CEBU Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, ordered the suspension of quarrying operations in Talisay City.
Garcia made the decision after Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas Jr. requested her to do so following the fatal accident in Barangay Lawaan 3 where a 10-wheeler truck carrying crushed “anapog” (limestone) mowed down 12 vehicles and killed five people, including the truck’s driver, on Dec. 3.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Gullas said they requested the suspension of quarrying operations in his city in order to review their traffic policies concerning the transportation of minerals.
Gullas said he has also ordered the creation of a committee that will review the City’s traffic code and put up new policies following the incident.
The committee will be composed of City Administrator Rudelyn Navarro, City Legal Officer Giovanni Sususco, Business Process and Licensing Office (BPLO) chief Jane Enrile, City of Talisay Traffic and Operations Development Authority (CT-Toda) head Jonathan Tumulak, and City Councilors Antonio “Jojo” Bacaltos Jr., Ferdinand Rabaya and Gail Restauro.
Bacaltos is the chairman of the City Council’s committee on environment and natural resources. Rabaya is the chairman of the committee on traffic operations, while Restauro chairs the committee on laws and ordinances.
“The City will create a committee that will meet with the stakeholders involved for the traffic plan and policies concerning the hauling of minerals or those covered by the issuance of a waste disposal permit issued by Penro (Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office),” Gullas added.
One of the issues the traffic committee will tackle will be the City’s truck ban ordinance. The City currently prohibits trucks from entering major thoroughfares from 6 to 8 a.m. and from 4 to 8 p.m.
Another issue they plan to tackle is requiring truck drivers working for quarry operators in the city to undergo a routine health check, including a mandatory drug test.
Gullas said more trucks, especially those carrying minerals, are passing through his city because of infrastructure projects being implemented in southern Cebu.
But Gullas said that while they cannot stop development, they must make sure that all trucks going through their city are roadworthy and follow the city’s traffic laws.