Piggery farm complainant hits back at Sablan mayor

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SABLAN, Benguet – The complainant in an Ombudsman case against Mayor Manuel Munar, Jr. lashed out at the municipal chief executive for allegedly deviating from the issues raised against the violations of a piggery farm in Suyoc, Banangan here, saying that the issues raised are totally different from what is being complained about.

James Agcon, one of the complainants in the case filed before the Ombudsman against the mayor for alleged dereliction of duty, argued that Mayor Munar’s statements in a recent radio interview that Agcon owns a lot within the vicinity of the piggery farm which is not being purchased because of the presence of the piggery farm, is totally false.

He stated that he is not selling any lot in the area and that he owns a residential property in the place which is not actually for sale in the first place.

The complainant pointed out that there are numerous alleged unaddressed violations of the Five Star piggery farm on the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) that was issued by the environment department that is why the issuance of the closure order by no less than the mayor is warranted but the same must be implemented to allow the corporation to institute the appropriate prescribed mitigating measures to prevent the pollution that the farm poses not only to the bodies of water in the area but also to the air and the nuisance that it poses to the residents living near the farm.

He disclosed that the commercial piggery farm in the said area is still in violation of existing policies of concerned government agencies that such magnitude of a business should not be located within one kilometer away from a national road and 500 meters away from residential areas, thus, the implementation of the closure order for the benefit of the welfare of the residents living within the vicinity of the piggery farm.

While it is true that there was a previous depopulation of the pigs in the said farm, he explained that the number of pigs in the farm continues to be a violation of the limitations prescribed in the ECC that there should be a maximum of 600 heads in the farm as the current population of the farm is more than what is allowed.

According to him, the claim of the mayor that the piggery farm is the major source of pork supply in the Baguio and Benguet areas is also outside the issue that does not justify his alleged failure to implement the closure order that he issued nearly over a year now and such contention does not in any way correct the violations committed by the Five Star piggery farm that pose a serious threat to the health and safety of the people living in the surrounding communities because of the pollution caused by the discharges to the water system apart from the air pollution and nuisance caused by the existence of the alleged unattended proper waste disposal system.

Agcon emphasized he will continue to fight for the welfare of his fellow residents in the area by reiterating the complaints been lodged with concerned government agencies so that the operator of the piggery farm can institute the appropriate measures that will address the pollution issues that had been constantly raised against its operation for their health and safety in the area.

HeraldExpress tried to reach Mayor Munar on his comment to the complaint file againts him but he texted back that he has no comment on the matter. By HENT