Sunday, July 1, 2018

Ilocos Norte execs form task force to protect Bolo River

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—Following the suspension of quarry activities at the Bolo River in northern Ilocos Norte, government officials in the province formed a special task force to implement round the clock inspection, patrolling and compliance monitoring of all activities at the river.

In a three-page Joint Special Order No. 1 series of 2018 signed by Victor Dabalos, Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Ilocos Norte officer-in-charge, Ilocos Norte police provincial director Cesar Pasiwen and Erme Labayog in his capacity as chairperson of the Provincial Quarry Council (PQC).

The order states that “there is a need to rehabilitate the Bolo River system caused by unsystematic quarrying activities particularly at the low-stream part which is considered as highly critical water source.

Serving as the blood line of local communities, the Bolo River system traces its headwater from the virgin forests of Calanasan in Apayao province down to the river system of Adams as the mid-stream part and the towns of Pagudpud, Bangui and Dumalneg as the low-stream part.

According to Florante Nicolas, DENR-Ilocos Norte information officer he said the composite team shall be known as “Task Force Saluad Bolo” which consists of representatives from the DENR-Ilocos Norte, INPPO, PQC, DENR-CENRO Bangui, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Environmental Management Bureau, local government units as well as police stations of Pagudpud, Bangui, and Dumalneg.

“The joint special order will remain effective until the issued orders, notice of violations are lifted and when the river is rehabilitated,” said Mr. Nicolas.

Earlier, DENR apprehended at least 14 quarry operators along the Bolo River covering the municipalities of Bangui, Dumalneg, Pagudpud on May 16, 2018 for having insufficient permit to quarry.

As stated in the cease and desist order, DENR gave the concerned quarry operators 72 hours upon receipt of the order to explain why they should not face theft of minerals charges.

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