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Subang Daku Quarrying remains hot issue

SLT 1247

January 13-19, 2024

SOUTHERN LEYTE – The Eastern Visayas Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has intensified its campaign against illegal quarrying by deputizing 688 mining enforcement officers since last year, who were ordered to monitor unlawful quarrying activities.
These deputized officers are task force enforcers, policemen, village officials and selected local government employees who are tasked to ensure that operators extract the allowed volume of sand and gravel in specified areas, according to MGB Eastern Visayas regional director Glenn Marcelo Noble.
The MGB has also deputized officers from Southern Leyte and Northern Samar provincial governments, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources regional enforcement division, and the Environmental Management Bureau regional office.
The reported towns and cities in Region 8 known for quarrying activities are Sogod, Southern Leyte; Javier, Barugo, Jaro, Babatngon, MacArthur, Tunga, Albuera, Alangalang, Ormoc City, and Baybay City in Leyte; Kawayan, Biliran; and Catbalogan City.
The deputized officers are authorized to investigate violations of mining laws, rules and regulations, and any violations of Republic Act 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. They can apprehend and seize tools, equipment and conveyances used in illegal mining, including all mineral products illegally extracted, hauled and possessed by the offender, and to file criminal complaints.
Extensive extraction of sand and gravel in Subang Daku River of Sogod, Southern Leyte has been done since July 1993.
Noting the significance of the big river to Sogod, it underwent a research study by Reoma, Corrompido and Linguaje regarding the water quality of the river, and recommended a policy framework for monitoring Subang Daku river on channeling, quarrying, stone crushing, disposal of animal waste and prevention of ecological disturbances.
In 2014 the Mines and Geoscience Bureau (MGB) suspended the quarrying activities in Subang Daku River, pending compliance to secure approval from the Department of Public Works and Highways; citing the Mining Industry Coordinating Council Resolution “that in the case of river and/or delta dredging activities, the Department of Public Works and Highways shall have direct control and supervision.”
The MGB also emphasized the perennial threat of flooding and similar environmental impacts of quarrying and dredging in Subang Daku River.
Quarrying concerns from the public were still brought out by the municipal planning and development officers of Sogod and Bontoc towns during the focus group discussion of the Stakeholders Consultation: Southern Leyte Landscape held at Kuting Reef last January 10, 2024. (gmr)

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