BACOLOD

Vice guv eyes 2-year stop of quarry operation in Negros Occidental

VICE Governor Jeffrey Ferrer is proposing a two-year stoppage of quarry operations in the province.

Ferrer made the proposal after flash floods hit the province's northern areas early this month.

The vice governor said the stoppage will be made and the Provincial Government will conduct a field inspection and review of all quarries.

If it is found out that these quarries are a major cause of the flooding in the lowland, Ferrer said he will push for the suspension of all quarry operations in Negros Occidental for two years.

He said he and Board Member Andrew Montelibano (3rd district), chairman of the Committee on Environment of the Provincial Board, will lead an inspection team of the Provincial Government.

Montelibano said the inspection will be both aerial and ground inspection.

"There are reports that there are illegal quarries. They will be our target of our inspection," he said.

Montelibano said he received a report that a bridge in the town of Manapla was damaged because of the erosion caused by a quarry located near it.

Those with permits will be made to strictly comply with government regulations, he added.

Montelibano said he plans to start the inspection in two weeks after talking with the personnel of the Provincial Environment Management Office (Pemo) on the technical aspects of the inspection that will be conducted.

There are currently a thousand pending applications for quarry permits at the Pemo, he said.

"I think there is a need to balance the development of our infrastructures and the protection of our river system," he said.

"What will happen is that we build something but we destroy something too," Montelibano added.


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