Council urged: Defer permit application of memorial park developer-A A +A
Monday, June 25, 2012
AN ENVIRONMENT group asked the City Council on Sunday to defer the application of Fairfield Memorial (formerly South Groove Memorial) for a permit to develop a memorial park in Barangay Dumoy, Davao City.
"Due to lack of accurate and relevant information, deferment is the best decision as of the moment," Francis Morales, secretary general of Panalipdan-Southern Mindanao, said in a statement posted on Facebook.
He added there is a need to investigate the impact of physical, chemical and microbiological groundwater contamination caused by cemeteries.
"Actually, the question of the potential risks for adverse impacts of cemeteries on the ground and superficial waters has never received enough attention in our country. However, this risk may exist when burial grounds are placed in aquifer areas that are vulnerable to contamination," Morales said in the same Facebook post.
"In order to reduce the risk, the planning for new cemeteries should evaluate geological and hydrological aspects that create a major gap in both national and local legislation," he added.
Panalipdan said the City Government has a duty to protect the city's groundwater.
It said the reasons of various offices giving the clearances are not enough bases to give permit to the proposed project due to lack of information.
Panalipdan said the development of new cemetery in Dumoy may have an impact on the local water environment.
"Hence, it is important when planning such site that consideration is given to possible impacts and where appropriate, ensuring that adequate site investigation and risk assessment are undertaken," the group said.
"The people, the stakeholders, were not provided with this information along with a planning application. Hence, deferment is the best decision given that the people must request the research work be undertaken and a report submitted before various stakeholders will make comments and recommendations. This would be a good material and practice for holding up a genuine consultation process," Morales said.
The Panalipdan noted that the proposed memorial park would occupy a 5.3-hectare site about the city's aquifer where it hosts 36 production wells of the Davao City Water District (DCWD) and supplies about 75 percent of the water needs of Davao City.
Panalipdan said Fairfield had already got all the certifications required by the City Mayor's office and of the City Council.
The group also said the Department of Health, DCWD, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) had already issued clearances and certifications because, they said, the proposed burial park does not breach any law, regulations and existing ordinances and even the watershed code.
The project has already passed first and second reading and is up for third reading.
The City Council will decide whether to give permit or reject the project during a regular session on Tuesday. (ANC)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 26, 2012.