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50% of quarries in Albay have no permits – BM Rosal

LEGAZPI CITY, June 18, 2016 (Bicol Standard) -- A rookie board member of Albay province wants government quarrying permits to be reviewed immediately following rumors of discrepancies in their issuances.

Raul Rosal
Newly-elected provincial legislator Raul Rosal said that it was about time to verify reports that he received regarding the status of these permits.

According to information he received from sources he did not identify, about half of those involved in quarrying operations in the province do not have the necessary government permits.

If that is the case, according to Rosal, Albay may have been losing millions in revenue for the past several years.

The law-maker however refused to play the blame game when prodded how these operations were able to exist during the past administration.

Rosal, who now chairs the Committee on Environment at the Sanggunian Panlalawigan, revealed that majority of these operations are in the First and Third Districts of the province.

Although he refused to name them, law-maker explained that some of these quarrying operators are big companies while most of the others are individuals.

The lawmaker said that he had already sent fact-finding teams to ascertain the truth behind the reports he received.

In line with his query, he plans to request the Gov. Al Francis Bichara to issue a moratorium to all quarrying activities in Albay while an investigation is going on.

In addition, he will also be asking for additional checkpoints against the transport of quarried materials.

In a recent radio interview, Rosal gave a stern warning to all those involved in illegal quarrying operations to stop immediately or face the consequences.

He threatened to name the culprits publicly and file cases against them if they do not heed his call.

Rosal asked that he be given a couple of weeks before he concludes his probe.

He also promised to look into several environmental issues like the rehabilitation of the former mining site in Rapurapu Island, several mining explorations and the alleged illegal black sand mining in the province.

The board member is a brother of Legazpi City mayor Noel Rosal and is also the chair of the Committee on Ways and Means of the provincial council. (JOEY B. GARALDE)

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