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Bacolod City, PhilippinesTuesday, March 19, 2013
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Farm leader dismayed
over ‘illegal quarrying’

A farm president yesterday expressed his dismay against the government after a quarrying operation was permitted allegedly within their association’s property and with the operators using the name of their land in official documents.

Jerome Ramos, president of Hacienda Esmeralda I and II in Talisay City, yesterday claimed, that a certain Nicolas Solinap applied for a sand and gravel operation at Imbang River, which is among the boundaries of the hacienda using the name of their property without letting them know.

Ramos said their dispute with the quarry operators started in October last year and despite his intentions to stop their work, the other party has continued its operations.

Ramos has complained about the issue at the Provincial Environment Management Office but PEM Officer Wilfred Ramon Peñalosa said in a reply to him, a copy of which was furnished the DAILY STAR, that an inspection team found no evidence to support his claims.

He had tried to barricade the area but the operator destroyed it and continued quarrying, Ramos said.

“I was surprised that they already started the operation without public consultations and what is worst is that they used our name to apply for the permits,” he said.

Ramos said the operators have the permit but it is fraudulent and the documents they provide are falsified.

Ramos also said he understands that the government will issue permit as long as the documents and requirements submitted by the applicant are complete and meet their criteria. However, their situation is different because they are being used for the personal gain of another party, he claimed.

In his March 11 letter, Peñalosa, said their team found no evidence of any illegal quarrying activities considering that the vegetative cover of the river’s embankment is left untouched.

The inspection also noted that there was no commercial disposition of sand and gravel materials that were placed at the eastern part of the river, so there was no violation committed, Peñalosa also said.

Peñalosa also assured Ramos through his letter that they will continue and regularly monitor the sand and gravel operations of Solinap, the permit holder in the area.*LTG

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