Residents, contractor, Sablan LGU gear for a win-win solution

SABLAN, Benguet- The flow of agricultural products and services in this town especially in Barangay Bayabas (Sitio Monglo) and adjoining barangays have been drastically hampered due to the delay in the construction of a multi-million (P286-M) 4- kilometer circumferential road in the area. Lawyer Edward Raymund Palsiw, counsel for PHESCO, Inc. on Friday told media men that the closure orders issued
earlier by the town’s former mayor Manuel Munar Jr and recently by Mayor Alfredo Dacumos against the
company’s batching plant caused the “delay” in the implementation of the project.

The batching plant is critical in the delivery of concrete materials to the various sections of the project in order to meet the required date of completion. Almost four months now “no” construction works are being undertaken on the project site. The Phesco legal counsel stressed that the company’s batching plant with support facilities is covered by a Certificate of Non-Coverage (CNC) from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)- Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-CAR). The CNC issued to
Phesco -classified as “resource extractive/mining and quarrying projects/mineral processing-batching and
crushing plant-sand and gravel washing mobile to be operated.

“The company’s batching plant is mobile, and it will be removed once the project is finished,” said Palsiw, adding that early months in the construction period, local officials especially Mayor Munar has permitted the operation of the batching plant. A number of residents in the area expressed support in the operation of the batching plant, pointing out that the construction of the road will have a great impact in transporting their agricultural products and other needs such as medical.

On the part of the municipal government, Mayor Dacumos’ closure order (Sept 28,2022) issued against Phesco Inc on the operation of its batching plant, and based on the investigation and validation records showed the following violations : Operating without a business permit or mayor’s permit; operating not within the industrial zone; and no objection letters from neighboring institutions, government facilities and residents were secured, among others.

In an interview with Mayor Dacumos , said they are fully supportive to the construction of the road which will eventually boost their town’s economic progress. Dacumos attending to the complaints of his  constituents, however, said that the present location of the batching plant post health hazard and noise
pollution. He supported the move by his constituents that the batching plant be relocated. The mayor revealed that several individuals have made offers to have their lot be rented out to accommodate said plant.

The area is far from residential houses,the mayor added. The local chief executive said that several dialogues have been conducted between representatives of the company, affected residents and also
representatives from different government line agencies as well as from the province to discuss the issue.
Some affected residents said that the batching plant should be relocated even as they expressed support the construction of the said road (circumferential road) which will eventually give them more opportunities.

As this developed, in a telephone interview, Mayor Dacumos has called a dialogue set on October 4 to settle ones and for all the issue. Dacumos said that he is calling for the meeting to thresh out the delay in the project and the alleged lack of manpower by the company to undertake the project. Phesco representative who requested not to be identified said their company through its representative is “very much willing” to attend the dialogue.

Primo Agatep/ABN

Amianan Balita Ngayon