What the people need

    The news on the result of the tests conducted by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) on the Porac piggeries is a welcome note, especially for those who have been waiting for concrete action against these environmental pollutants.

    But sadly, the EMB report is obviously half-done for it failed to name the violators in the first place. Second, the report likewise failed to state what penalties will be imposed against the six violators. Would they be ordered to stop operations? Or would they be ordered to pay penalties to the Porac constituents for violating environmental safety measures, causing probable illness to the community? Or would they be given more days to correct their systems and facilities but were still allowed to operate, just like in the past?

    The tests conducted by EMB are necessary and important. But their job should not stop there. Long have been the days when the residents of Porac and businessmen of Angeles called for the closure or relocation of these piggeries in Sta. Cruz and Manibaug.

    Now that six were positively confirmed for violating the environmental safety measures, the government should sincerely address the concerns of the people. I recommend that the violators shall be closed and ordered to stop operations until further notice pending a full blown investigation.

    Another point, many have already complained on the wastes and effluents dumped by these piggeries in the Porac creeks. Not only they were found guilty of polluting the air but the bodies of water as well. The local government and the EMB should address this urgent concern immediately. The solid wastes and effluents killed fishes and other marine life that could have been a source of livelihood for many Poraquenos.

    April 22 was Mother Earth Day. The EMB report was published in time with this significant event. But too bad. It is not a tribute to Mother Earth but a disgrace because these piggeries have long been violating our environmental laws even as they pose health hazards but the government remained deaf to the people’s plea.

    Closure or relocation. There is no other way. Yes, the piggeries were there before the people settled in Sta. Cruz. But in an evolving government where the voice of the people is the ultimate priority, the government has no other choice but to listen.

    Pinoy Gumising Ka Movement (PGKM) Ruperto Cruz was right in saying that the report was nothing but a campaign material meant to dilute the real issue that Porac piggeries continue to emit foul smell.

    Cruz said the report not only lack substance but also sincerity.

    “The report is a pure deception,” he added. He noted that the despite the EMB’s supposed action against these piggeries, foul smells and insects continue to be a problem in Sta, Cruz and Cut-Cut, Angeles City.

    The PGKM chairman said that it takes more than a single report to convince the people about the local government’s sincerity in addressing the piggery issue. This could be a political strategy for fund raising, he added.

    In a related note on environmental protection, the municipality of Magalang seems to be doing alright with its campaign for agriculture. Mayor Lyndon Cunanan, yes he is still the mayor in case others are asking, recently met with Ating Alamin host Jerry Geronimo exploring the current agricultural programs implemented by the Pampanga Agricultural College in cooperation of the municipality of Magalang.

    Cunanan has been working hard to increase their town’s production in rice, corn and sweet tamarind. The sweet tamarinds of Magalang by the way are better than the Malaysian samples. I happen to taste a few before, courtesy of PAC and a few from the farm of the Tayags.

    These tamarinds are not too big but they melt in the mouth with heavenly sweetness. Once you started picking them, you won’t stop. What Cunanan is doing is good for us and for Mother Earth. We should nurture the land to ensure food security and to sustain the watersheds. I just hope that Cunanan will no longer be bothered by politics and court issues so he could focus on what he does best – serving his people.


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