TABUK CITY, Kalinga: Local residents in the province are alarmed by the continuous transport of boulders from Chico River to other towns and Cagayan in spite the resolution by the Provincial Board stopping its hauling.
Photos of the haulers have recently been posted on social media touching off spirited discussions with retired prosecutor Arthur Kub-ao Sr. going as far as calling the activity “raid, rape and plunder of our natural resources along the Chico River.”
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) Committee on Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Energy on Wednesday called a meeting following complaints from residents along the road to Tuguegarao City saying their sleep at night is disturbed by rumbling of trucks. They also expressed concern that heavy trucks might affect the weak Aliog Bridge in Barangay Nambaran.
Roderick Dumallig, a resident said they wonder if the boulders come from legal quarry operations. They also expressed concern that if the activity continues they might eventually run out of boulders for use by succeeding generations, and demand for it outside the province might trigger increase in selling price which will hurt local consumers.
Local officials’ representatives, however, could not say how much income the province get from the boulder trade.
It was revealed during the meeting that in response to complaints against irresponsible quarrying, the SP passed a resolution on March 21, 2017 immediately stopping the transport of Chico River boulders to places outside the province.
But Environment and Natural Resources Officer Dominic Jude Sugguiyao said a mere resolution cannot supersede the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 which allows any citizen to quarry provided he pays the corresponding fees and taxes.
Estanislao Albano Jr.