Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane yesterday said the provincial government will start exporting lahar sand from Mount Pinatubo to Singapore.
Ebdane inked a contract with BlueMax Tradelink Inc., a Filipino company with contacts in Singapore, for the dredging of the Bucao River in Botolan, Maculcol River in San Felipe, and Sto. Tomas River in San Marcelino.
He said the Bucao and Sto. Tomas rivers are the major waterways that drain from Mt. Pinatubo.
Ebdane said the provincial board passed a resolution charging P10 as extraction fee for every cubic meter of sand collected from the dredging project.
According to the governor, the provincial government stands to earn P4 million in monthly revenue.
Under the contract, Ebdane said 420,000 cubic meters of sand per month will be supplied to Singapore within a period of 18 months.
Aside from the extraction fee, local government units in Zambales will also have the opportunity to collect other charges like mineral tax and ore transport permit fee.
“We have so much sand from Pinatubo, and this has caused severe siltation of rivers and has often resulted in severe flooding in several towns and barangays,” Ebdane told reporters.
He said the provincial government has been paying dredging companies to remove sand from the rivers.
“Now, those who will dredge our rivers will pay us instead,” he added.
Ebdane said the sand to be extracted from Bucao and the other two dredging sites are heavy in metallic elements and would be processed before being exported to Singapore.
Clark Zapata, president of BlueMax, said his company was commissioned by Singaporean firms to supply sand for use in their reclamation and expansion projects.
By Ric Sapnu (philstar)
Labels: bluemax, governor ebdane, mount pinatubo, sand, Singapore, zambales