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Mayor issues “quarry ban” vs capitol trucks

PEŇARANDA, Nueva Ecija – “No to illegal quarrying.

Mayor Joselito “Lito” Ramos yesterday issued this order as he imposed a “quarry ban” in this town, stressing that need for its immediate implementation amid urgent calls from his constituents in two barangays here who were adversely affected by the alleged desilting and dredging operations earlier being done at the Penaranda river bed.

In an interview with reporters at his residence, Ramos said the quarry ban also covers dump trucks and other heavy equipment serviced or owned by the provincial government found entering the town to haul mineral aggregates from the river in Bgys. San Josef and Callos.

Ang posisyon ng Penaranda ay wala nang quarry dito, bawal silang humakot kahit mayroon pa silang permit na kung anu-ano na dala,” said the mayor, referring to the trucks of the provincial capitol.

In bowing to his constituents’ pleas, Ramos cited the need to immediately put to a halt quarrying operations to protect the interest of his people and the local government unit.

Ramos cited an August 2019 municipal ordinance banning the extraction of quarry resources from the riverbanks without the required permission from the authorized agencies and providing the penalties thereof.

Also affected by continued quarrying activities are the town’s two old bridges — the San Josef and Callos bridges, said municipal administrator Benjamin Abes Jr.

Abes cited a recent inspection report of the 2nd Engineering District of the Nueva Ecija-Department of Public Works and Highways headed by district engineer Ricardo M. Puno which stated that the two bridges already need to be replaced as they are starting to show signs of deterioration.

Ramos also said that because the municipal government’s application for the issuance of a gratuitous permit remains pending with the provincial government until now, they were constrained to haul quarry materials needed for the construction of a seven-kilometer-long farm-to-market road project in Bgys. Sinasajan to Las Pinas from nearby towns such as San Leonardo and Gapan City.

Kami nga, ang pamilya namin ay hardware ang negosyo, iyung kapatid ko sa labas pa kami ng Penaranda bumibili ng pang-graba at pang-quarry, kaya mas mahal ang quarry dito sa amin eh,” said Ramos.

The former vice mayor-turned-local chief executive’s statements came less than a week after a two-day standoff occurred between the LGU and the provincial capitol when the latter’s trucks loaded with concrete aggregates were stalled and prevented from leaving the town due to the non-presentation of the required permits.