MGB halts quarry ops in Bicol

Guillermo A. Molina

LEGAZPI CITY (Bicol Standard) – Eight teams composed of 48 personnel from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region V were dispatched to conduct a rapid assessment of the quarry sites in the six provinces of Bicol.

This was revealed by MGB-V OIC Regional Director Guillermo A. Molina in an interview by Bicol Standard.

Molina said they received a memorandum from the central office that instructed them to temporarily cease and desist quarry operations pending assessment as to whether the operators have religiously complied with the applicable laws and regulations on the matter.

The memorandum was issued as an offshoot of the recent landslides recorded in Naga City, Cebu and Itogon, Benguet.

The memorandum was received yesterday, Sept. 25, Molina said.

In response, he called for a meeting of the concerned LGUs to disseminate the information.

“The memorandum covers all permits within the jurisdiction of the MGB Region V, including those issued by the local government units,” he explained.

Molina also said that MGB has issued only three permits, namely for a quarry that manufactures cement in Camalig, Albay, another for UVS Marketing in Legazpi City, and a perlite quarry at Barangay Antipolo, Baao, Camarines Sur.

No less than 141 quarries were issued permits in Bicol, according the reports coming from the different LGUs.

Molina said he shortened the rapid assessment period from 15 days to a week to allow those quarries which have no violations to continue their operation.

This early, the regional office has been receiving verbal reports that some contractors are apprehensive of the order because it may affect their business.

Molina added that they also perceive that the memorandum may lead to a decreased supply of cement from Camalig, Albay.

He pointed out that quarrying materials from Albay are brought to other parts of the country, including Masbate and Cebu.

He assured the quarry operators that their team is working round-the-clock to expedite the assessment.