fed water to Mantayupan Falls, causing it to dry up.
Barili Vice Mayor Marlon Garcia, in a press release, confirmed Binghay’s suspicion that the sinkhole was caused by human activity.
Garcia learned from residents there that heavy equipment like backhoes have been in the site for weeks before the incident.
He said they want to know whether an illegal quarry operation or a treasure hunting activity has been going on in the area.
He said the elderly in the barangay would attest that the hole has been existing for decades, as evidenced by the concrete or cement near the mouth of the hole where the huge boulder has been removed.
“We should make the person responsible for that pay for the damage,” said Garcia without naming names.
The vice mayor, however, is against the move to tap the town’s calamity fund as earlier requested by Mayor Teresito Mariñas.
Garcia and Mariñas are at odds, with their conflict reaching the court.
Mariñas earlier expressed concern about the effect of the sinkhole on the entire municipality.
Mantayupan was flowing again by Saturday afternoon, after a diversion canal was built to direct water from the sinkhole to the river that flows to the falls.
Officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau 7 and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office are expected to attend the PB session.
Vice Governor Agnes Magpale sees the need for the PB to ask representatives of the environment agencies to report their findings and for the ad hoc committee to put pressure on the investigation.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 17, 2012.