Tuba wants transparency on piggery project

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Tuba, Benguet – The municipal government is demanding proponents of a commercial piggery farm in a private property in barangay San Pascual to be transparent on the status of the ambitious project and to accord municipal officials the appropriate respect considering the facility will be established within the town’s jurisdiction.

Vice Mayor Maria Carantes said that the municipal government’s position on the proposed put up of a commercial piggery farm within a 10-hectare private property is that the same must pass through transparent consultations and for the proponents to secure the free and prior informed consent (FPIC) of the indigenous cultural communities and indigenous peoples because the area is within the ancestral domain of IPs.

“We were surprised to learn about the put up of a commercial piggery farm in our territory through the media. We deserve to be accorded the appropriate respect by the proponents of the project, whether they are local officials or private individuals, because we must be appraised on what is happening in our territory. We will not allow project proponents to simply intrude in our municipality without passing through the local government even if the project will be put up in a private property. There are processes that should be strictly observed and we will not recognize short cuts,” Vice Mayor Carantes stressed.

Earlier, the municipal council summoned the proponents of the proposed commercial piggery farm to appear before the regular session of the municipal legislative body next week to shed light on the matter and for them to be reminded to recognize the fact that the project is being implemented in Tuba and not Baguio City where they could just do what they want to allegedly railroad the project.

The vice mayor pointed out it is unfortunate that the project proponents who are supposed to practice proper coordination, transparency and accountability are not actually observing what they had been publicly pronouncing considering that the put up of the facility did not pass through the regular processes raising the suspicion that they are trying to avoid something negative that will eventually derail the project and negate their established timeframe.

The Baguio Animal Raisers Cooperative, the Baguio City government and Francis Cuyop entered into a memorandum of agreement for the utilization of the latter’s private property for the establishment of a state-of-the-art commercial piggery farm to help rid the city of the proliferation of backyard piggeries which is in violation of existing laws, rules and regulations and for such property to be utilized for the purpose for a 10-year period.

According to her, the concept of the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) was supposed to establish a harmonious working relationship among the concerned local governments but what is happening right now is that it is the surrounding municipalities of Benguet that are being made to find solutions to the problems of Baguio City which is obviously one-sided based on what is currently happening and that the said municipalities are being forced to accept such solutions to the city’s urbanization problems even if it will be violative of existing laws, rules and regulations.

She claimed project proponents should be able to satisfactorily clarify the issues surrounding the commercial piggery farm project because it will make or break the same once local officials will not be contented with responses to their queries.

By HENT

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