Beng moves to ensure zero casualty in Patalon PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 July 2015 11:46

Mayor Beng Climaco on Wednesday led a government team to Pulang Lupa in Patalon to find ways and means how to ensure zero-casualty in the event another landslide or other weather-related incidents will occur in the area due to wanton destruction caused by rampant illegal quarrying activities.

The other day, the hillside collapsed due to continuous heavy rains triggering a landslide at the controversial quarry site. Rocks and soil rolled over the quarry site totally covering a backhoe owned by the quarry-permittee that has been left in the area since the mayor ordered the illegal quarry operations suspended last week.  Rocks and also covered up the river causing the water to flow out to various directions.

Mayor Climaco instructed concerned authorities to take immediate steps to ensure that lives and properties are spared from any weather-related incidents that may occur at the quarry site. The water tributary should be restored by clearing the river of the rocks and soil that covered it due to the landslide, she said.

Using a Global Positioning System (GPS) device, personnel from the City Assessor’s Office to determine the areas that should be declared “danger zones” where Mayor Climaco said should be free from habitation.

“All these are temporary measures but in the matter of cases to be filed, I have instructed (City Legal Officer) Judge (Jesus) Carbon to come up with a full-blown investigation on the devastation wrought by the rampant quarrying activities,” she declared.

The mayor expressed concern that an elementary school and a residential community could be affected by the impact of another landslide or other weather-related incident in the future if no proper measures will be taken the soonest time possible.

The team that accompanied the mayor composed of members of the City Council headed by Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, Zamboanga Economic Zone and Freeport Authority Chair Christopher Arnuco, the technical team composed of City Engineer Luis Despalo, City Assessor Erwin Bernardo, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management officer Elmeir Apolinario and City Licensing Office Chief Benjie Barredo and City Police Director PSSupt. Angelito Casimiro and Patalon barangay officials led by chairman Gaudencio Rojas.

The Councilors included Charlie Mariano, Myra Paz Abubakar, Gerky Valesco, Cesar Jimenez, BG Guingona, Mike Alavar, Mel Sadain, Ismael Musa, Jerry Perez, Roel Natividad and Josephine Pareja.

Recall that Mayor Climaco ordered the suspension of all quarry operations in Pulang Lupa last week due to widespread destruction it has caused. She also ordered a thorough probe of the said activities to be conducted by the City Legal Office.

The Pulang Lupa area is within the Zambo Ecozone where any and all forms of quarrying are prohibited. It appears that the quarry –permittees have violated quarry rules and regulations.

The City Council has also sought the full-blown investigation of the quarrying activities through a privilege speech and subsequent resolution authored by Councilor Mariano last Tuesday, June 30. — Sheila Covarrubias