Iloilo City – Regional Director Leo Van V. Juguan of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Regional Office 6, Department of Environment and Natural Resources said that the MGB and the DENR are one with the provincial government of Iloilo in its resolve to strengthen the regulation of quarrying activities in the province.
RD Juguan said that the strict monitoring and regulation of any mining including quarrying activities is coherent with the pronouncements of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) concerning mining. As we know, protecting our watersheds, rivers, forests, and aquatic resources is one of the major concerns of our President, Juguan said.
The provincial government of Iloilo recently spearheaded the creation of an inter-agency committee that would assess the identified critical areas affected by over-extraction of quarry resources. National government agencies particularly the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), DENR, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) and Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) will form the interagency task force to assist the Province of Iloilo in carrying out the assessment.
The results of the assessment will give the provincial government of Iloilo the basis for possible actions such as suspension or cancellation of existing permits that have violations. Declaring a moratorium on the issuance of new permits is also being considered if necessary to protect our rivers, RD Juguan said.
Protecting the rivers of the province of Iloilo by strictly regulating quarry operations will send the message to the industry that the government is serious in implementing its regulations. Reiterating the President’s statements, the role of the local government in monitoring mining operations within their territorial jurisdictions “without fear or favor” is very important to prevent the reckless and unwarranted destruction of the environment due to mining activities. (MGB RO 6, DENR)