CITY OF MALOLOS – To address the ongoing issue on dilapidated roads and over-mining in the province, Bulacan Governnor Daniel R. Fernando issued Executive Order No. 21 which mandated the temporary suspension of all mining permits, quarrying, dredging, desilting and other type of mineral extractive operations within Bulacan.
During the dialogue with the mining stakeholders and other affected sectors spearheaded by the Bulacan Environmental and Natural Resources Office (BENRO) at The Red Arc Events Place in Brgy. Wawa, Balagtas, Bulacan last Wednesday, Fernando discussed that he initiated the issuance of the Executive Order following the constant deterioration of roads caused by overloading of transport vehicles whether its volume is land minerals or other commodities.
Representatives from concerned agencies were also present during the dialogue for further planning, strict implementation and to support the Executive Order including the Bulacan Police Provincial Office headed by PCol. Charlie A. Cabradilla; Department of Public Works and Highways represented by Engr. Henry C. Alcantara, Bulacan 1st District Engineer; Provincial Mining Regulatory Board represented by Engr. Reynaldo Cruz from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Region 3 and the Land Transportation Office represented by Carina Macapagal, Chief of LTO Malolos District Office.
He said that the Department of Public Works and Highways, Land Transportation Office, Philippine National Police and Highway Patrol Group should act now and help address the long overdue problems on overloading and dilapidated roads.
“Nasisira na po ang mga kalsada natin, ang mga bridges. I want your cooperation in this matter. I need your help, nakikiusap po ako sa inyo. Ang kamay ko ay inaabot ko sa inyo alang-alang sa ating bayan. Sayang ang pera ng gobyerno sa taun-taong pagpapagawa kung paulit-ulit lang rin na masisira ang mga kalsada natin lalo na kung ang ilan sa ating kapwa na nasa mining sector ay hindi sumusunod sa itinalagang policy,” the governor said.
Fernando further explained that the implementation of the Executive Order will also give way to the pending evaluation of the Provincial Government to determine and come up with an updated matrix and policies for the mining stakeholders and trucking companies.
The governor said that these efforts also aim to support the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. as he steers the country toward further progress and development.
Meanwhile, BENRO Head Atty. Julius Victor Degala clarified that the province is currently enforcing the “no excessive volume policy” provided under the Provincial Ordinance C-005 or the Environmental Code of the Province of Bulacan which sets the limit of the volume per truck.
With the governor’s mandate, Degala will also implement strict surveillance at checkpoints and will set a certain means of verification in accordance to the policy.
“Isa po sa nakikita kong problema ay ang mga checkpoints. Sa mga nagsasabi diyan na kayo ay untouchable sa checkpoint, gagalawin ko kayo ngayon. Tapos na po ang sistemang bulok. The governor has given me orders and I will obey him. Sa lahat po ng mga nasa checkpoint na ito, ililipat ko po sila at papalitan ko po ang mga tao,” Degala said.
In relation to this, Fernando also strictly emphasized his will to terminate illegal mining activities and over-mining in the province.
“Layunin po ng mandatong ito na tuldukan na nag mga kaso ng iligal o labis na pagmimina ng lupa at pagpuputol ng mga puno sa ating lalawigan. Kailangan po nating kontrolin at mahigpit na bantayan ang pagmimina at mga kaugnay na gawain gaya ng dredging, desilting, at land development upang maisalba natin an gating kalikasan at kapaligiran,” the governor said.
Meanwhile, E.O. No. 21 shall become effective in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Code and will be lifted once the goal is achieved.
Those who will be found violating the Executive Order shall pay a fine of P5,000 per violation; be imprisoned for not less than six months but not exceeding a year and have their permits revoked. ###