‘Hanky-panky’

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Sunday, January 12, 2014


WAS hanky-panky involved when the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) 7 issued a permit to allow the operation of a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) plant, which clearly violates the law? I pose this question following the complaint filed by some residents of Barangay Langtad in the City of Naga against the Petronas LPG plant, which was granted permit by BFP even if it violates Republic Act 9514, also known as the Fire Code of the Philippines of 2008.

In its implementing rules and regulations, the law requires that prior to the issuance of a fire safety permit on the operation of an LPG container facility, specific requirements must be strictly complied as provided for under Section 10.3.4.33 (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) paragraph 7.

The paragraph states that “multiple container installation with a total storage of more than 680,000 water capacity of approximately 567,000 liters LPG capacity shall be subdivided into group of 680,000 or 567,000 liters capacity in each group. Such grounds shall be separated by a distance of not less than 15 meters unless the tanks are mounted in an approved manner.”

The complainants insist that the company did not comply with this provision. The distance requirements are there to safeguard the public, the adjacent properties and neighboring communities from any danger in the event of an unfortunate LPG-related explosion in an LPG plant/facility.

But based on the plant’s fire hydrant schematic layout, the distance of the container to the perimeter fence is very short and does not reach the 122-meter distance required under the fire code. I was told there are houses adjacent to the plant.

The company, however, assured the complainants that the plant has met high standards on safety requirements. No. The issue here is not safety requirements. The issue here is did the company comply with what is in the law? How come the BFP 7 issued a permit to the company when it did not comply with provisions of the law? Did BFP 7 officials carefully study the law before they issued the permit? Ato nalang sabwan nang balaod kung dili tumanon. O nabutahan sila gumikan sa malingin nga rason. Paging, ombudsman.

***

The result of the Barangay Councilors’ League of the Philippines (BCLP) Cebu City chapter election is another manifestation that the clout of Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) is waning.

The group of Kamputhaw Barangay Councilman Atty. Raymond Garcia, which was supported by Team Rama, wiped out the slate of incumbent local and national BCLP president Kasambagan Councilman Franklin Ong, who is closely associated with former Cebu City mayor and south district congressman Tomas Osmeña, BOPK’s titular head. It was a landslide victory by Garcia’s group.

Definitely it was a proxy war between Mayor Mike Rama and Osmeña. In the Association of Barangay Councils election, Tisa Barangay Captain Felix Zafra, an ally of Team Rama, beat Capitol Site Barangay Captain Manuel Guanzon, a BOPK-supported candidate.

Is this a sign that BOPK’s dominance is waning?

Morag nagkahuyang na gyud. Mao nay angayan hinuktukan ni Tomas Osmeña sa dili pa siya makahuna-huna ug lansar sa 2016. Mao na ni resulta sa iyang pagka-arogante ug pagkadiktador. Pahuway na lang ‘Mas sa pulitika.

(bobby.nalzaro@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 13, 2014.

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