Cebu City – Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia appeared to have caved in to pressure from Manila regarding her total ban on dolomite exports.
In a press conference last week, Ms. Garcia confirmed that the fresh dolomite currently being poured in by the Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR) into their P389-million Manila Bay artificial white sand beach project – as replenishment for the earlier dolomite dump that had been already washed away by the unstoppable forces of Mother Nature – had indeed been sourced from Alcoy town in southern Cebu.
It should be recalled that in September 2020, Gov. Garcia issued a cease-and-desist order (CDO) against Dolomite Mining Corporation (DMC) and Philippine Mining Services Corp. (PMSC) to stop extracting, processing, selling and transporting dolomite from their concession in Alcoy, Cebu after discovering they had “illegally” supplied several tons of crushed dolomite to the DENR’s Manila Bay project.
An indignant Gov. Garcia said back then that DMC and PMSC did so without proper clearance from the Capitol, in blatant violation of existing laws.
Absent also was an environmental impact study being required by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau prior to the extraction of the dolomite from the mountainside in Alcoy.
In an attempt to skirt criticism, Garcia claimed she had not lifted her previous order (Executive Order 25) against dolomite exports, but simply made an exception due to the request of DENR Sec. Roy Cimatu.
“We did not want the DENR to be caught in the middle…so we allowed the shipment, but at a very specific volume,” Garcia was quoted as telling Cebu mediamen.
Garcia said PMSC still owes the Cebu government some P1.9 billion in back taxes dating to 2012.
Photo: Manila Bulletin