Abandoned quarries under ‘close watch’
KILLER QUARRY SITE. This abandoned quarry site in baranagay Candabong , Anda formerly operated by the provincial government killed two people in a landslide. The area had an extracted portion of a cliff that gave in during the onslaught of the rainy season. Negligence was traced causing the tragic deaths. (PHOTO: RVO)
The Bohol Environment Management Office is now closely monitoring abandoned quarries, some of them formerly operated by the provincial government, due to environmental risk and hazard to safety of nearby residents.
Leonilo Lafuente, head of BEMO said his office is coordinating with the office of the Provincial Engineer to check on quarry sites that had been issued gratuitous permits as source of quarry materials for road projects.
Investigation on the incident in Candabong where two truck helpers were buried alive revealed that the side of an excavated quarry site that collapsed was an abandoned quarry of the provincial government.
The quarry which used to be operated by the province looks abandoned with very deep excavation and access road hard to pass through.
Two young children were also recently buried alive and found dead following a landslide of an old quarry in Maribojoc town while they were asleep on an old bunker house below.
“Among the conditions in the issuance of permits in quarry operations is rehabilitation of the area and most of the time this has been violated,” Lafuente said.
Another report that had been verified by the BEMO office is that some contractors have been illegally extracting quarry materials from these sites.
A contractor notoriously listed in the BEMO violators was found to have been apprehended hauling illegally quarry materials from these abandoned quarry sites.
“We are now preparing the legal action that we are to file against this contractor. BEMO is also reviewing permits that have expired and are reported as still operating,” Lafuente said.
In a coordination meeting with the Provincial Engineers Office, it was suggested that an internal monitoring team be at PEO to continually check sources of materials for government projects.
Contractors likewise are required to indicate the quarry sources to qualify for a certain project like in road construction and maintenance.
“Government or private quarry permits must adhere to the conditions provided and there should be no exception if we are to protect our environment,” Lafuente stressed.