BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Provincial Environment Management Office said yesterday that the province of Negros Occidental did not issue a Governor’s Permit covering areas within the Central Philippine State University in Kabankalan City, adding that it will not tolerate illegal quarrying activities in its area of jurisdiction.
The clarification was made by PEMO in connection with the quarry operations in Brgy. Tagucon, Kabankalan City.
The PEMO said the Governor’s Permit was issued only to Riza Pisuena, Lorenzo Pisuena Jr., and a special permit for Barangay Tagucon, and the areas covered in the permits are all outside of the reservation area of CPSU Kabankalan.
It said that CPSU president, Aladino Moraca, communicated with them on his complaints against a certain Mr. Uy, who was conducting an extraction activity in the CPSU reservation area last month.
After conducting a ground validation of CPSU’s boundary along Ilog River, the PEMO said it found out that the permitted areas in Brgy. Tagucon are outside the reservation area of the school. No extraction activity was found in the permitted areas of Liza and Lorenzo Pisuena Jr., it added.
However, illegal extraction was discovered along the applied area of Jonathan Polido, an applicant for Industrial Sand and Gravel (ISAG) permit located 100 meters from the approved permit of Brgy. Tagucon. The PEMO said it issued a notice of violation to Polido for operating without a Governor’s Permit, which constitutes illegal sand and gravel extraction.
PEMO also said that it discovered that the area applied for by Joettery Uy for an ISAG permit cuts across a portion of the CPSU reservation area in Sitio Minaluwa, Brgy. Tagucon, and he was advised to secure a prior written clearance from the school.
In following up the complaint of Moraca, PEMO said it discovered on March 23 that a backhoe and several hauler trucks with stationary screen for sand and gravel materials were deployed in the area, and traces of extraction were noted.
PEMO identified the owner of the equipment as MT Binai Builders, represented by Uy, and this prompted the agency to issue a notice of violation against him on March 30.
The provincial government of Negros Occidental stands firm on its commitment for a healthy and sustainable environment under the Abanse Negrense agenda, the PEMO also said.
Moraca said earlier that illegal quarrying in the CPSU reserve area caused P5 million worth of destruction to the environment.
With the help of PEMO and the city government, Moraca said they were able to stop the quarry operations that destroyed the terrain in the area.
CPSU has a total reservation area of 4,653 hectares, which, he said, “should be protected for a lifetime”.*