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Davao Oriental bans quarrying at main irrigation water source

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Aragon Dam
The Aragon Dam in Cateel, Davao Oriental.

DAVAO ORIENTAL’S provincial government has banned quarrying within the river that serves as the main water source of the Aragon Dam in Cateel town, considered as the biggest irrigation system in Mindanao. John Christopher Algallar of the Provincial Engineering Office explained that quarrying within the water system will not only expose surrounding villages to danger, but will also destroy the irrigation system. “Quarrying downstream will likely cause the failure of the dam, especially when there is an uncontrolled rising of water levels,” Mr. Algallar said in a statement over the weekend. Built through the Mindanao Rural Development Program and was completed in 2014, the dam has become the main source of water for many rice farms in Cateel, an emerging rice producer in the province. Mr. Algallar said that while there has been no reported illegal quarrying activities along the river, it is important that both the public and the local government units work together to strictly monitor it. Earlier this year, some other parts of the province suffered flooding as a result of heavy rainfall. — Carmelito Q. Francisco