THE Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Central Visayas admitted they issued permits to a mining firm based in Alcoy, Cebu to allow the transport of more than 3,000 metric tons of processed dolomite which was used to make the "white sand" that was dumped in the shoreline of Manila Bay earlier this week.
In a statement, MGB 7 director Loreto Alburo said the dolomite that was dumped at the Manila Bay came from the Dolomite Mining Corporation (DMC) in Barangay Pugalo, Alcoy town.
Alburo admitted that they issued an Ore Transport Permit to the Philippine Mining Service Corporation, who processes the dolomite that DMC mines, to transport around 3,500 metric tons of processed dolomite to Manila.
Alburo said DMC currently has a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) with the government to mine the area for 25 years or until 2030.
The raw dolomite quarried by DMC is delivered to its sole buyer, the Philippine Mining Service Corporation (PMSC) for processing, Alburo added.
Aside from DMC, the PMSC plant in Alcoy was issued with a Mineral Processing Permit (MPP) by MGB and presently on its second five-year term which will expire in 2023.
The MPP has a maximum term of 25 years.
"The dolomite materials sourced from Cebu have been extracted, produced and shipped out to various buyers following proper regulatory laws and procedures," Alburo added.
Malacañang has faced a wave of criticism over the Manila Bay rehabilitation project done at a time of the coronavirus crisis.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque explained that funds for the project were already allocated even before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Environmentalists and fisherfolk also described the Manila Bay makeover, which cost the government around P349 million, as destructive on the area in Cebu where the “sand” was sourced, while it hardly addressed the bay’s environmental degradation problems. (JKV)