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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Task force urged to hasten batching plant inspection

BAGUIO City Mayor Mauricio Domogan ordered the newly created Camp 7 batching plant task force to work double time in the required joint inspection of the establishment to find out its violations to the city’s zoning ordinance and Environment Code which can warrant its eventual closure.

The local chief executive also adhered to the recommendation of City Building Official Engineer Nazita Bañez to use the violations of the batching plant to cancel the Environmental Compliance Certificate issued by the Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau which is allegedly being used by the operator as a legal justification for its continuous operation.

“We believe the local government has sufficient legal bases to close the operation of the Camp 7 batching plant because of our existing zoning ordinance that declared the area as residential area and the city’s Environment Code which provides the guidelines operating environmentally critical projects,” Domogan stressed.

Domogan said the legal victory against the Camp 7 batching plant with the recent ruling of the Court of Appeals (CA) that upheld the constitutionality of the city’s anti-batching plant ordinance prohibiting cement batching plants within the territorial jurisdiction of the city.

Domogan added that the task force, composed of representatives of the City Environment and Parks Management Office, City Building and Architecture Office, City Health Official and City Legal Office, must jointly inspection the site and issue recommendations as his basis in closing the batching plant.

Earlier, the City Council enacted ordinance No. 43, series of 2007 which prohibits batching plants around the city because of its serious negative effect to the state of the environment and the health of the people living within the vicinity of the batching plants.

Domogan urged Engr. William Tan, owner of the Camp 7 batching plant, to comply with his previous commitment to transfer the plant outside the city within a one-year period even prior to the filing of the case before the Regional Trial Court Branch 5 that declared the anti-batching ordinance as unconstitutional which the city local appealed to the CA.

The mayor argued as the CA reversed the local ruling on the case which dragged on for several years, he urged the owner to better transfer immediately as the local government will use all its available powers to close the batching plant the soonest to put an end to the long standing health and environment problems being complained by concerned residents in the area.

Domogan claimed the batching plant within a residential area is prohibited under the city’s zoning ordinance, especially that the facility is an environmentally critical one, thus, the need for the operator to re-think his position on the matter. (PR)
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