Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on Tuesday issued a cease and desist order against two mining companies in the southern town of Alcoy, stopping the extraction of dolomites used in the Manila Bay nourishment project.
Garcia signed Executive Order No. 25 ordering Dolomite Mining Corporation (DMC) and Philippine Mining Service Corporation (PMSC) to “immediately cease and desist from further extracting, processing, selling, and transporting of dolomite, associated mineral deposits, and other quarry resources”.
The order, she said, was “to further prevent more damage to the terrestrial environment in the Municipality of Alcoy,” claiming that the activities of the companies that undertook the extraction and transport of dolomites to Manila are not covered with Environmental Impact Study as mandated under Proclamation No. 2146.
“The Provincial Government of Cebu, and even the Municipality of Alcoy, was not informed of the beautification project nor was there any public consultation held before the issuance of the two OTPs (ore transport permits) to PMSC for the transport of said dolomite rocks from Cebu to Manila,” she said in the order.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-7) in Central Visayas confirmed they issued two OTPs to the PMSC.
The OTPs allowed the company to transport seven wet metric tons of dolomite to Manila to be used for a Manila Bay beautification project.
Garcia, however, said issuance of such OTPS to the mining firm, PMSC, was without proper notice to the Alcoy municipality, noting that the absence of public consultation “clearly lacks transparency” on the part of MGB and the mining firms.
She said it violated Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order 2010-21 which defines the role of an LGU in ensuring compliance with “public notice, public consultation and public participation”.
“The absence of Environmental Impact Study is a clear and blatant violation of DENR Administrative Order No. 2003-30, the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Presidential Decree No. 1586, establishing the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System,” she added.
The governor also invoked the constitutional principle of “balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony with nature” in issuing the order.
She asked the Alcoy LGU, the police and the military to assist the provincial government in implementing the cease and desist order.
DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda on Thursday last week said the crushed dolomite boulders overlaid on the beach area of Manila Bay came from Cebu and were already crushed before being brought to the capital.
The project, Antiporda said, “will serve as a campaign for the people to tell them that it’s about time we take care of our environment and maintain cleanliness, because, as DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu believes, the current pandemic is connected to our being neglectful (of) our environment”. (PNA)