THE increasing application for quarry permits in Negros Occidental can be attributed to the many development projects in the province, a Capitol executive said.

Provincial Legal Officer Jose Maria Valencia said sand and gravel is in-demand because the “infrastructure developments in the province is massive.”

He said the Provincial Government is enforcing stricter procedures in issuing quarry permits as they have caught a quarry operator before using fake coupons.

Valencia said his attention was called recently by Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, telling him they received complaints that the processing of permits is slow.

He explained that the processing is not slow, but an area clearance is still needed from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, pointing out that there are two applicants in one area.

Valencia said they are focusing on the far north and far south.

He said there are those who apply for quarry permit, putting their financial capability and technical know-how, but then they ended up selling the site.

“They violate their intent to apply. So we cancelled the permit,” he said.

Valencia said there are also landowners who are complaining about the effects of quarry on their property.

Fake coupons

Valencia said they are readying the complaint against the quarry operator who used fake coupons.

He said the operator from Kabankalan City tried to settle the case with the provincial government, but the Capitol will push through with the case.

“We’re already preparing the complaint-affidavit to be filed in court. We will not settle because there’s no basis to settle,” he said.

For violation of the Provincial Tax Ordinance, P15,000 penalty will be imposed on the first offense, fine and possible suspension of the permit on second offense, and cancellation of the permit on third offense.

Valencia said the quarry operator who has 300 fake coupons owe P45 million to the province per tax ordinance, adding that there’s a cease and desist order on the quarry operation.

Earlier, Lacson said the Provincial Government lost about P800,000 in revenues due to the fake coupons used by the quarry operator.