MINERVA BC NEWMAN
CEBU CITY — Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu ordered the suspension of the mining and mineral processing operations of Dolomite Mining Corporation (DMC) and Philippine Mining Service Corporation(PMSC) respectively in Alcoy, Cebu during his sites inspections at the ship loading facility on Sept. 24 after the Provincial Government of Cebu in a report from Knight Stewards of the Sea claiming thatthe extraction of dolomite rocks from Cebu’s Alcoy town allegedly damaged the coral reef.
“We have to suspend all its operations to give way for the investigation and pending the results of the water quality monitoring, coral reef assessment, and ambient air quality and other possible violations on environmental laws, rules and regulations being conducted by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB),” Cimatu said in a media statement Friday.
According to DENR-7 that a team from EMB-7 collected water samples from the ship loading facility to determine whether the water quality is within standards pursuant to the Clean Water Actand the ambient air quality was measured.
The order included the suspension of issuance ore transport permit (OTP) for both local and international shipment of dolomite materials by the MGB.
Earlier, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia issued a cease and desist order pursuant to Executive Order No. 25-A for the domestic sale and transport of dolomite used as a sand and gravel substitute.
It can be recalled that on August 26, 2020, MGB-7 Regional Office issued an Ore Transport Permit (OTP) to PMSC to transport 3,500 WMT of processed dolomite (size -5mm) with cargo destination at Manila Integrated Cargo Terminal, Manila City which had been spread along the shoreline of Manila Bay to enhance the aesthetic beauty of the bayfront.
According to DENR-7 that before the site inspection, Cimatu had a meeting with Alcoy Mayor Michael Angelo Sestoso and Vice Mayor Jimmy Abajon, Engr. Antonio Castillo, Senior Manager of Corporate Planning of PMSC with DENR-7, MGB-7 and EMB-7 officials. There was no ongoing mineral processing and ship loading operations at the time of the inspection.
Cimatu with MGB Director Wilfredo Moncano convened the local chief executives, PMSC and DMC representatives and MGB-7 and EMB-7 officials to investigate the allegations or the complaint of the Provincial Government of Cebu and to improve the mining operations here.
It was learned that PMSC has suspended the marketing of dolomite materials to local buyers in compliance to its prior agreement or commitment to the Cebu Provincial Government, the media release said.