Position Paper of the Municipal Government Of Bulan Regarding Margaja Mining In Bulan.

Note: from PIO-Bulan to Jun Asuncion

Hereunder is a copy of the Position Paper of the Municipal Government of Bulan on the issues you raised regarding Margaja mining in Bulan.

November 8, 2008

Honorable Iggy T. Arroyo
The Committee Chairman

The Honorable Committee Members
Committee on Natural Resources
House of Representatives
Metro Manila

POSITION PAPER OF THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF BULAN, SORSOGON ON HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 177, “ RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES TO CONDUCT AN INVESTIGATION, IN AID OF LEGISLATION, INTO THE ILLEGAL EXTRACTION/QUARRYING/MINING OF MAGNETIC SAND IN THE PROVINCE OF SORSOGON PARTICULARLY IN THE MUNICIPALITIES OF SANTA MAGDALENA AND BULAN, SORSOGON”.

Section 138, Chapter 2, Book II of RA 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 states, “ xxx . The permit to extract sand, gravel and other quarry resources shall be issued exclusively by the provincial governor, pursuant to the ordinance of the sangguniang panlalawigan…”

We respectfully submit to the Honorable Committee that the issue on the granting of approval and permits to prospectors of and operators on quarry resources is beyond the jurisdiction of the municipal government.

What the municipal government does, upon application by the quarry operation applicant, as part of the application procedure, is to issue a certificate of endorsement that it interposes no objection prior to the securing of the necessary permits and license from the concerned DENR agencies and the provincial government.

It is up to the concerned DENR agencies and the provincial government to judiciously decide whether the necessary requirements have been complied with. Given their technical expertise, which is beyond the scope of this local government, the former can very well determine and decide on the granting of permits on these resources.

As far as the Municipal Government is concerned, we were informed that there was a permittee of magnetite sand quarrying in our locality, first in late 2006, and then the permit was renewed in August of 2008.

On the matter of taxation, it will be up to the provincial government to remit the share to our municipal government and to the concerned barangays where the quarrying is taking place, for the utilization of our local resource.

As to the matter of operation, while it is within our territorial jurisdiction, we are of the presumption that the supervision on compliance to standards set forth by law rests with the agencies concerned who have issued the permit to such an activity.

(Sgd.) HELEN C. DE CASTRO
Municipal Mayor

5 Comments

Filed under Announcement, Environment, Legal Corner, Mayor Helen De Castro - LGU Bulan

5 responses to “Position Paper of the Municipal Government Of Bulan Regarding Margaja Mining In Bulan.

  1. junasun

    To Mayor Helen De Castro/To PIO-Bulan:

    Thank You for your promt reply, at least regarding the topic of margaja quarrying in our town Bulan.

    It is true that “The permit to extract sand, gravel and other quarry resources shall be issued exclusively by the provincial governor, pursuant to the ordinance of the sangguniang panlalawigan.“- as stated in Section 138 of the Local Government Code of 1991.

    The steps taken by the Municipality of Bulan- as stated in its position paper- are without doubt also correct and also the acknowledgement of the fact that it is beyond the scope of the municipality to decide whether the necessary requirements have been complied with, thus allowing the DENR authorities and provincial government-not only as being prescribed by law but in their being in possesion of the necessary technical expertise- to grant permits on quarrying.

    For us to grasp the whole subject matter, I reproduced hereunder the whole Section 138:

    Section 138. Tax on Sand, Gravel and Other Quarry Resources. – The province may levy and collect not more than ten percent (10%) of fair market value in the locality per cubic meter of ordinary stones, sand, gravel, earth, and other quarry resources, as defined under the National Internal Revenue Code, as amended, extracted from public lands or from the beds of seas, lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, and other public waters within its territorial jurisdiction.The permit to extract sand, gravel and other quarry resources shall be issued exclusively by the provincial governor, pursuant to the ordinance of the sangguniang panlalawigan.

    The position paper continues: “On the matter of taxation, it will be up to the provincial government to remit the share to our municipal government and to the concerned barangays where the quarrying is taking place, for the utilization of our local resource.”

