BAGAC, Bataan: The construction of a bigger and better wharf here for next year’s Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) meeting may be delayed because of a simple misunderstanding.
Mayor Ramil del Rosario on Monday said he stopped four days ago the extraction and hauling of boulders in Bagac, Bataan following reports of illegal quarrying.
“Dahil sa kapirasong papel, mapipigilan ang pag-asenso ng bayan ng Bagac. Mabibinbin ang paggawa ng pier at baka hindi umabot sa 2015 kaya magkaroon sana ng konsiderasyon [Because of a small piece of paper, there will be no progress in Bagac. The construction of the pier will be delayed and might not be finished by 2015. They should consider this],” he said.
The Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources claimed that the alleged quarrying of boulders in Sitio Ulingan in Barangay Banawang, Bagac has no permit.
However, Del Rosario said the necessary documents were submitted by Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar owned by businessman Jerry Acuzar and were approved by the Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO) in Bataan.
Del Rosario said the Bataan ENRO issued the permit while he and Banawang Barangay Chairman Carlito Bautista gave their “No Objection” certification when they learned that the project would not harm the environment but would help the people in terms of big economic gains.
Godofredo de Guzman of ENRO said there was no quarrying in the first place but land development.
Del Rosario said he thought the ENRO permit was enough since the boulders were only being removed from a private property whose owners gladly consented.
“Walang may-ari ng bukid na nagrereklamo dahil walang mapi–pinsala, inaalis lamang ang mga bato para matamnan ng maayos [No one is complaining because no damage will be done. The boulders were being removed so that plants could grow in the area],” del Rosario said.
Like hitting two birds with one stone, del Rosario said this would make the land more productive, especially when the first-class wharf is completed.
“Kung bundok ito hindi ako papayag. Walang magaganap na landslide o pagbaha dahil kapatagan ang kinukunan ng malalaking bato. At hindi magiging dahilan ito ng pagkatuyo ng ilog [If this were a mountain, I would not allow the project to push through. No landslide or flood will occur because the boulders are being removed from a plain. This won’t contribute to the drying of the river],” he said.
Del Rosario asked his detractors to set aside politics and help him prepare for APEC where world leaders are expected to arrive.
“Sa ano mang pag-asenso tulad sa Hong Kong, Subic Freeport at maging sa Limay [Bataan], may kaakibat na sakripisyo subalit dito sa Bagac walang collateral damage, walang masisira sa amin [Sacrifices have been made when we speak of developments in Hong Kong, Subic Freeport and in Limay, Bataan, but here in Bagac there is no collateral damage and nothing will be destroyed],” del Rosario said.