Ilocos Norte grants 6-month moratorium on quarrying permits
The province of Ilocos Norte has softened its bid to fully implement the requirements quarry permittees have to comply with to extract sand and gravel in its waterways.
For a period of six months, or from January 1 to June 30, 2020, both the local executive and legislative departments decided to suspend the imposition of a voluminous number of requirements before a quarry applicant will be granted a governor’s permit.
According to Provincial Board Member Da Vinci Crisostomo on Monday, there had been a clamor from the construction sector to speed up the release of both new and renewal of governor’s permit but they need more time to be able to comply with the requirements as imposed by the revised quarry ordinance of Ilocos Norte.
To improve the local revenue collection of the province, Crisostomo said the moratorium will provide enough time for the permittees "to comply with all the needed requirements imposed by the Revised Ilocos Norte Quarry Ordinance of 2019 which was approved in November”.
There had been lesser quarry permittees in the previous years as the provincial government suspended the approval of permits due to the presence of some illegal quarry operators.
There is a need, however, to declare a moratorium to be able to meet the high demand for sand and gravel from construction firms and the need to dredge more silted rivers to prevent flooding.