TO HELP the Provincial Government intensify its measures, around 200 police officers of the Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO) underwent training against illegal quarrying activities.
The move was in response to Memorandum Circular 4-2019 issued by Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia on June 30, 2019. The measure provides for the immediate suspension of all sand and gravel permits issued by the province pending review.
Earlier, Garcia had asked the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the CPPO to help in the strict enforcement of the order, as well as in the apprehension and prosecution of violators.
Memorandum Circular 4-2019 aims to put a stop to the “unabated” illegal quarrying activities and prevent the “further degradation” of the environment which may lead to calamities, destruction of properties and loss of lives.
The governor said the massive landslide that hit Barangay Tina-an in the City of Naga on Sept. 20, 2018, which killed 78 persons, would not have happened had the key agencies in government implemented strict mining and quarrying laws.
During the training last Aug. 20, Mines and Geosciences Bureau 7 officer-in-charge Armando Malicse said the activity would help police officers have a better grasp on how to effectively implement Republic Act 7942, or the Mining Law.
After the training, the CPPO personnel were issued a deputation order that authorizes them to enforce rules on mining.
An accomplishment report presented during the first general assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines Cebu Chapter last Aug. 30, revealed that the CPPO had confiscated 140.2 cubic meters of illegally obtained minerals since Memorandum Circular 4-2019 took effect.
From July 2 to Aug. 28, 2019, the CPPO has conducted 21 operations that led to the apprehension of 37 persons. Of the number, 11 cases were referred to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and other local enforcement agencies, while six cases were already filed in court. (RTF)