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Zambales exporting Pinatubo sand to Singapore

Updated by: bongProvincial NewsOct 25, 2011

Zambales Governor Hermogenes Ebdane

IBA, Zambales

Now, Zambales will more than double its benefits from the tons and tons of sand ejected from Mount Pinatubo during its devastating eruption years ago. This as the provincial government will export the Pinatubo sand to Singapore through a group called BlueMax Tradeline Inc. Singapore, which now hosts about 120,000 Filipinos who are among the highest paid overseas workers, has been continually expanding and reclaiming big areas for business. Sand and aggregates are essential needs for such expansion. Zambales Governor Hermogenes Ebdane has already signed 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. The Bucao and Sto. Tomas rivers are the major waterways that drain from Mt. Pinatubo. Ebdane said the Sangguniang Panlalawigan has adopted a resolution setting the extraction fee of P10 for every cubic meter of sand collected from the dredging project. This translates to roughly P4 million in monthly revenue, based on the contract, which requires that 420,000 cubic meters of sand a month will be supplied to Singapore within the period of 18 months, Ebdane said. Aside from the extraction fee, the governor said local government units (LGUs) in Zambales will also have the opportunity under the

project to collect other fees and taxes like mineral tax, and ore transport permit fee. Ebdane said the Zambales government would be more than willing to supply Singapores requirements, because it would rehabilitate local waterways and earn income for the province. 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, he said. In the past, the government was paying for dredging companies to remove sand from the rivers. Now, the opposite is the case those who will dredge our rivers will pay us instead, he said. The governor added that the export of Pinatubo sand is just one aspect of the project. He said that because the Singapore clients would only need pure sand for their reclamation projects, the Pinatubo sand would have to be processed before exportation. As you know, the sand to be extracted from Bucao and the other two dredging sites are heavy in metallic elements, specifically magnetites or black sand. Now, these waste from processing the Pinatubo sand will still be another source of revenue for Zambales, he said. According to Clark Zapata, president of BlueMax, his company was commissioned by Singaporean firms to supply sand for use in their expansion projects. This is for the first contract alone, Zapata said, adding that we are still in the negotiation stage for two more contracts that would bring the total extraction to 1.2 million cubic meters per month, for an extraction fee of about P12 million.

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