Provincial Administrator Raffy Baraan dispelled all allegations that illegal quarrying has been the cause of the flashfloods that happened in Bugallon last weekend as a result of the heavy rains brought about by typhoon Gener.
Baraan said that the report as alleged by Bugallon Mayor Rodrigo Orduna is a faulty analysis of the situation and misrepresentation of facts stressing that the flashfloods that happened in said town were due to the mountains that have been denuded a long time ago.
“Walang logic yung sinasabi nila and it is a misrepresentation of facts,” Baraan said in a radio interview on August 3.
Baraan said there is no illegal quarrying in Bugallon town and in other towns even as he said that all those involved in quarrying activities have been issued permits through the Provincial Mining and Regulatory Board headed by the regional director of the Mines and Sciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
As this developed, Baraan attributed the flashfloods to the deforestation activities that have been happening even during the past noting that “the real culprit that caused the flashfloods is the deforestation activities that led to the denudation of the forest.”
He lamented that even there have been efforts to reforest the area, forest fires happen so the forest area and the mountain sides have remained denuded.
Even Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. has said during a coordinating conference between the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council and the Philippine National Police that the flashflood was due to the deforested mountains which could no longer hold water.
Baraan noted that since the mountains could no longer hold water, when heavy rains fall, the accumulated rain waters in the mountains fall down quickly causing the flashfloods.
Baraan noted that quarrying is even an advantage because its purpose is to remove silt from the river and allow the free flow of water along the river and prevent the river from becoming shallow.
“Like dredging operations, quarrying remove silt and sediments that settle on the river bed that practically allow free flow of water along the river, so it is a good flood control activity,” Baraan said.
Baraan also clarified that the province had to issue the cease and desist order for the quarrying activities because there is a limit to quarrying operations. “Hindi puwedeng dire-diretso ang quarrying operation dahil may saturation point yan, he said.
The officer in-charge of the Environment and Natural Resources Office of the Provincial Government Amado Aquino said that the CDO was issued on July 23. (PIO/Angeline D. Villanueva)