Construction of some roads in Bohol have been suspended due to lack of materials particularly weathered limestone, locally known as anapog, amid the provincial government-mandated suspension of quarry operations across the province, a Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) official said.
DPWH first district chief Engr. Francis Flores said that “more or less” 10 road projects under his area of responsibility including the segment concreting of JA Clarin Street, one of Tagbilaran City’s main thoroughfares, were affected by the temporary shutdown of quarries in the province.
Flores confirmed that road projects in the second and third districts were affected as well.
He however clarified that road projects wherein embankment phases have been completed were not affected as only limestone and other embankment materials were sourced from local quarries.
“Ang kadtong nakahuman na og embank, naa nay anapog maka-proceed na sila, nakapadayon ra ug ready na mo masa,” Flores said, adding that aggregates and other construction materials were shipped from outside the province.
Flores said that road construction started to be hampered in early September when the Bohol Environment Management Office (BEMO) issued suspension orders to quarry operators.
Earlier, Governor Art Yap during his “First 100 Days” report admitted that crippling quarry operations in the province would lead to cost increase for infrastructure projects such as road construction but deemed the suspension necessary to monitor the “use and exploitation” of natural ground resources.
Yap said that the suspension was only temporarily imposed pending a legal compliance audit on the quarry operations.
“There will also be an impact on all the roads we went to build. All the costs will start shooting up. So we balance. We suspend because we want to monitor and we want to know who in those operations are paying the right taxes,” he said.
The suspension was imposed through Executive Order No. 4 issued by Yap on September 12.
According to Flores, they have been in coordination with the BEMO which also recognized the DPWH’s needs for their projects.
“Mao ila pud gi-balanse para ma-facilitate pud tong sa permits, mga gipang-require ilang gipaspasan,” he said.
For his part, Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Nilo Ahat said on Friday that the Capitol’s newly formed Environmental Protection Task Force was looking into the legal compliance of quarry permittees until the end of the day.
He said that those who have full compliance will be issued clearances and will be allowed to resume operations by next week.
Meanwhile, there were quarries found out to have been operating without permits. They will be subjected to auditing later this month.
“Maghimo ta og individual profiling kada per site ug kuhaon ang possible data, kung kinsa ang land owner ana, kinsay operator ug unsay gidak-on,” Ahat said.
According to Ahat, for quarries to operate, they need to comply with all the requirements stipulated in the Bohol Mining Ordinance including a permit from BEMO. (A. Doydora)