Following concerns recently voiced by the National Economic and Development Authority-Region VI (NEDA-6) surrounding the risks posed to major infrastructure projects in Iloilo by quarrying activity, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Region VI (DENR-6) responded, saying the Iloilo provincial government can be its own quarry operator.
“The Iloilo provincial government can extract and then sell the sand or gravel,” said DENR-6 Director Jim Sampulna.
According to NEDA-6 Director Ro-Ann Bacal, erosion and the degradation of the riverbed caused by quarrying endangers the National Irrigation Administration-Region VI (NIA-6) diversion dam in Leon, the Suage Bridge in Janiuay, and the Jalaur Bridge in Calinog.
The agency claims an excessive number of permits have been issued by the provincial government.
It was previously reported, after NEDA-6 consulted the matter with Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr., along with officials from DENR-6, the Department of Public Works and Highways-Region VI, and NIA-6, the governor said he is considering the issuance of a moratorium on quarrying.
Meanwhile, a rapid assessment of the situation is also being recommended, with technical assistance from Environmental Management Bureau-Region VI (EMB-6), the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Region VI (MGB-6), and DENR-6./WDJ