BACOLOR officials, led by Mayor Diman Datu, and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) led the inspection of various quarry sites here Thursday, July 11.
This came amid reports of violation of some quarry permittee who have been over extracting sand and quarrying outside their permitted areas.
There were also reports of excessive quarrying that led into the adverse changes in the elevation of certain areas.
Penro chief Art Punzalan told SunStar Pampanga that the inspection had been ordered by Governor Dennis Pineda to streamline quarry operations here and to determine alleged violations.
Punzalan said that based on their initial inspection, there were quarry sites which have quarried outside the areas of their permits while others over extracted their areas which necessitates immediate rehabilitation.
The inspection team visited quarry areas in Barangays Concepcion, Maliwalu, Balas, Duat, Balas, and Dolores.
“Quarrying outside permitted zones deprives the province of supposed income. Also such activities are detrimental to the environment,” Punzalan added.
Punzalan said that a thorough inspection and evaluation of the effects of the illicit activities would have to be carried out by a team to assess the damage and loses to the province. He added that those who have been found violating environmental laws and those set by the province will meet appropriate charges, according to Punzalan.
Quarrying outside permitted zones may be charged with theft of minerals, which is a violation of Republic Act No. 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.