Amid calls to stop the shipping out of aggregates from Leyte

TACLOBAN CITY – Why just regulate the exportation of sand and gravel materials instead of banning them?
This was a suggestion by a town mayor after the provincial board of Leyte conducted a hearing calling for the banning of the exportation of the construction materials.
But for Lapaz Mayor Angel Sia, regulation should be the option that should be taken by the provincial officials instead of banning of sand and gravel outside the province.
The committee on environment and natural resources, chaired by board member Mesias Arevalo, conducted a public hearing for a possible stoppage of the exportation of sand and gravel outside the province on March 6.
Among those who attended was Mayor Sia saying that imposing a ban on the exportation of the sand and gravel could dampen on the Build Build Build program of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“I do not support the banning of exportation but rather this should be regulated. There should be monitoring so that when they exceed to the capacity or permit issued they will be advised that they are already exceeding. The proper to address this problem is regulation,” Sia said.
The Build Build Build program is considered to be the flagship program of the Duterte administration building major infrastructure projects across the country.
Some of these projects are located in the region like the tide embankment project covering the towns of Palo and Tanauan and Tacloban City and the Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project cutting several coastal towns in Northern Samar.
This stand of the Lapaz mayor has the support of the Department of Public Works and Highways(DPWH)saying the aggregates from Leyte are very important in the implementation of the Build, Build, Build project of the national government.
Leyte’s sand and gravel are considered Class A which are good for construction projects.
Last year, the provincial government generated an income from collecting fees on sand and gravel materials P22 million.
The Provincial Treasurer’s Office said that they were projecting P40 million collection on sand and gravel fees from the 39 permittees.
During the said hearing Tabon-Tabon Mayor Efren Redona agreed on Sia’s proposal to have at least impose a limit capacity for trucks that hauls the aggregates.
“Some trucks loads are carrying 25 cubic but our roads carrying capacity is only for 15 cubic. These are already damaged because of the big trucks that are passing,” Mayor Redoña said.
Baybay City Vice Mayor Ernesto Butawan said that the fees collected from the permittees are not even enough to repair the damaged roads caused by the heavy trucks containing the sand and gravel materials.
“The collection of fees that we collected outweigh the potential damage on the environment. We should look on our charges. We may also put additional charges for the repair and maintenance of the damage roads,” Butawan said. (ROEL T.AMAZONA)