BENGUET provincial officials and concerned agencies were asked to stop illegal chicken dung operations in Barangay Shilan, La Trinidad, Benguet.
Shilan resident Agapito Delmas, in a letter forwarded to SunStar Baguio dated October 27, 2020, expressed concern in their barangay and “respectfully pleading for mercy and justice from concerned agencies and provincial officials to kindly stop their tolerated illegal chicken dung business operation in Shilan."
“If the proper authorities are not aware of the health hazards emission from nuisance business, why not legalize the chicken dung operation at the ideal Benguet Agri-Pino Trading Center, instead of identifying Shilan as refuge center of their illegal business transaction,” he said.
Delmas also appealed “to stop acts of terrorism in Shilan” and “ask provincial officials and proper authorities who tolerated the transfer of banned chicken dung trading from Tublay to Shilan, just to evade suspension and continue the health hazard business operation in Shilan.”
In September, the local government of La Trinidad reiterated its stand against the illegal sale, disposal and storage of chicken dung in the town and issued notices of closure to five chicken dung operators in Barangay Shilan, but chicken dung traders did not stop.
The chief executive reiterated Administrative Order no. 008 series of 2010 issued by former Mayor Gregorio Abalos Jr. on July 23, 2010, prohibiting the sale, disposal and storage of chicken dung in the town, citing the trading and storage of chicken dung within the municipality as a public nuisance as affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
The La Trinidad Municipal Police Station (LTMPS) was also ordered to implement the closure orders to the chicken dung operators.
Major Cleff Vencio, LTMPS chief, said they have been on a cat-and-mouse chase with traders who refuse to follow the closure order of the mayor. He said they also decided to deploy police officers to man the area.
Delmas added the designated law enforcers that included policemen were repudiated and or intimidated by the arrogant chicken dung operators and instead, served as their security guard.
Chicken dung operations in Tublay
The town of Tublay opened its doors to chicken dung traders, with six based in Barangay Caponga and two in Barangay Ambassador, according to Mayor Armando Lauro.
In April 2020, the chief executive issued Executive Order no. 14-2020, temporarily suspending the selling of chicken dung manure in the town to prevent the spread of Covid in the municipality.
Lauro said sometime in April, he lifted the suspension.
The mayor said the temporary suspension was issued because of the high Covid-19 cases and they wanted to prevent the transmission of the virus.
Before chicken dung traders in the town resume their operations, the mayor said they were required to conduct Covid-19 swab tests, with eight chicken dung traders complying. They also had to follow health protocols such as wearing face masks upon resumption.
Lauro said chicken dung traders had transferred and are now operating in Shilan. If they decide to go back in Tublay, they must still comply with the requirements.
Court case pending
In September, La Trinidad filed an environmental case of abatement of a nuisance with a prayer for the issuance of a temporary environmental protection order and permanent environmental protection and damages against 10 who are landowners and traders engaged in the storage and trading of chicken dung in Shilan, and within the disputed area being claimed by the towns of La Trinidad and Tublay at Tili, Shilan and Acop, Tublay.
The case is still pending in court.
The municipal government sought to stop the chicken dung operations. In previous years, the municipal government issued permanent closure orders, reiterated AO no. 08-2010 and installed yellow lines and barriers. Chicken dung traders, however, replaced them with their own barriers and resumed trading in Shilan.