BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan ordered the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) and the City Health Services Office (CHSO) to immediately submit their comprehensive report on the operation of the Camp 7 cement batching plant so that appropriate actions could be taken if there are violations of existing laws, rules, and regulations.
The local chief executive said his directive for the investigation on the continuous operation of the cement batching plant is due to the numerous complaints brought to his attention by concerned residents who claim to suffer from health and environmental hazards, as well as nuisance caused by the round the clock operation of the plant.
“We will take the appropriate actions once the concerned offices will submit their respective reports within the next several days,” Domogan stressed.
It will be recalled that the city has an existing 2007 ordinance banning the operation of batching plants within its territorial jurisdiction that compelled previously existing batching plant operators to relocate their facilities outside the city.
However, the management of the Camp 7 batching plant opted to question the constitutionality of the ordinance that subsequently resulted in the declaration of the local legislative measure as unconstitutional by a local court.
The local government appealed the ruling of the local court to the Court of Appeals (CA) stating, among others, that it erred in declaring the anti-batching plant ordinance as unconstitutional because the city is empowered to legislate laws for the protection of the environment and the health of the local residents from environmentally critical facilities like the batching plants.
Domogan said the reports of the concerned offices will serve as his basis whether or not to order the closure of the batching.
While it is true that the city issued the appropriate permit to the batching plant operator to do business, he stated it does not mean that the local government will not close the operation of the plant once there will be findings and recommendations on the violation of the operator to the existing national and local laws relative to environmental preservation and protection and the health and nuisance in the place of operation.
He said batching plants are considered to be environmentally critical facilities because of the impact they pose to the environment due to their dust emissions and water discharge, the health of the people due to air, water, and noise pollution, among others. that must be regulated by concerned government agencies.
He called on the complainants to support the members of the investigating team by providing them with the necessary information required that will strengthen their recommendations for the eventual closure of the batching plant.
By Dexter A. See