CEBU - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Central Visayas on Tuesday inspected the marine ecosystem of Alcoy town in Cebu to check the effects of dolomite extraction.
Alcoy Mayor Michael Sestoso said the heavy siltation of the town's seawater was due to the mining of crushed dolomites that had accumulated over time.
He said though that the mining of dolomite rocks for Manila Bay's beautification project did not had any effect on the local environment.
Dolomite mining, Sestoso said, has become a source of livelihood for locals.
"Seventy to 80 percent of the employees of the dolomite mining is from the town of Alcoy," he said.
The mayor appealed to the provincial government to allow the mining companies to operate because it helped boost the town's economy.
For now, Sestoso said exportation of crushed dolomite is allowed, while selling of the rocks to locals has stopped.
"The dolomite is exported to the countries of Japan, China, Taiwan and South Korea," he said.
An inspection conducted by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) showed the town's corals and seabed had turned white due to heavy siltation.
Cebu province is considering filing charges against 2 mining firms involved in the production of crushed dolomite over their non-compliance with local tax ordinances and requirements.
Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia earlier ordered the Philippine Mining Service Corporation and the Dolomite Mining Corporation to halt their operations.
The governor will allow the companies to resume their operations once they pay local taxes and secure a waste disposal permit as marine biologists are set to examine the supposed damage their mining caused to nearby bodies of water, according to Cebu provincial board member Jimbo Borgonia.
Courtesy of Cebu Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office
- With a report from DX Lapid