Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office director, Police Colonel Romy Palgue, together with the chiefs of police of the towns and cities of the province, paid a traditional New Year’s call on Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson at the provincial capitol yesterday. The governor expressed his trust and confidence to the province’s police, saying the sound coordination and relations between the police force, local government units and the public is imperative not just for the promotion of law, order and public safety, but also for the effective delivery of public services. (Provincial Government of Negros Occidental photo)
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is not recommending the immediate suspension of quarry operations in the northern part of Negros Occidental.
This, after quarrying activities in the area are being suspected as the primary cause of the flash floods experienced in the province’s third district last New Year’s Day and January 8.
In a radio interview, Cindy Ferrer, information officer of the Office of Civil Defense Region VI, said their office as well as the DENR and the Department of Public Works and Highways conducted an aerial assessment in the area last week.
Ferrer said the DENR has recommended to conduct the quarry operations particularly along parts of the river which have a high deposit of sand and gravel.
However, she said the DENR pointed out one of the observations they noticed which may have contributed to the flood is that the rivers have become shallow especially in the low-lying areas.
They also noticed obstructions, stockpiling of sand and gravel, illegal structures, fish ponds, siltations, and sandbars in the mouths of the rivers.
As of the moment there are still no concrete recommendations coming from the said government agencies as to how they could resolve the flooding in the area.
Earlier this week, Negros Occidental Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer proposed a two-year moratorium on quarrying activities in the province.
The vice governor said the stoppage will be made after the provincial government will conduct a field inspection and review of all quarries.
If it is found out that quarries are the major cause of the floodings in the lowland, Ferrer said he will push for the suspension of all quarry operations in the province for two years.
He further added that he along with 3rd district Board Member Andrew Montelibano, chairman of the Committee on Environment of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, will lead an inspection team of the provincial government./DGB, WDJ