Thu, 30 Jun 2022

MANILA - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) formally ordered on Wednesday the suspension of the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) of three large-scale companies allegedly encroaching on the Masungi Georeserve in Rizal.

In a virtual presser, DENR acting Secretary Jim Sampulna said they have secured three separate contract suspensions to Rapid City Realty and Development Corp., Quimson Limestone, Inc., and Quarry Rock Group, Inc.

Despite encroachment allegations, Sampulna clarified that these companies have been non-operational since 2004.

"Due to the numerous arising issues published in the newspapers, people who are allegedly complaining, so they decided to voluntarily cease operations," he said in Filipino.

Separate notices indicate allegations against their MPSAs to be "void from the beginning" and "do not have prior rights," among others.

"I am suspending the operation of those three MPSAs, and removing the companies' authority to operate to remove the public's speculation," he added.

An MPSA is a type of mineral agreement where the state grants the contractor the right to mine over an area, granted that there will be government shares in the contractor's production.

Meanwhile, the DENR said they will investigate another alleged illegal quarrying in the Upper Marikina river basin protected landscape.

"We will be ordering an investigation if there are any ongoing illegal quarrying operations, despite the suspensions," Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Director Wilfredo G. Moncano said. (PNA)

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