This article was published in The Manila Times on October 26, 2013.
ANTIPOLO CITY: The Rizal provincial government issued a moratorium on the approval of applications by any mining company to perform quarrying and mining activities in the province.
In Resolution 223 passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) in October, the government also urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to freeze large-scale mining and quarrying operations in the province.
Government officials here recognized that existing quarry operations in the province are “deemed sufficient in number,” thus, additional quarry activities could cause further “siltation in waterways, flooding and surface run-off and soil erosion that would impair our health, safety and economy.”
The government passed the said resolution in accordance to the Local Government Code of 1991, particularly under Section 468 (a)(1)(vi) where “the SP shall protect the environment and impose appropriate penalties for acts which endangered the environment . . . such as activities which result in pollution, destruction of rivers and lakes, or of ecological imbalance.”
Before that decree was passed, the DENR on October 18, 1994 issued Memorandum 21, declaring a moratorium on similar activities in Antipolo City.
Gov. Rebecca Ynares of Rizal gave a copy of Resolution 223 after a courtesy call with reporters in the provincial capitol here on Thursday.
“We will not allow na kumikita sila, tapos may mapipinsala pala,” she said, referring to mining companies.
Tree cutting, mining ‘strongly opposed’
Besides the said declaration, Rizal SP also issued Resolution 222 which expressed the provincial government’s strong opposition on the alleged tree-cutting in an area in the town of Angono by Batong Angono Aggregates Corp. (BAAC), a subsidiary of multinational company Lafarge Republic Inc. (LRI), which was first featured in The Manila Times.
An employee of Angono municipal hall previously told The Manila Times that BAAC was planning to cut about 6,500 trees in an area in Barangay San Isidro in the town to expand its quarry operations.
But Angono mayor Gerardo Calderon and Ynares both contested the said plan. The group “Save 6400 Angono Trees Movement” was also formed against BAAC’s proposal.
Meanwhile, LRI defended that after their inspection in the target area together with Angono town and barangay officials, the 5,600 trees that were inventoried would only be relocated in surrounding areas because most of them were not fully grown. The company, it added, would also plant 50 seedlings for each affected tree.
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