CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Officials from Kalinga province visited the provincial Capitol on Oct. 26 to learn best practices from the province’s regulation of the quarry industry, which re-emerged strongly after Mt. Pinatubo’s 1991 eruptions spewed big volumes of sand.
Pampanga Gov. Dennis Pineda attributed the record-high P2.2-billion quarry revenue to the strong partnership with stakeholders and efficient work by the regulatory unit Kalam, which he shared with the Kalinga delegation.
“We appreciate na kinonsider nila ang Pampanga for their benchmarking. Sabi ko nga po sa kanila hindi po magiging madali iyan sa una. Kailangan ng political will at dapat walang exceptions. Nakakaproud kasi this will show po na gaano po ka-effective yung collection po natin sa quarry at gaano tayo katransparent sa mga polisiya natin dito sa province,” the governor explained.
According to the governor, the provincial government managed to get the cooperation of quarry operators as well as associations of truck owners and haulers of sand and gravel through the enforcement of fair rates in tax, fees, and penalties.
The proper collection and recording of revenues by the treasurer’s office showed the contribution of stakeholders to the local economy, the governor said.
The stakeholders donated 300 oxygen tanks, two ambulances, and other commodities during the COVID-19 pandemic, agreeing also to cut the sidings of trucks to comply with the weight limits on public roads and bridges.
Kalinga First District Board Member Julius Amla found the unity and cooperation of stakeholders to be worth emulating.
“Napakaganda ng unity and cooperation ng association ng quarry and haulers dito sa Pampanga. Sa amin hinahabol namin yung mga contractors. Before pa kami pumunta dito, alam na namin na maganda talaga ang operation ng quarry sa Pampanga. Yung ibang province nagbebenchmark din dito. Maganda po ito sa aming lalawigan, sigurado po pag-uwi namin may mga ia-amend po kaming mga ordinansa tungkol sa quarry,” said Board Member Amla.
The visitors also appreciated the province’s seamless operation in issuing monitoring tickets and hauling passes, including the intensified implementation of the Anti-Overloading Law.
“Sobrang hands-on ni Governor Pineda, talagang nandun siya sa field mismo. Bihira lang ang mga lider na ganito. This is leadership by example,” said Richard Daliyong, acting budget officer of Kalinga.
Quarry collections reached P2.205 billion under Governor Pineda from July 1, 2019 up to Sept. 30, 2022, records of Kalam (Kapampangan a Lulugud at Matapat) showed.
The provincial government collects a P150 in sand tax, which is distributed on a 40-30-30 percent sharing by barangays, towns or cities, and province. It also collects a P250-administrative fee on top of various fees, fines and penalties.