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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Phividec chief halts quarry operations

TAGOLOAN, Misamis Oriental (PIA)–Phividec Industrial Authority Administrator Jose Gabriel “Pompee” La Viña yesterday issued a cease and desist order to halt the quarry activities within the Phividec Estate.

The said move was made to protect the residents that are currently living along the riverside of Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

According to La Viña, the five identified quarry firms shall no longer be allowed to operate within the PHIVIDEC estate nor be allowed to use its road.

“My aim is to protect the people who are living along the riverside of Tagolaon; that is the reason why I will shut down the quarry operation within the said area through the issuance of the cease and desist order,” he said.

La Viña’s decision to stop all the quarry operations was based on the intelligence report he received complete with pictures and videos of the quarry operation sites. Though these quarry firms had permits from the provincial government of Misamis Oriental, they failed to secure the necessary permits from his office.

Besides, those quarry firms already went beyond their allotted allowable quarry area.

The problem of quarry activities within the states could be traced back as early as the 1990s but was not stopped by the previous administration.

“Weeks after I was appointed as the PHIVIDEC Administrator by President Rodrigo Duterte, I immediately planned to close the quarry operations and prohibition to use the PHIVIDEC roads to the quarry operators,” he told the media.

To stop the quarry operations took a while because La Viña and his PHIVIDEC legal team had to study the legalities of the action to take against the said operators. La Viña also cited that the legal basis they used to stop the quarry operations was Presidential Decree (PD) 538, which created the PHIVIDEC.

“It took a while because we studied the law if PHIVIDEC has the rights to close [quarry]. “What legal options do we have? We investigated if the reports are true, and you can see our intelligence [report] is complete with photos and videos regarding that matter,” he maintained.

Laviña is firm in his decision to have a zero quarry activity within the estates and to protect not just the PHIVIDEC area,which had already lost 70 hectares of its 3,000-hectare property from years of quarrying but also to protect the people of Tagoloan from any future disaster and calamities that the illegal quarry may bring.

He maintained that they are ready to defend their rights all the way to the supreme court if necessary. (JAKA/PIA10)

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