Editorial: Worth probing

The claim of Samal Vice Mayor Orly Amit that there have been quarrying activities going on in the primary tourist destination in the region is something that is worrisome.

Based on the revelation of the vice mayor, four companies have been quarrying in what is the mountainous area of the city and what makes it a huge problem is that the city government has declared the area a protected zone based on its Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP).

Under the CLUP, Amit said cutting of trees is prohibited as well as other activities, including quarrying. “I want us to see how important mountains (are). Mountains are the water towers of the world,” he said.

Although the supposed approval of the operations were to come from the provincial government, in that case the Davao del Norte government, Amit said Gov. Antonio Rafael del Rosario even wrote the city government telling it that local laws must be recognized.

“The problem in Samal is that we don’t honor our local laws,” he lamented, pointing out that the problem is expected to hurt the people of the city because of the impact that the activities will create to the environment.

He said he has been “a lonely battle” because he has been alone against those who have been behind the operations of the quarry companies.

He said he has also informed Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu about the situation, but that he has yet to receive any feedback on his complaint.

Although there is still the need to look at the other side of the issue especially because elections are approaching, the government should start evaluating the complaint of the vice mayor so that the situation will not get out of hand.

Investigating the issue is the primary concern, otherwise, it will haunt the island city until it drops to its knees.

Posted in Opinion