Desiltation Program Will Restore Back "Mother Nature" Says Gov. Tony Cerilles
‘Pursuant to DENR Administrative Order 99, the Provincial Government of Zamboanga del Sur as enacted through a resolution by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board) has the authority to manage, monitor, regulate, and collect proceeds from all quarry operations in the whole province”, this is the strong statement of Governor Antonio Cerilles in response to all queries of several people who were affected by the alleged shortage of sand and gravel aggregates for construction purposes in the province.
Based on the clamor through complaint letters addressed to the DENR Secretary from the concerned citizens in 3 Municipalities namely Dumingag, Mahayag, and Labangan on the destruction paved by the illegal quarry operations backed by local officials that devastated the area of extractions to include private properties and entities as well as the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and irrigators associations has called the attention of the Provincial Government to do its obligation and lawful duty to protect the welfare of the people and the environment as mandated by Law in issuing full stoppage order of all illegal quarry operations province-wide.
Pursuant to Republic Act 7942, also known as Philippine Mining Act of 1995 section 103 and under the Revenue Code of Zamboanga del Sur, the said quarry operation of the said municipalities committed violation on environmental laws, rules and regulations. There were also no permit issued from the assigned agency and based on the records from Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region 9, there was no area clearance issued in favor to any individual on said areas.
Based on the field investigation made by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan together with the Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (LENRO) and line agencies on the issue, they confirmed that the complaint was valid, justifiable and subject to action, they immediately passed a resolution asking the Provincial Governor to issue a stoppage order to all illegal quarry operations in the municipality of Dumingag and to all illegal quarry sites through Resolution No. 351-2017.
“There is still enough supply of aggregates to cater our local buyers but the Provincial Government will be the one who will manage the legal aggregate extractions and utilizing our equipment and work force to facilitate the operation”, contrary to the reports that there are no available sand and gravel for sale but it is now under the management of the Provincial Government taken from the provincial industrial quarry sites through desiltation procedure to rehabilitate the devastated areas, he emphasized.
“As of today, the Provincial Government’s sand and gravel operation as a local economic enterprise has generated Php 2,216,000 revenue in just less than two months”, to which the collection from the sand and gravel operation in the past is only 4 million a year, he said.
“These revenues will be used for implementing more infrastructure projects and development programs that will benefit the public”. “And for those individuals especially those public officials who are behind the illegal quarry operations who only serve their self-interests and has cause damage to the environment will be sued and brought to justice for their unlawful acts”, he concluded.
DENR Administrative Order No. 2000 – 99 or the Amendments to Sections 134-136 of DENR Administrative Order No. 96-40, the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 7942, otherwise known as the “Philippine Mining Act of 1995”was realized on December 21, 2000 under the leadership of former DENR Secretary Antonio Cerilles now Zamboanga del Sur Governor of the past Estrada administration.