11 rock crusher plants in Quezon back in business

09/22/2010 By Delfin Mallari Jr.

LUCENA CITY, Quezon, Philippines—Two months after their closure for review of their permits, eleven rock crusher plants in three municipalities in this province have been allowed to resume their operations.

In a letter dated September 11, Governor David Suarez told rock crusher companies that the Provincial Mining and Regulatory Board (PMRB) staff had reviewed and evaluated the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program of each company, before deciding to allow them to resume crushing, quarrying, and mining activities in the province.

“In view of the foregoing, you are hereby allowed to resume crushing operations including commercial dispositions of processed rock aggregates which should likewise be in accordance with the existing mining laws and its implementing rules and regulations as stipulated in RA 7942 or Philippine Mining Act of 1995,” Suarez said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

However, the resumption order has two conditions:
* Equipment used for crushing, quarrying, and mining operations must be registered with the PMRB.
* The provincial government will cancel or revoke the licenses and permits of those who will buy illegally sourced minerals.

The resumption order for rock crusher plants has surprised members of the multi-party monitoring team tasked by Suarez to inspect quarry operations in Sariaya and Dolores towns.

A monitoring team member, who asked not to be identified so as not to cause tensions with other monitors, wondered why Suarez allowed rock crushers to resume operations ahead of the rock miners.

"If the plant owners were losing money because of the closure, so are the quarry operators. Both of them have workers to look after,” a team member said over the phone.
“There is something fishy here,” the team member said.
In an interview with newsmen Monday morning, Suarez explained that quarry operations were still being reviewed.
“These quarry operators are the ones destroying the environment,” the governor said.
He said rock crushing plants would be allowed to resume operations ahead of the quarry operators to address the needs for aggregates in the government and private construction projects in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

The rock crusher companies that were given order to re-open their plants were: Laguna Rock Corp. (in Tiaong); Guanzon Lime Development Corp. (in Tayabas); Pinagpala PT Aggregates (in Dolores); and La Cañada Aggregates, Tantuco Crushing and Quarrying Aggregates, Mariveles Aggregates, Globo Rocks Mining Corp., Green Rock, RGC Aggregates, Moonrock, and Ugat (in Sariaya).

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