Davao councilors raise ‘over-quarrying’ concerns

(SunStar Davao graphics)

DAVAO City councilors expressed concern over excessive quarrying and its long-term effects on the environment after receiving more requests for additional allowable use for quarry operations.

While Councilor Rene Elias Lopez read item 1224, an application for quarry operation in Calinan District, Councilors Jesus Joseph Zozobrado and Maria Belen Acosta called the attention of the City Council about the risks of issuing permits to 63 quarry applications in the city.

“The City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) is the primary agency which will be able to process this, but according to them, there is no existing policy yet as to the number of quarries that could be granted,” Lopez said, adding that there are no directives set by the executive department on the maximum number of permits that could be granted.

Meanwhile, Interface Development Interventions (Idis), Inc. executive director Chinkee Golle said in a phone interview Tuesday, November 20, that they strongly oppose quarry operations because of the lack of provisions for rehabilitation of the quarry site.

“For the LGU (local government unit), it is really a challenge para ma-closely monitored ang mag-quarry [operations],” Golle said, adding that this is to ensure minimal effects on the environment.

“Sige ta’g ingon na wala tay mina diri but in terms of sand and gravel quarrying grabe gyud kaayo (We always say that we do not have mining operations here in the city yet there are more sand and gravel quarry operations),” she said.

Golle said they have proposed to convene all quarry operators in the city and ask them to commit to the rehabilitation of their areas. The proposal, however, was not approved.

“Kailangan gyud magdugang ug tao na magtutok sa monitoring and maghatag ug mga sanction ana (The city needs to add more people to monitor these operations and provide sanctions for violators),” she said.


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