Defensor mulls moratorium on issuance of quarry permits to prevent further damage on Iloilo rivers

According to Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., quarry operations caused the degradation of the rivers in the province. Photo by Clark Villaruel Antiquiera
According to Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., quarry operations caused the degradation of the rivers in the province. Photo by Clark Villaruel Antiquiera

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. said he is planning to impose a moratorium on the issuance of new permits for river quarrying.

In an interview over radio station Bombo Radyo-Iloilo, Defensor expressed alarm over the effects of excessive extraction of sand and gravel from rivers in Iloilo.

He said there is a need to put an end to the granting of quarry permits to prevent further damage on Iloilo rivers.

According to Defensor, quarry operations caused the degradation of rivers in the province.

The governor called on barangay officials to help the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENRO) monitor the rivers in their respective areas of responsibility.

Lawyer Arturo Cangrejo of PENRO said the degradation of the rivers might result in damage of bridges.

Defensor said he is also considering to release an executive order cancelling the permits of quarry operators in “critical areas” in Jalaur, Ulian, Sibalom, Suage and Aganan rivers.

Earlier, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-6) Director said the Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) discovered that the foundations of the old and new Suage bridges in Janiuay, and the Jalaur bridge in Calinog as well as the National Irrigation Administration diversion dam in Barangay Anonang, Leon are at risk of possible damage due to quarrying activities.

RPMC conducted the inspection of several quarry sites in Iloilo early last month. IMT