EMB shuts down agri facility

    PALAYAN CITY – Combined personnel of the city government and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) swooped down on an unlicensed facility that claimed to be an organic fertilizer manufacturing establishment recently.

    Lormelyn Claudio, EMB chief for Central Luzon, said the notice of violation was served to the Vieva Green Growth, Inc. (VGGI) in Barangay Caballero this city on Thursday for operating without environmental compliance certifi cate (ECC).

    With the EMB personnel were a team from the city’s environment and natural resources offi ce (ENRO) headed by Anelyn Bongcawil.

    Prior to its closure, residents were complaining about the foul stench coming from the two-hectare compound owned by Maynard Cruz, husband of Leah Cruz, head of the controversial Vegetable Importers, Exporters and Vendors Association (VIEVA) of the Philippines which was tied to an alleged cartel in garlic and onion industry in the country.

    Sources said Mayor Adrianne Mae Cuevas rushed to the VIEVA compound initially on Aug. 10 after receiving an alert from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) that six truckloads of meat were coming to the city through a firm called “Ecosafe” with VGGI as consignee.

    That was the first time the city government learned about the VGGI’s operation, the source said, adding this made Cuevas worry about the possible hazard to health of an unchecked shipment.

    With the tarpaulin signage that describes the business as: “An organic nursery, research and demonstration farm,” the compound, located along a concrete road, initially look as a plain farm planted to diff erent plants like eggplant, ampalaya and corn among others. At the back, however, were mountains of garlic buried on carbonized rice hull.

    The rotten garlic, according to an employee who refused to be quoted for lack of authority to speak, served as green component and the carbonized rice hull as brown component in manufacturing organic fertilizer. But meat, he added, is far richer in minerals for fertilizer.

    He denied the public perception that the garlic were good for market and dumped only to keep its market price high.

    Local workers are headed by supposed experts in manufacturing organic fertilizer from Mindanao and Palawan, it was learned.


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