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Quarrying industry shortchanges Cagayan coffers

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TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan –An emotional Governor Manuel Mamba, during the 1st Quarrying Industry Summit held at Carmelita’s here, asked Cagayanos to help him put a stop to poor implementation of quarrying laws and regulations as a result of massive corruption among local officials in cahoots with some government agencies.

‘The provincial government has never been remised in crafting local laws in support to existing national laws,” he said.

However, the implementation of such laws and policies has been deliberately ignored because elected local officials have dipped their fingers in nearly all quarrying activities in their respective municipalities.

Mamba cited unnamed local officials who have been trying to control the industry without respect to existing laws and policies.

“Not this time,” Mamba warned as he assured Cagayanos he will lead a clean government to benefit the barangays even as he accused “all governors of Cagayan” as thieves, referring to past leaderships.

Edwin Buendia of the DENR-Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau and Cagayan’s quarry operations coordinator said that should all local laws governing quarrying in the province be strictly implemented, Cagayanos will stand to benefit from such natural resources.

Buendia said that from January to June this year, the provincial government, then under former Governor Alvaro Antonio, only collected Ph3.9 million as against the Ph2.5 million from July to September 16 collection under the new administration of Mamba.

He projected an income of Ph50 million from the industry next year after the Mamba administration decided to ‘call a spade a spade” citing previous anomalies as the reason for the poor collection.

Governor Mamba earlier sent a team to Pampanga, led by Buendia, to study the best quarrying practices of said province for possible adoption in Cagayan.

Mamba assured Cagayanos individual municipalities and barangays are expected to receive Ph1 million and Ph500,000, respectively, next year as a result of proper implementation of quarrying operations in the province this year.

He likewise allayed fears of residents particularly those in the barangays towards local officials and encouraged them to report instead irregularities committed by local officials.

Meanwhile, Maribeth Tumaliuan of DENR-MGB expressed her appreciation to the leadership of Mamba saying the summit is an overdue partnership between her office and the provincial government.

“This activity is one thing we longed to conduct if only to regulate the industry, “she said. Benjie De Yro/ TNF

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