INVESTORS SKIP TWO DAVAO BARANGAYS DUE TO “OBNOXIOUS” DRESSING PLANT
Davao City is enjoying a boom on investment due to its excellent business atmosphere. With the downtown area already crowded, investors are looking at upland districts for large housing projects and other investments.
Most of the city’s barangays in the districts are riding on the boom as investors transform villages with million-peso projects particularly low-cost and high-end housing.
But two barangays in Tugbok in the Third District will not benefit from this tsunami of investments for “obnoxious” reason. Barangays Tugbok Proper and Angalan, classified under the City Zoning Code as residential and commercial, is home to a dressing plant that spews out terribly obnoxious odor that turns off investors wanting to locate in the barangays. We have many investors who came to scout areas but they run away because of the smell, said Jose Nierves, a resident. The obnoxious odor is driving away our investors, said Nierves, who adds that the investors instead choose neighboring barangays of Calinan and Mintal. We want this dressing plant out because it is sabotaging the economy and development of our barangay, he said. The culprit is the Barbatos Ventures Corporation Chicken Dressing Plant and Para Sa Pangasius (PSP) Rendering Plant in Purok 12 Quarry in Barangay Tugbok Proper in Tugbok District. The facility has not been issued a business permit by the Business Bureau due to complaints against Barbatos by residents but has continued to operate. For this, the head of the Business Bureau is facing complaints for failing to stop the operation of the dressing plant. Residents of the two villages are up in arms against the City Hall Business Bureau for allowing the operation of the dressing plant that has tormented villagers with nasal torture from obnoxious odor spewed out by the facility. Barbatos has not been granted a business permit for 2019 by the Business Bureau as Barangay Tugbok Proper have not issued a barangay clearance, which is a mandatory requirement for issuance of business permit. The facility has also been opposed by neighboring Barangay Angalan.
Jose Nierves, one of about one housand residents of the two barangays who petitioned the closure of Barbatos, said they will write a letter to Atty. Marissa Torentera, Business Bureau chief, to demand an explanation why the facility has not been closed down by the bureau for lack of permit. If we are not satisfied with the explanation, we will file a formal complaint with concerned government agencies, said Nierves. The City Environment and Natural Resources (Cenro) in January this year recommended the immediate closure of Barbatos for violation of environmental laws on odor and water pollution. Despite the Cenro recommendation and lack of business permit from the Business Bureau, Barbatos has continued to operate. The barangays Tugbok Proper and Angalan have passed resolutions against the operation of the plant and have lodged an appeal to Mayor Sara Duterte to immediately close down Barbatos for lack of business permit, and for odor and water pollution. Two complaints, backed by a petition signed by nearly a thousand residents, have been raised against Barbatos by residents of barangays Angalan and Tugbok Proper: 1. Foul odor emanating from the Dressing Plant which services dressing needs of poultry farms in the city and the Rendering Plant which processes into feeds and feed additives solid wastes from the poultry farms. 2. Improper management of Waste Water Treatment Facility (WWTF). Based on the complaints, Cenro conducted five inspections on the plant in 2018. The Cenro in the series of inspections suggested various recommendations that should be adopted but in the end found that Barbatos and PSP failed to address the complaints against foul odor and the WWTF which has no clearance from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department ofEnvironment and Natural Resources (DENR). After conducting its sixth and final inspection on January 18, 2019, Cenro recommended the closure of Barbatos. In its report, dated January 21, 2019, titled “Chronological inspection activities conducted at Barbatos Ventures Corporation located at Purok 12, Sampaguita St., Quarry, Tugbok District,” Cenro recommended “TO STOP OPERATION AND TRANSFER OPERATION OF BARBATOS VENTURES CORPORATION AND PSP DUE TO FAILURE IN ADDRESSING THE PROBLEM OF FOUL ODOR AND THE PROBLEM OF THEIR WASTE WATER TREATMENT FACILITY.” Copy of the final report was furnished to Tugbok Proper Punong Barangay Wilfredo C. Anfone, Business Bureau. City Health Office and the Davao City Council. In the appeal to Mayor Duterte, Punong Barangay Wilfredo C. Anfone said that despite the Cenro recommendation, Barbatos “continues to operate; despite opposition of residents, without barangay clearance, without permit from the Business Bureau, City Health, Cenro, DENR-EMB and other concerned government agencies.”