MGB orders confiscation of black sand

May 31, 2015 at 9:52 pm Leave a comment

DAGUPAN CITY – The Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Region I has ordered the confiscation of the black sand illegally mined in coastal villages of Lingayen, the agency head said.
MGB Region I Carlos Tayag said the agency issued the order of confiscation to the Xypher Builders, Inc. early in May after the company failed to show documents that its activities were legal.
The company appealed for the reversion of the decision, but Tayag said the agency sustained the order .
“ We sustained the decision because the company cannot show documents like permits from the government, and that it was not granted environmental compliance certificate ECC,” he said.
Still, the company could file one last appeal before the MGB would issue the final decision, he said.
Tayag said the agency would coordinate with the Lingayen police for temporary custody of the black sand.
The company was contracted by the provincial government of Pangasinan to undertake required earth activities and to remove unsuitable materials such as magnetite sand to make it suitable for growth of specific grasses for a golf course project.
Tayag said the 9,588 cubic meters of black sand (around 30,000 metric tons) would be bidded out by the MGB, but still has to seek clearance from the agency’s central office. The amount from the sale would accrue to the government coffer, he said.
In an earlier interview, Environment Management Bureau Ilocos Region Director Maria Victoria Abrera said the ECC issued to the provincial government for an 18-hole golf course in Lingayen, was not a permit for the establishment of the project.

She said ECCs were not permits for projects and the proponents must still secure the necessary permits for each of the project components.

Tayag said ECCs are not permit but they set the conditions that the project proponents must abide with, including acquisition of permits.

Earlier, Environment Undersecretary Analiza Rebuelta-Teh ordered the MGB to “take appropriate action” on the complaint of Rolando Rea, a resident of Estanza, Lingayen, “on the disposal of black sand and the illegally constructed wall” along the beach of Lingayen.
Rea wrote Justice Secretary Lelia de Lima, asking her help on how to dispose the stockpiles of black sand in Lingayen and in a Sual port before they are smuggled out of the country. He also asked de Lima for her advice on the three-kilometer wall which “obstructs the view of the beach, and limits their access to the sea.”
Last week, the Northern Watch and other reporters entered the walled area to take photos of the surroundings. But a motorcycle-riding guard asked what agency the reporters were connected with and if they have permit to go inside and take photos.
When asked where the reporters were to get the permit, the guard did not answer.

Entry filed under: News.

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