The vice mayor of Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) sounded the alarm on illegal quarry operations that threaten the ecology of the tourism destination.
Vice Mayor Orly Amit said they passed the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) in 2007, which serves as the bible of development of a local government unit.
“In that CLUP, we protected our mountains with a height of 300 meters above sea level,” he said on Wednesday’s Habi at Kape at Abreeza Mall.
He mentioned that the CLUP provided for the prohibition of cutting of trees.
The government has noted the bulldozing of sites for quarries.
There are four quarry operations in Mt. Tagbay alone.
“That is against our law,” said Amit. “I want us to see how important mountains. Mountains are the water towers of the world.”
Amit rued that the approval of quarry operations came from the provincial government.
However, in a letter, the governor of Davao del Norte Antonio del Rosario cited that the local laws of the city should be recognized, as well, despite the provincial approval.
“The problem in Samal is that we don’t honor our local laws,” Amit emphasized.
He said Mt. Tagbay is considered a protected and production forest area, which prohibits quarry operations.
“This is a huge problem because as of current, we are reducing our mountains. They say that these are used for road constructions but the quarry obtained from the mountains are not mixed with cement, I believe,” the vice mayor explained.
But he said he’s waging a lonely battle since he is outnumbered by the legislators and executive department on the advocacy.
For this matter, the vice mayor already sent a letter to the Governor Antonio del Rosario and Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu but actions are still pending.
“This is an issue to be brought out by the people who truly love Samal Island,” he said
The island is home to 104,000 people.