LGU collects P17.6 million from SAG extraction

Mayor Richard Gomez talks to sand and gravel concessionaires during an inspection of rivers in Ormoc in a December 2016 photo.      Lalaine Jimenea

LGU collects P17.6 million from SAG extraction

Lalaine Jimenea (The Philippine Star) - January 22, 2018 - 12:00am

ORMOC CITY  , Philippines  —  Being one of the best sources for sand and gravel in the Visayas, this city’s environment and natural resources division (ENRD) saw 2017 as its banner year after collecting P17.6 million in fees from only two rivers.

The amount is more than double its 2016 collection of P6.4 million.

Mayor Richard Gomez said the revenues from sand and gravel (SAG) extraction would compensate for the damage the operation is causing to rivers, communities and infrastructure like roads, which bear the weight of heavy haulers.

“The city has been spending so much repairing our roads which these SAG concessionaires are using and they were only paying a pittance in the past. Under my administration, they should pay the right fees,” Gomez said.

Gomez, who took over as mayor in mid-2016, has suspended extraction operations in several rivers pending rehabilitation and increased the extraction fees in areas where it is allowed.

He stressed that the “rape of Ormoc’s resources must stop” after learning that the government was earning very little despite a construction boom on the island and in nearby Cebu.

Ormoc, which has 25 registered SAG concessionaires, is one of Cebu’s main sources of sand and gravel for the construction of malls and condominium buildings.

Records at the ENRD office revealed that the government was able to collect an average of P5.1 million for the years 2013 to 2016.

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