Aug 8, 2017

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Quarry suspension along Sacobia River extended for another week

The Provincial Board led by Governor Lilia “Nanay” Pineda and Vice-Governor Dennis “Delta” Pineda together with the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) Board during the Rapid Assessment Report on the Identification of Geohazards and Potential Quarry Areas in Sacobia River, Clark Special Economic Zone held at the CDC Board Room. (Photo by: Jun Jaso, PIO)

CLARK FREEPORT – The provincial government headed by Governor Lilia Pineda, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) led by its President, Vince Dizon and Chairman Jose “Ping” De Jesus and President Noel Manankil of Clark Development Corporation (CDC) decided on Monday to extend the suspension of quarry operations along Sacobia River for another week.

The decision stemmed from the Rapid Assessment Report on the Identification of Geohazards and Potential Quarry Areas in Sacobia River, Clark Special Economic Zone discussed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) during the second joint meeting of CDC and provincial government executives led by Governor Pineda and Vice Governor Dennis “Delta” Pineda held at CDC Conference Room,

In a span of three days, the assessment team concluded that upstream portion of the Sacobia River is dumped with “lahar” deposits.

Engineer Noel Lacadin of MGB disclosed that from Mactan gate of Sacobia River to Station NO. about three kilometers upstream of Sacobia Bridge, the portion of the river is characterized as braided as shown by the presence of island bars containing sand and gravel deposits indicative of deposition.

MGB officials also observed that downstream to Sacobia Bridge, the channel is incised or deeply cut due to desilting or quarrying.

“The depositional nature of this segment causes channel shifting which endangers farm lots and houses with channel erosion, he said.

Governor Pineda expressed an alarming concern on the deposition of lahar materials from the Sacobia Bridge up to Maskup Sabo Dam that may cause possible channel shifting.

“We will suspend the quarrying of the 21 quarry operators here,” she said.

The executives are now keen to create guidelines on which areas to direct quarry activities to prevent unscrupulous looting of sand, scooping much beyond permissible levels.

Also, Provincial Government Environment Environment and Natural Resources Office (PGENRO) Chief Art Punsalan is bent to exert double efforts in monitoring quarry operations to proceed as planned.

It was also agreed that the PGENRO will also put up signage for the no-quarrying zone and violation of this is tantamount to filing of criminal charges before the court of law.

At present, 118 truckers a day acquire sand and gravel that contributes to the massive decrease in the good quality sand being quarried from the Sacobia River.

As agreed, the Provincial government and officials of CDC, BCDA will formulate a desilting plan, policy and guidelines on quarry operation.

Ma. Reina Len Luna