CEBU

Capitol plans to shut down 2 firms for ‘damaging’ corals

File photo

THE Cebu Provincial Government plans to issue a cease and desist order (CDO) against the operations of the Dolomite Mining Corp. (DMC) and the Philippine Mining Services Corp. (PMSC) in the southern town of Alcoy.

This, after it learned that some parts of the shoreline of Barangay Pugalo have been affected by siltation as a result of their operations.

During a survey conducted by members of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro), they discovered that crushed dolomite particles were falling into the sea while being transported to an awaiting cargo ship by a conveyor belt.

This has resulted in damaging some 500 meters of corals, Penro said.

During a meeting with Penro, DMC, PMSC, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) 7 and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources 7 on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia called on the EMB 7 to investigate the matter based on the photos and videos the Penro had taken in the area.

Earlier, the governor issued a CDO against the two firms for selling dolomite in the local market, which violated their contract with the government.

Garcia had said that DMC and PMSC needed to comply with Capitol requirements like securing a governor’s permit to operate a quarry and to pay the necessary taxes.

“Let me reiterate. We are not against the Manila Bay beach nourishment project. Wa mi mag apil-apil ana (We are not getting involved) because you (DENR) would always nourish the beach by getting your resources elsewhere. But you are getting resources from the Province supplied by DMC, extracted by DMC, and under the provincial ordinance, our Tax Code, they are supposed to pay 10 percent of the fair market value of quarry resource,” she said.

During the meeting, environmental lawyer Benjamin Cabrido explained that there are legal provisions that entitle the Province to a share in the proceeds of mineral extraction.

Under Article E, Section 24 of Provincial Ordinance 2008-10, “[The] Province shall impose a tax of 10 percent of the local fair market value per cubic meter for all ordinary stones, sand, gravel, earth and other quarry resources extracted within the territorial jurisdiction of the Province of Cebu.”

According to Provincial Treasurer Roy Salubre, based on their computation, DMC and PMSC need to pay the Province P726,923.077 for the 7,000 metric tons of dolomite the firms had already shipped to Manila for the rehabilitation of the Manila Bay. (ANV / PJB)


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