Alcoy corals ‘damaged’ by crushed dolomite
Le Phyllis F. Antojado (The Freeman) - September 23, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The marine ecosystem in Barangay Pugalo in Alcoy town, southern Cebu was damaged due to heavy siltation caused by the extraction of dolomite rocks, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENRO) said.

PENRO, in a report, said corals within the 500 meters of the village’s waters were damaged due to heavy siltation caused by crushed dolomite that fell into the sea during its transfer to bulk carrier vessels by a conveyor belt.

The heavy siltation, PENRO said, has caused the corals and the seabed to turn white.

The PENRO made the aerial survey and inspection following the transport of crushed dolomite to Manila for the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

Alcoy Mayor Michael Sestoso said he has no personal knowledge of the reported damage.  The mayor has yet to receive a copy of the said report.

If the corals were destroyed, he said, it would be best to ask assistance from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

“We will request the help of DENR (officials) because they are the ones that have the expertise when it comes to the marine ecosystem,” Sestoso told reporters in yesterday’s telephone conference.

Taxes

In a report by Sugbo News, the Capitol-ran news portal, the province has obtained the work program for the extraction of dolomite in Alcoy.

The document, it said, showed conflicting numbers as against the actual production.

Based on their initial computation, Provincial treasurer Roy Salubre Dolomite Mining Corp. (DMC) and Philippine Mining Services Corp. (PMSC) should pay P726,923.077 to the province for the 7,000 tons of synthetic fine sand (dolomite) shipped to Manila.

On September 8, the provincial government stopped the further extraction, selling and transport of dolomite, associated mineral deposits and other quarry resources locally.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia issued a cease-and-desist order (CDO) against DMC and PMSC.

But the governor clarified that the provincial government was not against DENR’s “white sand” project.

"Let me reiterate. We are not against the Manila Bay beach nourishment project. Wa mi mag apil-apil ana because you (DENR) would always nourish the beach by getting your resources elsewhere. But you are getting resources from the Province supplied by DMC, extracted by DMC, and under the provincial ordinance, our Tax Code, they are supposed to pay 10 percent of the fair market value of the quarry resource,” she said. — KQD (FREEMAN)

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