City Councilor Peter Maristela has sought a formal inquiry on the reported illegal quarrying activity in Barangay Inagawan Subcolony and a reclamation project in Barangay Luzviminda by a private company. The twin issues have been jointly raised by the Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC) and barangay officials, claiming the activities were illegal and had no proper permits.
Maristela said he will ask the City Council Secretariat to invite in a question hour the city government officials and private individuals who are involved in those issues raised by the Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC) last week.
“We have to be responsive to what we read or hear, especially when it comes to concerns about our environment. These are public concerns that should be addressed by the City government and thus need to be tackled at the City Council,” he told Palawan News.
The Inagawan Subcolony’s Barangay Council and the ELAC have called on the City government to stop the alleged operation of illegal quarrying in a critical river area in Sitio Tacduan by private contractor BCT Trading and Construction.
Barangay Councilor Hernando Dancil had claimed that instead of their proposal to dredge a river in Purok Otso so they could have aggregates for the rehabilitation of their feeder roads, the private contractor went on to dredge a river in Tacduan.
Based on delivery receipts, Dancil said around 203 truckloads of gravel and sand had been hauled from the area between March 28 to April 26.
Atty. Grizelda Mayo-Anda, executive director of ELAC, echoed the barangay council’s appeal and urged the city government to stop the alleged illegal quarrying, especially as there is an existing 20-year quarrying moratorium imposed in 2010 in the city that has not been lifted.
Anda said they may pursue legal action against local businessman William Tan, owner of the William Tan Enterprises, Inc., for allegedly reclaiming a large seagrass area for a barge docking facility in Barangay Luzviminda without proper permits.
The pier, she stressed, cannot be established in the core zone-classified area as it has important mangroves and seagrass beds that are productive ecosystems. She said the reclamation has placed the diverse community of marine animals that depend on these ecosystems for shelter and food.
Anda asserted the project has to be stopped as she claimed it has no full-blown environmental impact assessment and environmental compliance certificate from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, as well as no reclamation permit from the Philippine Reclamation Authority.