San Fernando, Cebu – More cement need to be produced or imported as the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program goes full steam, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said.

Engr. Arman Malicse, chief of Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division of MGB-7 said the Taiheiyo Cement plant in this town can only produce a million tons of cement, way below the more than two million tons required for the government’s infrastructure program.

Taiheiyo’s local partner is the Solid Earth Development Corporation (SEDC).

The massive construction effort requires the quarrying of sand and gravel, which are components in cement production, Malicse said.

He said the cement could also be imported from Japan and South Korea.

Romeo Gebilaguin, Taiheiyo’s environment and safety manager, said that as demand for cement grows, the plant has to double its production capacity.

The plant produces 7,350 metric tons of cement a day and Gebilaguin said the company is aiming for 16,350 metric tons next year.

He said P3.5 billion has been allocated for a new plant and equipment.

“We will be needing additional manpower by then, hire more workers. This will give job opportunities to Cebu with 6 percent of them coming from San Fernando,” Gebilaguin said.

Taiheiyo will strictly follow regulations mandated in the Philippine Mining Act, particularly those that concern the protection of the environment, he said.

The company has allocated P3.63 million to upgrade the plant’s anti-pollution devices from dust collectors to filters, and “this is a remarkable contribution of the conservation of the environment,” he said.

Last Friday, Taiheiyo Cement and its local partner, Solid Earth Development Corporation, led a tree-planting activity at the St. Augustine Eco-pilgrimage Park to celebrate the Philippine Environment month. | Source: Manila Bulletin