SABLAN, Benguet – Municipal officials are now at odds on the supposed closure of a commercial piggery farm in barangay Banangan that has been operating for nearly a year now without the required business permits.
On April 12, 2021, the municipal council passed Resolution No. 2021-102 that appealed to Mayor Manuel Munar, Jr. for the immediate implementation of the closure order directed against Five Star Farms located at Sitio Suyoc, Banagan.
The council pointed out in the said resolution that the municipal government should be the first to show its people strict adherence to law and order, especially when the health, safety, and well-being of its residents are at stake.
Further, the council disclosed that the lack of supply of meat products in the municipality and other neighboring communities should not be a reason to tolerate the continuous operation of the commercial piggery farm that was found to have allegedly violated pertinent environmental laws, rules and regulations aside from operating without business permit from the local government for nearly a year now.
The body took note of complaints dated August 13 and 21, 2018 were lodged with the Cordillera office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources–Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) against the operation of the commercial piggery farm primarily for the foul and obnoxious odor originating from the said farm.
Upon the conduct of the required investigation, the EMB-CAR, in coordination with the local government, found that Five Star Farms allegedly failed to secure the necessary permits to legally operate, violated some conditions of its environmental compliance certificate (ECC) and transgressed pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9275, otherwise known as the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004.
According to the council, after several inspections and dialogues with Five Star Farms by the municipal government and representatives from the EMB-CAR, a closure order was finally issued against the operator of the piggery farm on May 28, 2020.
The council asserted that despite the issuance of the closure order, Five Star Farms continuous to operate and that the health and environmental concerns arising from its operation continue to persist to the detriment of the health of the people and the state of the environment in the area.
Earlier, the council forwarded a resolution to the Office of the Municipal Mayor dated July 4, 2020 requesting the municipality’s chief executive to strictly implement the closure order of Five Star Farms but the same remains unimplemented to date.
However, in his letter dated April 15, 2021 addressed to Hansel David Co, Farm Manager of Five Star Farms, Munar advised the company that it can start securing clearances and other pertinent documents prior to its application for renewal of business permit and lifting of the previously issued closure order.
Irate residents questioned the inability of Mayor Munar to allegedly implement the closure order against the piggery farm which might be considered as alleged grave abuse of authority on his part. By HENT