DENR okays quarrying resumption

By Catherine Teves

September 28, 2018, 10:13 am

MANILA -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has lifted the suspension on quarrying operations of some companies, which was ordered following the deadly landslide in Naga City, Cebu.

In a press conference Thursday, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu lifted the suspension of quarrying in some areas, saying that the investigation showed there are no communities that may be affected near the quarrying sites.

"I told regional directors concerned to expedite investigation into the matter," Cimatu said during the briefing.

Cimatu earlier ordered the suspension of quarrying in regions I, III, IV-A, V, VII, X, XI and XIII following the twin landslides in Naga City, Cebu and Itogon, Benguet. Some residents in Naga City linked the Sept. 20 landslide to quarrying.

DENR's Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Acting Dir. Wilfredo Moncano enumerated the partial list of firms conducting quarrying operations with lifted suspension.

These are: Holcim Mining and Development Corp., Northern Cement Corp., heirs of Elias Olegario and 19 holders of industrial sand and gravel (ISAG) permits in Region I; Holcim Mining and Development Corp., Republic Cement, Eagle Cement and six ISAG permit holders in Region III; Republic Cement and Lafarge Holcim Aggregates Corp. in Region IV-A; Orophil Stonecraft Corp. in Region V; Holcim Resources and Development Corp. in Region X as well as Holcim Mining and Development Corp. in Region XI.

Moncano said the list would be updated if the investigation into other quarrying operations merits the lifting of the suspension.

The suspension allowed the MGB to assess the danger of quarrying to communities in these areas.

He said reports reaching DENR so far warranted the lifting of the suspension on the initial batch of operations.

Aside from assessing other quarrying operations, he said MGB geologists continue to look into the cause of the Naga City landslide.

In its situation report released Thursday, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said 37 people were reported dead from the landslide. The landslide also injured seven persons while 57 people are still missing, NDRRMC added. (PNA)