MANILA, Philippines — Leyte Rep. Richard Gomez called on the House Committee on Natural Resources to recommend the filing of criminal and administrative charges with the Office of the Ombudsman against Palompon local government officials for violations alleged flagrant violations of the country’s land and environmental laws. .
Gomez urged the leadership of the committee to produce a full report and conclusion, saying officials from Palompon Municipality in Leyte and employees from the regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) should face up to charges. He cited violations of forest law and environmental management laws, especially for extensive pollution of water, soil and air resources.
“I recommend that with these infractions, the Committee write a report and conclude that we will file it with the ombudsman,” Gomez said. He authored House Resolution No. 778, which launched the House’s investigation into gross violations of land use and environmental management laws in Palompon and Albuera, located in the fourth district of Leyte.
The lawmaker specifically requested that the House panel investigate the activities of DBSN Farms Agriventures Corporation, which allegedly caused the pollution of water, soil and air resources in Palompon and Albuera, where the company operates.
DBSN operates a chicken dressing factory with a capacity of 55,000 in Albuera and a breeding farm in Palompon, with a total capacity of 88,000 chicken heads.
A recent assessment study conducted by the Department of Biological Sciences of the College of Sciences of the University of Santo Tomas examined water quality, stream ecology and microbial analysis of the course system of water Albuera-Tinag-an. The study found that solid waste from the DBSN treatment plant had polluted the waters of Ormoc Bay. Solid waste from the factory includes dead chickens, chicken intestines and other materials.
Solid waste collected at the Albuera plant was transported to Palompon and dumped on lot 5150 in Barangay San Joaquin. This location is within the perimeter of the Palompon Forest and Watershed Reserve, established under Proclamation 212 by the late President Corazon Aquino in 1988.
In addition to recommending charges, Gomez called for the immediate cancellation of the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) issued to DBSN due to the alleged pollution.
He urged the DENR Secretary to thoroughly investigate the matter and ensure that all sanctions are imposed on DBSN Farm. Gomez further highlighted the need to cancel the ECCs of DBSN Farm in San Joaquin, Albuera Salad Dressing Factory and Barangay Tinag-an, Antipolo.
Expressing outrage, Gomez also suggested that the DENR should “search the landfill” where the solid waste was deposited. He firmly said, “It is totally unacceptable for this to happen. We cannot and must not tolerate the destruction of our environmental resources.
Also, as a proactive measure, the former Mayor of Ormoc City urged DENR Secretary Toni Yulo-Loyzaga to relocate the heads of the various DENR Region 8 offices to other regions. Gomez said they know the area well and are aware of the activities. He recommended their transfer to ensure an impartial resolution.
Gomez concerned about environmental law violations in Leyte
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