Alcoy mayor: We knew dolomite is sold locally
Le Phyllis F. Antojado (The Freeman) - September 13, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Alcoy, Cebu Mayor Michael Angelo Sestoso yesterday said that his town has been aware for 20 years now that Philippine Mining Service Corp. (PMSC) has been locally selling extracted dolomite but has never bothered to ask for its share in the revenues thinking such activity is duly covered by an agreement.

Sestoso said that all the while, he was thinking that the local sale was already part of the permit PMSC secured from the government and in the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA).

“Nagtuo lang pud mi apil na na sila kay dugay naman na sila namaligya ana, nagtuo man mi diri sa Alcoy nga apil na sila pareho sa local ug international. Wala man ta kahibalo nga naa may ordinansa ang province ana,” Sestoso said.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia earlier issued a cease and desist order against Dolomite Mining Corp. and PMSC’s further extraction, processing and selling dolomites to the Manila Bay. This after the governor learned that the companies did not get a waste disposal permit from the Capitol.

Sestoso is set to meet with officials from DMC and PMSC next week.

“Atong hangyon nga siguro nga motoo lang ta sa ordinansa sa probinsya para wala tay problema ug dili mabalda ang inyong pagbaligya sa local,” Sestoso said.

The mayor also confirmed that they did not get any share from the domestic sale of dolomites from the mining firms.

Garcia earlier urged Alcoy to speak up regarding the issue since the two firms are operating in the town.

The governor said she does not want another Naga landslide to happen in the province.

‘Immoral’ project

Meanwhile, two Cebu youth groups are calling for the stoppage of Manila Bay project by starting an online petition for it.

Youth Claim, a youth environmental organization in Cebu, slammed the mining of dolomite here and shipping it to beautify the Manila Bay.

“The white sand project in Manila Bay is a white elephant. Most Filipinos are currently struggling financially, their health at risk and many were left jobless. Thus the P389 million budget allocated for Manila Bay beautification is not just impractical but also immoral,” said Youth Claim spokesperson Crisell Añabeza.

Youth Claim’s members include college students and community youth in Cebu and advocates for climate justice.

Añabeza, a college student, said in a statement that such project entails risk not just to the public health but also to the environment.

“I am just concerned about the damage it will cause to the terrestrial environment of Alcoy after extracting all those dolomite and to Manila Bay once it’s been filled up with crushed dolomite,” she said.

The Cebu chapter of Partido Manggagawa-Kabataan (PM-Kabataan), the youth wing of the militant labor group Partido Manggagawa, also criticized the use of dolomite for the project.

“The budget for the Manila Bay beautification could have benefited some 78,000 families had it been distributed as ayuda of P5,000 per newly unemployed worker. Or could have been use in purchasing of gadgets, printing learning modules, providing internet connections which are essential in this new setup of learning,” said Jonel Labrador of PM-Kabataan in Cebu.

Both groups said that they are concerned that the white beach project is environmentally destructive to Manila Bay and Alcoy, where the dolomite is being sourced. — Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon/KQD (FREEMAN)

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