- MITCH M. LIPA
The Committee on Environment of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Negros Occidental has created a technical working group that will, among others, conduct ground inspection of all quarry operations, particularly those in the Third District.
Third District SP Member Andrew Montelibano said with the increment weather, they cannot proceed with the original plan for an aerial inspection but the Provincial Environment and Management Office and the Sanggunian agreed to start site inspection next week to determine whether those in the quarry business have permits and are compliant with government policies.
Montelibano said they wanted to establish if quarry operations in the hinterlands of local government units in the district had contributed in the two flooding incidents last Jan. 1 and Jan. 8 this year.
The decision to conduct site inspection was a result of the committee hearing conducted by the Sanggunian last month in its effort to know why huge volumes of water from upland areas triggered floods in the cities of Talisay, Silay and Victorias and E.B. Magalona town that affected more than 50,000 households per compiled data from the four LGUs.
High tide and siltation of creeks, rivers and their tributaries were initially seen as reasons for the sudden rise of water level in many low-lying residential and commercial areas.
Montelibano said it would be better to also check the source where the volume of water came from. – MML