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Sacobia sand quarrying to resume next week

Sep 12, 2017

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – The suspended sand quarrying operations in the Pampanga side of the Sacobia River will resume on Monday next week.

This was the assurance made by Gov. Lilia “Nanay Baby” Pineda as announced by Art Punzalan, provincial environment and natural resources officer (PENRO), to quarry operators on Monday.

The Mabalacat City and Clark Freeport quarry operators, truckers and other workers sought an audience with Pineda at the Governor’s Office here to get an assurance on the resumption of the sand quarrying operations.

They were out of work after the Sacobia sand quarrying operations suspended on July 31 until August 6 to conduct a geological assessment of the area and settle the leadership issue of the Aetas.

However, the suspension was extended after it was discovered that the over extraction of sand in the Sacobia River could endanger the adjacent Clark main zone in case of non-stop torrential heavy rains if the area is not immediately restored.

The suspension would allow for the rehabilitation of the area. “On the part of Pampanga, the work was already done,” he said.

Punzalan said the only remaining problem now is the unresolved leadership issue of the Aetas.

“Pota ing sisingilan da miras ne anga P2,000 masyadu ne maragul ita para kareng truckers and operators (They {different Aeta groups} might be imposing a P2,000 fee per truck which is too much for truckers and operators),” he said.

There are several groups of Aetas claiming to be their true representatives including the Bamban Aeta Tribal Association (BATA), Mabalacat Aeta Tribal Association (MATA), the Sangguniang Tribung Ayta (STA) as well as several others.

Punzalan said the governor is prodding the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) and the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) to allow the resumption of the sand quarrying operations in the Sacobia River.

Pineda later met with Clark quarry operator Boy Alejandrino and assured him of the resumption of operations.

The governor said in case the leadership issue remains unresolved, he has instructed Punzalan to start collecting a regular fee for the Aetas as approved by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

The pre-paid fee will be collected by the Capitol and the provincial government will be the one to give the fair share of the Aetas.

The appropriate fee that should be collected is the decision of the NCIP, Punzalan said.

Mabalacat quarry operator Edgar Puno said they will have to wait until next week to resume their operations and thanked the governor for her assurance.




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