By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson is calling for a review of all quarry permits as part of efforts to find solutions to the flooding plaguing the province’s low lying areas recently.
Lacson said the review will be in coordination with all concerned local government units to “determine if it contributes to the flooding.”
The governor’s statement came after two massive flash floods hit northern Negros Occidental – the first one was on New Year’s Day and the latest was on Friday night, January 8.
The floods forced the evacuation of thousands of residents from Talisay City in the third district all the way up to Escalante City in the first district.
The flash floods triggered by hours of moderate to heavy rains brought by thunderstorms caused floodwaters to reach neck-high in some barangays in the district.
The flooding also affected some areas in Bacolod City.
Earlier, Lacson noted that with the construction boom in Negros Occidental and in Bacolod City, there has been an increase in quarrying for sand and gravel.
He said it only means progress in Negros Occidental, adding “and we can see that with the construction of more hotels, condominiums and public works such as road.”
Lacson said there is also a need for serious maintenance work on waterways to mitigate flooding.
Because many areas are now made with concrete and impermeable materials, the governor said there is limited ground for water to sink in when there is a heavy rain.
“There should be no conflict between economic growth and protection of the environment,” he added.
Lacson also appealed to Negrenses to follow proper waste disposal, otherwise the flooding will happen again./DGB, WDJ