DENR chief orders a stop to quarrying in Rizal towns due to flooding links

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A quarry in Rodriguez, Rizal. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 13) — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has ordered a stop to quarrying in two Rizal towns amid claims the activity is linked to flooding in nearby cities.

DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones confirmed the order made by Environment chief Roy Cimatu to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

"Yes, the secretary has directed the MGB to order stoppage of all quarry operations pending investigation as to the veracity of the claim that floodings were caused by quarrying," he said.

Leones said some residents and local government units have raised concerns on quarrying in the Rizal municipalities of San Mateo and Rodriguez.

The order comes after nearby Marikina City was submerged in floods following torrential monsoon rains enhanced by Tropical Storm Karding.

Marikina City Mayor Marcy Teodoro welcomed this development.  

More than 22,000 residents of Marikina City continue to stay in evacuation centers despite a drop in the river's water levels due to fears of continued flooding.

Teodoro said, in a phone interview with CNN Philippines, the Marikina River is affected by activities near the upstream river communities.

"Kung mapo-protektahan 'yung Marikina watershed in the upstream communities, ang effect niyan maganda para sa Marikina," he said. "Mababawasan 'yung mabilis na pagbaba ng mga tubig galing sa taas."

[Translation: If the Marikina watershed will be protected in the upstream communities, the effect will be great for the city. The volume of water from the upstream will decrease.]

Teodoro said of the 16 barangays in Marikina City, 14 of them are located near the river system.