    This is also in accordance with the Local Government Code 1991 which states- as continuation of Section 138-:

    “The proceeds of the tax on sand, gravel and other quarry resources shall be distributed as follows:

    (1) Province – Thirty percent (30%);

    (2) Component City or Municipality where the sand, gravel, and other quarry resources are extracted – Thirty percent (30%); and

    (3) Barangay where the sand, gravel, and other quarry resources are extracted – Forty percent (40%).

    The law on taxation with regards to quarrying is therefore clearly defined:

    30% for the Governor, 30% for the Mayor and 40% for the Punong Barangay- legal shares for each of them as part of their right to generate revenues to be used for their respective territories. Bulan should therefore have a total of 70% share of the the total proceeds of the tax.

    The magnetite sand quarrying in Bulan is already in operation since late 2006, the permit being renewed in August 2008, roughly 2 years of quarrying already.

    Other things being equal, I assume that the provincial government of Sorsogon, the Municipal Government of Bulan and most especially the Barangay(s) where this quarrying is taking place have already profited from this magnetite sand for roughly 2 years now. For the mayor is obliged by law to “(3).. (iii) Ensure that all taxes and other revenues of the municipality are collected and that municipal funds are applied in accordance with law or ordinance to the payment of expenses and settlement of obligations of the municipality” and “(4) Ensure the delivery of basic services and the provision of adequate facilities as provided for under Section 17 of this Code…” ( Section 444 ).

    Though the permit to extract sand, gravel and other quarry resources is issued exclusively by the Provincial Governor, the Municipal Mayor has also the duty to:

    “(3)… (vii) Adopt adequate measures to safeguard and conserve land, mineral, marine, forest, and other resources of the municipality; provide efficient and effective property and supply management in the municipality; and protect the funds, credits, rights and other properties of the municipality;…” (Section 444, (3)…(vii) ).

    Hence, the Municipal Mayor has the legal option to back his/her position when he/she is convinced that the quarrying taking place does visible damage to the ecological balance or bring the affected inhabitants in danger in any form whatsoever.

    (Comment to be continued…)

    jun asuncion

  2. proceso maglaya

    ang tunay na issue diyan kwarta nag kaingitan lang an mga politiko .siguro may diri nabahinan kaya nag ribok.pag sala ako pwede na ako mag migrate sa japan ,maupod na ako sa bata ko na japayuki.kunwari nagmamakulog sa enviroment pero an totoo wara kaintra sa barahin hakhakhak.
    mabuhay an mga politiko dahil sira intero an dahilan san pagsakit san mga tawo.
    KORAPSYUN DIRI HONEDAD!

  3. Ayos an komento ni Mr. Maglaya, ah. This reminds me of the tele-series “Money War” in GMA-7 every weeknights. Ilingon nindo ta matapos an gabos, gadan man sana an bida na si Noah Geum (Geum Na Ra in Korean) dahil sa kwarta.

    Pero warang madaog sa babaing bida (portrayed by Park Jin Hee) na an motto: SMILE!

    Smile lang po kita gabos. Sorry po sa pagtatao nin spoilers lalo na sa mga nag-aabang kada banggui

  4. ramon garra

    Thanks Jun for reminding the good mayor of her supposed duty. Unfortunately, the position paper remains so much to be desired as far as the lady mayor’s care for the environment. Is it not the municipality issues Mayor’s Permit to this activity too? Wonder who are the people behind this quarrying operation? Alexandra Mining & Oil Ventures listed Magnetic Sand Projects in Bulan and Sta. Magdalena as one of its ongoing projects. I have read their PDF file through the Net (this file cannot be accessed anymore, but i was able to download that prior to its restriction).

    • Thanks Ramon for digging up this issue again. We are really concerned about this and would like to get an update of this issue from our municipal officials.

      Otherwise everybody is welcome to post here any relevant documents (publications, photos, videos, etc.) to this margaja issue.

      Like Ramon, help us sustain this site with your active participation for it’s not about me but about our town Bulan. Remember our goal of building up a huge Bulan Netizens of observers, or a Global Community of Bulan Observers.

      Bulan Observer’s existence depends very much on each concerned Tagabulan around the globe.

      I guess we are the only town in the Philippines with such a net platform where we openly communicate with one another and with our local officials.

      Thank you all for your time!

      jun asuncion

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