DPWH contractor hit for pollution

By Freda Mae Sorsano

ILOILO City – Time is ticking for the batching plant and stockyard of a contractor of several projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region 6.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) yesterday passed a resolution calling for the immediate stoppage of operations and closure of Roprim Construction’s batching plant and stockyard on Quezon Street, Arevalo district.

According to the SP Committee on Public Services, Environmental Protection and Ecology and the Committee on Health, Sanitation and Hospital Services, the complaints of the residents of Barangay Dulonan, Arevalo have bases.

The residents complained of pollution-causing activities in the batching plant, including cement-mixing and discharging of cement-mixed water into the drainage canal.

In the complaint filed with the city government in May, the residents said these activities cause health-related problems.

Roprim Construction was awarded several contracts by DPWH for road rehabilitation and drainage construction on Yulo Drive and Quezon Streets, Arevalo and M.H. del Pilar Street in Molo district.

According to the joint report of the two SP committees, Roprim did not secure permits from the city government of Iloilo and has failed to secure the same until now.

The report was presented by the environment committee chair, Councilor R Leone Gerochi.

In an inspection, the Environmental Management Bureau found out that Roprim Construction did not secure environmental licenses such as permit to operate and permit to discharge water into the drainage canal.

While Roprim stopped cement-mixing activities in the yard, barangay residents continually complained of the dust coming from the stockyard.

“Roprim Construction did not install measures to alleviate the hazardous effects of such facility, thereby causing unmitigated nuisance and danger to the well-being of the nearby residents,” Gerochi read from the joint report.

Engr. