TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- “Bantay quarry checkers” of Provincial Government of Cagayan now have the authority to apprehend and issue cases to contractors and operators, or stop illegal quarrying activities.
This after the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Region 02 deputized 81 quarry checkers, seven Cagayan Provincial Information Officers, and four employees of the Provincial Treasury on Friday, November 3.
The newly deputized officers were sworn in by MGB Regional Director Engineer Mario Ancheta. He said the deputation is authorized by RA 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.
RA 7942 states that a director “may deputize, when necessary, any member or unit of the Philippine National Police, barangay, duly registered non-governmental organization (NGO) or any qualified person to police all mining activities.”
Ancheta said the arming of quarry checkers will still be studied. In the meantime, checkers were told to resort to a “diplomatic approach” in dealing with quarry operators.
The newly deputized officials were also given an orientation on their duties as mining officers through MGB’s Maribeth Tumaliuan.
Provincial Natural Resources and Environment Office-Quarry Division Chief Edwin Jesus Buendia said in Pagdidinnamagan Kapehan sa Kapitolyo on Monday, October 30, that the deputation will strengthen the force of quarry checkers.
He added that quarry checkers were only limited in monitoring quarry operations in Cagayan before.
“Hopefully, ngayong 2018 maisakatuparan natin yung pagbabantay ng ‘man-to-man’ sa mga kailugan natin,” said Buendia.
As of October 2017, Cagayan’s quarry tax revenue has reached up to P68 million. Northernforum.net