Quarry ban in Pampanga extended
CLARK FREEPORT — The Pampanga provincial government and the state-owned Clark Development Corp. (CDC) and Bases Conversion and Development Authority have extended for another week the suspension of quarrying operations at Sacobia River here.
Sand extraction would be prohibited from Aug. 7 to 13. The previous freeze order covered July 31 to Aug. 6.
The officials reached this decision on Monday after the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) confirmed the over extraction of river sand that may endanger an Aeta village there, as well as adjacent industrial and tourism areas, said Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda.
The CDC allowed quarrying operations as a cost-effective way to widen and deepen the river. Mt. Pinatubo’s secondary explosions in 1991 diverted the headwaters of Abacan River in Angeles City to Sacobia River, which straddles Mabalacat City in Pampanga and Bamban town in Tarlac province.
But the MGB estimated that more than 12 million cubic meters of sand were removed from the site, a volume three times more than the 4.7 million cubic meters it recommended for desilting in 1999.
The MGB recommended that quarrying be strictly confined to 22.6 hectares upstream and 35.1 ha downstream of Sacobia River to protect the Sacobia bridge and nearby areas. —TONETTE OREJAS
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