Village execs won’t give hog farm permit to operate
SAN PEDRO CITY—Officials of a village in this city refused to issue a 30-year-old hog farm the clearance to operate in their community and instead asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to permanently shut down the business for violating environmental laws.
In a letter to Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, the village council of San Antonio asked the DENR to revoke the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) issued to King’s Farm, a hog-raising facility operating in the village since 1983.
The letter, dated March 24 and signed by San Antonio village captain Eugenio Ynion Jr., said King’s Farm violated the “law and the terms and conditions of the ECC.” The violations, the letter said, were discovered by the barangay (village) environment and natural resources officer, Lorenzo Ramos Jr.
The letter said Ramos first called the attention of the facility operator on Oct. 8, 2014, due to complaints from residents against the foul smell coming from the hog farm.
The farm’s pollution control officer, Wille Yee, replied in a letter dated Oct. 13, 2014, that action would be taken on the complaint.
But in a phone interview on Wednesday, Ynion said “nothing happened.”
Ynion said Ramos had also inspected the farm repeatedly from September 2014 to January this year and found that it discharged animal wastes directly into the waterway and left “animal carcasses to rot in an open-pit.”
Residents of Park Spring Ville, a private subdivision, also signed a petition in February requesting authorities to inspect the farm, which is less than a kilometer away from residential areas.
In his letter to Paje, Ynion said village officials refused to issue a clearance to operate for this year to King’s Farm “by reason of these violations.”
Ynion said the farm was also not issued a mayor’s permit rendering its operations illegal and could be ground for closure.
But Yee, in a phone interview also on Wednesday, denied that the farm violated environmental laws. He said the farm has been issued a certificate by the city environment office as a “discharge-free” livestock raiser.
The farm, he said, keeps only up to 2,000 heads. “There are two other piggeries in this area as well as backyard (hog raisers). Why are we being singled out?” he said.
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