On January 26, 28 and February 1, 2021, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Regional Office No. IV CALABARZON lifted the suspensions imposed on seven Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSAs) and six Mineral Processing Permits (MPPs), as follows:
- MPSA No. 136-99-IV of San Rafael Development Corp.;
- MPSA No. 239-2007-IV of Montalban Millex Aggregates Corp.;
- MPSA No. 202-2004-IV of Hardrock Aggregates, Inc.;
- MPSA No. 064-96-IV of Rapid City Realty and Development Corp.;
- MPSA No. 075-97-IV of Rapid City Realty and Development Corp.;
- MPSA No. 088-97-IV of Rapid City Realty and Development Corp.;
- MPSA No. 070-97-IV of Asensio-Pinzon Aggregates Corp.;
- MPP No. 2017-002-IVA of Rodrock and Aggregate Corp. (previously owned by Oxford Mines, Inc.);
- MPP No. 2018-001-IVA of Viba Aggregates & Marketing;
- MPP No. 2018-003-IVA of Amiterra Aggregates Corp.;
- MPP No. 2019-002-IVA of Dream Rock Resources Phils., Inc.;
- MPP No. 2019-003-IVA of Superior Aggregates, Inc.; and
- MPP No. 2020-001-IV of ATN Holdings, Inc.
The said MPSAs and MPPs were suspended pursuant to Memorandum Order No. 1, Series of 2020 until the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Composite Team has completed the investigation of certain quarry and crushing plant operations in the Rizal Province within the coverage of the Marikina River Basin. This was a consequence of the flooding caused by Typhoon Ulysses on November 12, 2020, that submerged low lying areas in Marikina City and the municipalities of San Mateo and Rodriguez, Rizal especially those adjacent Marikina-Wawa River.
After the field assessment, the DENR Composite Team made the following conclusions:
- The quarrying operations in Rizal are just a fraction of the land disturbance. The contribution of these operations to the flooding and siltation of the Marikina River is only minimal. Several factors including rapid urbanization, natural erosion, deforestation of portions of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, and other disturbances have greater contributions to the siltation of the Marikina River and subsequent flooding along the floodplains;
- The flooding on November 12, 2020, in Marikina City and other vicinities was primarily caused by the massive amount of rainfall generated by Typhoon Ulysses;
- The Sierra Madre Mountains, which is one of the sources of run-off from the headwater of Wawa Dam, was already oversaturated because of Typhoons Quinta, Rolly, Siony, and Tonyo, which all occurred right before Typhoon Ulysses. This oversaturation greatly contributed to the swelling of the Marikina River, which tends to backflow from its channel towards the confluence of its tributaries causing the rise of riverine floodwater and consequent flooding in adjacent areas;
- Flooding within the low-lying areas of the Marikina River Basin is a natural hazard due to its geomorphologic setting;
- With or without mining operations, flooding, erosion, and siltation will occur within the Marikina River Basin.
The DENR Composite Team recommended the lifting of the Temporary Suspension Order issued to the permits listed above, provided that some companies need to comply with the following conditions:
- Provision/Construction of drainage systems with appropriate multiple silt traps/sumps and gradients to ensure the effectivity of the drainage system to be put in place;
- Construction of a settling pond or catchment basin; and
- Desilting of the creek/tributary affected by the siltation caused by its entire operation.
After the compliance with the above conditions by the pertinent Contractors and Permit Holders, the suspensions of quarrying and mineral processing operations were lifted.
By : Engr. Patrizia S. Benedicto | 2 February 2021