Following the successive landslide incidents in 2018, first, in Itogon, Benguet on September 15, and then in Naga City, Cebu on September 18, DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu on September 20, 2018, ordered the temporary suspension of all mining/quarry operations in the entire country. The landslide incidents were allegedly attributed to mining/quarrying operations, resulting to lives lost and properties damaged.
On September 21, 2018, Mines and Geosciences Bureau Director, Atty. Wilfredo G. Moncano, directed all MGB Regional Directors to suspend all quarry operations for 15 days, pending the conduct of safety and geohazard assessment of quarry areas including the surrounding communities.
On September 22, 2018, MGB-X Regional Director, Engr. Rex S. Monsanto, issued a Special Order creating a Safety and Geohazard Assessment Team to Conduct Assessment of Communities Near Mining/Quarry Operations. The Team was composed of personnel of the Geosciences Division, the Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division, the Mine Management Division, the Finance and Administrative Division, embedded MGB personnel in PENRO-Lanao del Norte and PENRO-Misamis Oriental, and from the Provincial Environment and Management Unit-Lanao del Norte.
The SGAT immediately conducted assessment of all mining/quarrying operations for DENR-issued Mining Tenements in the region, specifically, Holcim Resources Development Corp. (HRDC), Republic Cement Mindanao, Inc. (RCMI), Republic Cement Iligan, Inc. (RCII), and MCCI Corporation.
On September 26, 2018, the SGAT submitted its Result of Assessment disclosing significant manifestation of potential geologic hazards in the active quarry area of MCCI Corporation in Barangay Kiwalan, Iligan City. The geologic hazards were found to pose imminent threat to the adjacent communities due to potential landslide/rockfall. For this reason, the temporary suspension order issued to MCCI Corporation was not lifted. Thereafter, MCCI Corporation submitted to MGB-X a Safety and Geohazard Risk Mitigation Plan which includes the following: 1) relocation of the nearby affected communities; 2) submission of a Quarry Development Plan, incorporating Safety and Geohazard Information; and 3) close monitoring of potential geohazards.
On February 27, 2019, MGB-X issued a Notice to Proceed to MCCI Corporation to immediately implement the company’s Risk Mitigation Plan.
On April 15, 2019, the MGB-X Safety and Geohazard Assessment Team submitted a Validation/Verification Report on the status of implementation of the Company’s Risk Mitigation Plan and concluded that the imminent threat brought about by the potential geologic hazards had already been mitigated with the relocation of the communities and the on-going implementation of the quarry rehabilitation, and recommended for the lifting of the Suspension Order.
On April 16, 2019, MGB Director, Atty. Wilfredo G. Moncano, issued a Memorandum entitled, “Clearance to Lift the Suspension of Quarry Operations” of MCCI Corp. under MPSA No. 105-98-XII.
Finally, on April 24, 2019, MGB-X Regional Director, Engr. Rex S. Monsanto, issued the Order formally lifting the Suspension Order.
The occasion was witnessed by officials and representatives of MCCI Corp, RCII, and LGU-Iligan City.