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The Mines and Geosciences Bureau confirms having received reports where illegal mountain quarry operations were seen on going in Poblacion VI, Coron, Palawan. Allegedly, the materials extracted from the said quarrying operations were intended for the reclamation project and other government infrastructure projects in Coron, Palawan, specifically the Coron Waterfront Development Project.

Through MGB Regional Office No. IV-MIMAROPA, an immediate investigation, geohazard assessment and technical conferences were conducted. The results of the investigation reveal that there were indeed quarry permits issued by the Local Government of Palawan. This was also confirmed by the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB)-Coron. However, it has been found that a permitee, a certain BCT Construction has been extracting quarry materials outside its permit area. Hence, a Cease-and-Desist Order was issued. The estimated extraction volume is found to be at 579,571 cubic meters. This will be the basis for the computation of the penalty.

To date, there has been a total of 9 CDOs issued in Coron, Palawan, either involving the same contractors or having similar violations.

As a we move forward, MGB sees the following actions:

1.Filing of a criminal case against BCT Construction for its involvements in the illegal quarry operations.

2.Requiring all LGUs to apply for a Government Gratuitous Permit for Government Infrastructure Projects pursuant to Section 49 of Republic Act No. 7942; and

3.Strict monitoring by the P/CENRO concerned on the compliance to CDOs issued within its jurisdiction.

MGB encourages the public to continue to be vigilant and be one with us in our commitment and efforts to stop all illegal mining or quarrying operations, as this is detrimental to the surrounding communities and the environment as a whole.