ENVIRONMENT and Natural Resources officer Engineer Max Sillo said Thursday the quarry operators in Barangay Alangilan have complied with all environmental laws in their application for the renewal of their quarry permits. 

Sillo said the City Mining Regulatory Board issued a resolution which endorsed to the City Mayor the issuance of quarry permits to Jojo Bonnin and Michael Lawrence Bantug.


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Based on the Mining Act and City Ordinance 318, the applicants have complied with the environmental requirements to operate a quarry in the said barangay. 


"My office and the concerned environment offices have evaluated and assessed the applications on site and on the documents submitted. The two applicants, Bonnin and Bantug, have complied with the environmental requirements," Sillo said. 


Now, the decision for the issuance of the quarry permits rests on the office of Bacolod City Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia.


The three controversial quarry operators, Bonnin, Bantug, and Allan Joseph Arceo, emphasized that they complied with the existing laws and ordinances relative to the quarry operation. 

However, only Arceo was able to obtain a renewal of his quarry operation in the private family-owned 5-hectare property in Purok 11, Barangay Alangilan. His permit to operate the quarry business runs until 2013. 


Arceo presented proof that, due to the mitigating measures that they have instituted, there was no destruction to the environment arising out of their quarry business.


The Environment department’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau has also conducted a hydrological study of the quarry sites and the study showed that the quarry had no effect on the ground water, Arceo said.  


“We're good and responsible businessmen and we will not do anything that will harm the environment, particularly our own private properties," he added. 


The quarry operators said that they have contributed to the development of the barangay and the city as a whole.

Even businessman Vladimir Gonzalez "gets quarry materials from us for more than a year. He even brought his backhoe to our quarry site," Arceo said.  


He also said that most land marks in Canada were used to be quarries. They have put ex-quarries into good use. Quarries have direct contributions to the development of the place from roads, homes, buildings, bridges, churches, malls, among others. 


Fr. Ray Farley Santillan, the parish priest of the Most Holy Rosary Church in Alangilan, had even recognized the importance of the quarry, citing the priest’s numerous requests for volcanic soil from Arceo for the construction of the church in the area. 


Arceo showed Santillan's letter asking for truckloads of volcanic soil. The three of them all honored his request. All the deliveries of truckloads of volcanic soil are supported with delivery receipts.

Arceo said the issue over quarry operations boils down to the Environment department, which is authorized to determine responsible quarrying.

“Let us accept DENR’s (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) findings, endorsing our quarry operation by giving us the permits,” he added. (Carla N. Cañet)