February 28, 2020
Photos of joint inspection, monitoring and apprehension of illegal SAG/quarry operations in Ormoc City and Albuera, Leyte
MGB-08 to prosecute violators of illegal SAG operations in Ormoc City and Albuera, Leyte
Following the result of the joint inspection, monitoring and apprehension on the reported illegal sand and gravel (SAG) extraction and quarry operations in Ormoc City and Albuera, Leyte by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Environmental Management Bureau and PENRO, Leyte, MGB-08 vouched that it will seriously track down violators and ensure that they will face the corresponding charges involving their acts.
The inspection, monitoring and apprehension conducted in Brgy. Benolho, Albuera, Leyte led to the discovery of the existence of 5 pits with an estimated extent area of about 35.74 hectares. It revealed further that based on average prevailing rate of raw sand and gravel/quarry imposed to permittees in Ormoc City and in the Province of Leyte, the total amount of illegally extracted SAG/Quarry materials reached P240,182,400.00 while the supposed excise tax due to the government (LGUs –Province of Leyte, Municipality of Albuera and Brgy. Albuera, Leyte), was P40,030,400.00.
RD Leo Van Juguan stressed that illegal operators are giving the whole mining industry a bad name. “They are operating at the expense of those operators who are fully compliant with the law and against the government which is entitled to receive the taxes and fees that are due to it,” he added.
Meanwhile, the apprehension team in Brgys. Mabini and Macabug, Ormoc City, caught illegal operators who were transporting SAG materials without the required transport documents and those operating beyond their permit areas.
It has been noted that despite the series of apprehensions and issuance of cease and desist orders (CDOs) by the different Offices of MGB, EMB and CENROs, the illegal extraction activities in the said areas still prevailed.
RD Juguan strongly stated that the illegal operators will face the necessary charges pursuant to the law. He added that MGB-08 will likewise recommend the moratorium on quarrying and SAG extractions through the Local Chief Executives of the LGU-Ormoc City and Province of Leyte, within their administrative jurisdiction.
RD Juguan also maintained that MGB, being the primary mining regulatory body which approves mining and environmental management plans, shall continue to strictly enforce the said approved plans, regularly conduct inspection of extraction and prosecute perpetrators of illegal SAG operations.
“We also humbly ask the support of our stakeholders to help us watch over the mining industry and uphold the concept of inter-generational responsibility in the exploration and utilization of mineral wealth, protection and preservation of biodiversity anchored on the right to a balanced and healthy ecology and in the process promote responsible mining,” said RD Juguan.