Lahar now Pampanga’s biggest source of revenue
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Sand quarrying in the province’s lahar areas is now Pampanga’s biggest source of revenue, bringing in more than P600 million in taxes and fees in the last 28 months, according to the province’s officials.
The industry has brought in at least P21.6 million a month to the province’s coffers, the officials said.
Expecting a construction boom in the public and private sectors early next year, Gov. Lilia Pineda said the province’s P700-million collection target in 36 months might be reached by June 2013.
Crude sand is used as filling materials while refined sand is mixed with cement or made into hollow blocks.
Pineda said she has formed a project team to study the various products that can be made out of sand so these can be introduced as livelihood projects in communities.
She said the capitol had set aside half of the collections to regulate and monitor the quarry industry concentrated in Bacolor, Porac, Sta. Rita, Floridablanca, Mabalacat, Mexico, Minalin and Sto. Tomas towns.
The other half of the amount is distributed among the provincial, town and barangay governments that host quarry sites.
Pineda said the capitol’s share funded the construction of new classrooms and roads and was used to improve district hospitals.
Records showed that shares received by Pampanga villages hosting quarry operations from December 2010 to April 2012 exceeded P91 million. Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon