By Michelle Joy L. Padayhag and Nestle Semilla

A resident of Sitio Guisok, Barangay Tuburan Sur in Dano City shows the small scale quarry site where a worker was killed after a wall of limestone collapsed on him.

Dead victim’s kin seeks justice; Penro says quarry owner has expired permit

A team from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Central Visayas (MGB-7) will investigate the quarry site incident in Sitio Guisok, Barangay Tuburan Sur, Danao City in northern Cebu.

Director Loreto B. Alburo of MGB-7 said in a statement that he had ordered the deployment of a team of geologists and safety engineers to establish the facts and potential causes of the reported incident that claimed the life of a worker and injured another.

This developed after the family of Jessie Olivar, 29, the worker who died after a wall of limestone collapsed on him at the quarry site in Sitio Guisok, is seeking justice for his death.

Rommel Olivar, Jessie’s uncle, said that they were hoping that the operator of the quarry site would face the problem.

Rommel made the call after he claimed that the small-scale mining site operator allegedly seemed to wash their hands of any responsibility to the incident.

“Mura man g’yud sila (owner) nanghinaw. Ana sila akong pagumangkon naa ra daw sa site kay nalibang. Dako kay nang binuang kay kana si Jessie nagtrabaho na nila (They seemed like washing their hands regarding the incident. They said that my nephew was in the site because he was defecating. It’s a lie. My nephew was working at the site),” Rommel said.

Ingracia Perez was reportedly running the operations of the quarry site, which was validated by the records of the Cebu Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) according to the MGB-7, in a statement.

Rommel, who lived in the area, said that the quarry site had been declared by Penro to be off-limits.

“Dugay nana giingnan nga dili nana pahilabtan diha. Pero nagsige man gihapon sila. Kung wala na pakabkabi dili na mahitabo nay aksidente (It had been off limits a long time ago. But the owner still continued their quarrying there. If they did not push it, the accident would not have happened),” Rommel said.

When sought for comment, Perez refused to give any statement, other than to promise that she would shoulder the burial expenses of Jessie.

According to the MGB-7, the Penro records showed that the quarry permit for the area in Tuburan Sur expired on Sept. 12, 2014 and was not renewed due to unsafe quarry operations. The Cebu provincial government issued a quarry permit to Ingracia Perez on Sept. 11, 2013.

Azmir Garcia of Penro Capitol said the extraction of limestone in the area is an illegal operation.

Department Administrative Order (DAO) 92-30 as amended in DAO 92-31 has devolved the enforcement of small-scale mining laws in areas not declared as government mineral reservation to the local government units.

The provincial governor or the city mayor can issue permits for the extraction of sand and gravel and other quarry resources in areas that are not more than five hectares.

Quarry resources include limestone, clay, marble, talc, gypsum, phosphate rock, barite, bentonite, feldspar, gemstone, pyrite or fertilizers, perlite, andesite, basalt, among others.

“The bureau has boosted partnership with the local government units in curbing illegal mining and quarrying activities, but we cannot do this alone.

We need the help of local community leaders and other stakeholders to report any questionable operations which are illegally extracting mineral resources,” Alburo said. | Cebu Daily News