Saturday, July 31, 2021

Ban on dolomite export remains, says governor

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia. (File photo)

THE Cebu Provincial Government has confirmed that the fresh cover of dolomite sand that was recently poured at the Manila Bay “white sand beach” came from the southern town of Alcoy.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu had asked her to approve the shipment of additional dolomite sand to finish the Manila Bay rehabilitation project. That’s why she allowed it, she said.

However, Garcia said she set a limit on the volume of dolomite sand and pebbles that could be shipped to the national capital.

The governor also clarified that she did not lift the cease and desist order (CDO) that she issued against the sale and export of dolomite anywhere in the country.

“I did not lift that (CDO). We gave an exception upon the request of Secretary Cimatu because they needed to finish the Manila Bay project,” the governor said on Monday, April 19, 2021.

Garcia, in a letter to DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones dated last December, said the Province would allow the shipment of 8,600 cubic meters of two-five millimeters size dolomite sand 6,600 cubic meters of 10-22 millimeters size dolomite pebbles from the Dolomite Mining Corp. in Alcoy “to expedite the completion of the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.”

During the conference at the Capitol on Monday, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Rodel Bontuyan said three metric tons of dolomite were shipped to Manila in February and another three metric tons in March.

He said they’re looking at sending another shipment this month.

Meanwhile, the governor said the Philippine Mining Service Corp. (PMSC), which processes the mined dolomite, has yet to settle the P1.9 billion in taxes it owes the Provincial Government for the volume of minerals it has sold since 2012.

“Wa gihapon (It has yet to pay). I don’t think that it will be settled at the level of that resident manager. He is rather arrogant. Maybe kung (if) this was brought up to the level of the owners basig mas ma-okay (maybe it will be) but that’s their call. Okay ra mi og dili (It’s okay if they don’t),” Garcia said.

The mining firm also has unpaid taxes from 2008 to 2011.

The Province passed an ordinance in 2008, ordering mining firms to pay a 10 percent tax on the fair market value of their mined materials.

Since the ordinance took effect, the PMSC reportedly has yet to pay its tax dues. (ANV / PJB)


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