TAGOLOAN, Misamis Oriental: Five quarry operators were barred from entering and operating in the government-owned industrial estate here effective Monday.
Phividec Industrial Authority Administrator Jose Gabriel La Viña issued the directive after signing a cease-and-desist order to stop all quarry operations in the 3,000-hectare area under Phividec, particularly along the Tagoloan River.
La Viña emphasized that all quarrying operations in the Phividec area are now illegal. He also said Phividec has not issued any quarrying permit within its area.
La Viña stressed the need to protect the environment and ensure the safety of the people living in the Phividec Industrial Authority area.
He said Phividec has already lost 70 hectares because of the encroachment of illegal quarrying since the 1990s.
La Viña said Phividec is ready to defend in court its decision to bar all quarry operators from entering the Phividec area.
“For the sake of the safety of the people and the protection of the environment, I am exhorting the LGUs (local government units) to be with me in this advocacy,” La Viña said.
Presidential Decree No. 538 created the Phividec Industrial Authority and its charter as an autonomous industrial estate, primarily for the benefits of the veterans, for creating employment opportunities and for perking up the local economy.
The Phividec industrial estate straddles the municipal towns of Villanueva and Tagolo-an in Misamis Oriental.