DENR lifts quarry ban in non-residential areas

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A quarry in Rodriguez, Rizal. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 27) — Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Thursday lifted the suspension on quarrying by most mining companies in non-residential areas in the country.

This would mean that ninety percent of the companies that were suspended after Typhoon Ompong caused a number of landslides could resume operations.

These companies are located in La Union, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Zambales, Batangas, Rizal, Camarines Sur, Misamis Oriental, Iligan City and Davao City.

“There are no communities around the quarry sites na ma-a-affect in case na may landslide,” Cimatu explained.

He said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez called and told him that the quarrying suspension could raise prices of construction materials.

The Environment Secretary explained that they had anticipated this possibility, and this was the reason the suspension was only for a maximum of fifteen days.

The remaining 10 percent of suspended quarrying operations include the site in Naga City, Cebu where a recent landslide that killed 72 happened.

Cimatu said quarrying in this site would remain suspended until further assessment.

“Kasi nauna itong quarry na ito sa community. Isolated yung quarry site dati but naglipatan yung community because of the workers, kaya naging vulnerable itong nasa Naga,” he said.

(Translation: The quarry was there before the community was built. The site was isolated, but the workers moved there and built a community. That’s why Naga became vulnerable.)

The latest death toll in the Naga City, Cebu landslide is 65, with 21 people still missing and 18 injured.