MANILA - Albay Governor Al Bichara said Wednesday he would suspend quarrying operations in the province to make way for government's investigation after erstwhile Super Typhoon Rolly's devastation.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu had ordered the suspension of quarrying operations around Mayon Volcano after initial investigation showed some of the quarry operators left their stockpiles in the middle of the rivers, which were then washed away by floodwaters and submerged houses.
The world's strongest storm this year left at least 10 dead in the province, officials earlier said.
Bichara earlier claimed the debris and boulders that Rolly swept into a community in Guinobatan town were from the top of Mayon Volcano and not from quarry stockpiles.
"Normally kailangan ng official communication. Ako ayaw ko na pagtalunan, mas malaki ang problema namin rito. Balak ko isuspinde muna para magimbestiga muna sila," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(Normally we need official communication. I don't want to argue about it, we have bigger problems here. I plan to suspend quarrying operations so they can investigate.)
Authorities have cleared the province's national highways to make way for relief operations and its airport do not have any damage, Bichara said.
Bichara appealed to national government for funding as its budget has already been depleted by the COVID-19 pandemic and Typhoon Quinta, which hit the province last week.