CEBU, Philippines – Cebu province suspended quarrying operations in Talisay City after five people died in a truck accident on Friday, December 3.
“Effective immediately, and in light of the recent accident that occurred last December 3, 2021, along the National Highway in Barangay Lawaan 1, City of Talisay, Cebu, all operations in your quarry sites, including hauling operations, shall be suspended,” read the provincial government’s memo issued on Monday, December 6.
The accident happened after two dump trucks allegedly tried to overtake each other by the Natalio Bacalso Highway.
The trucks collided with four motorcycles, six cars, and a pedicab. One of the trucks was carrying crushed limestones from the quarry.
Five people were killed, and 14 others were injured in the accident.
A 17-year-old survivor told authorities that one of the truck drivers suffered from a heart attack minutes before the crash.
The order to stop quarrying activities was meant to give the local government time to study how to prevent similar accidents in the future.
Road accidents have become common in Metro Cebu, especially as travel restrictions have eased in the province.
Neighboring Cebu City has recorded almost 2,000 road accidents so far in 2021, according to a report by Cebu Daily News Digital.
In a Facebook post, Talisay City Mayor Samsam Gullas expressed his condolences to the bereaved families, and announced the planned creation of a committee that would develop a traffic plan and policies concerning the hauling of minerals or those that require waste disposal permits from the provincial environmental office.
The committee will be composed of the Talisay city administrator, the city legal officer, Business Process and Licensing Office head, the Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office chief, and three other city councilors.
“As I said earlier, during the suspension, the committee will consult with all stakeholders if there is a need to amend our Traffic Code, especially in regards to the transportation of minerals,” said the city mayor.
Gullas enumerated factors that would be considered for the traffic plan, like the time the operation would be conducted, the exemptions from the truck ban, and the need for mandatory drug tests.
“We will provide more updates on what the city has come up with following a review of our existing laws,” he concluded. – Rappler.com