Quarrying along Sacobia river suspended

CLARK FREEPORT – The quarrying along Sacobia River Basin is temporarily suspended to resolve the long decade problems besetting the quarry operations.

The order which stopped quarry operations in Sacobia came out during the joint meeting here of the provincial government of Pampanga led by Governor Lilia Pineda, members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Board of Directors of Clark Development Corporation (CDC) led by Chairman Jose ‘Ping’ De Jesus, President Noel Manankil and President Vince Dizon of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA).

The halt order will stand for one week and there will be a monitoring activity on a weekly basis to assess whether the suspension will continue or not.

Pineda said the move is to give way for the rapid assessment of the Department of Environment of Natural Resources (DENR) in revalidating the viability of the quarrying activities along Sacobia River and whether or not it could put danger on the Clark freeport.

She said they will also grab the opportunity to thresh out the differences between the Aeta groups involved in the quarry operations.

Pineda added they will be asking the guidance of the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) at the national level on who will be the rightful and authorized leader who shall represent the Aeta groups.

The governor said when the rightful leader is identified by the NCIP, the CDC could readily give the P14-million income intended for the Aetas representing the 20 percent revenues derived from the used of the ancestral domain in the quarry operations.

Dizon said there is need first to resolve the conflict between the Aeta groups in Mabalacat City regarding the entitlement of the vast ancestral domain utilized for quarry activities.

Dizon said there is also a need to ensure the sustainability of the quarry operations without putting at risk the whole economic zone.

He believed that Sacobia subzone could produce more income when it is fully developed aside from quarrying activity.

It was learned that Mabalacat City is the second highest next to Porac town when it comes to income from quarry activities.

Dizon also expressed his gratitude to the governor for her efforts to end the long decade differences among the group of Aetas, CDC and the local government.
“Ang pinaka issue dito ay ang kapakanan ng mga Aetas. Sila dapat ang nakikinabang dito sa resources sa Sacobia area,” Dizon said.

At present, the provincial government under the Pineda administration recorded a total of P2.1 billion in quarry collections alone since 2010. –Ma. Reina Len Luna/Pampanga PIO

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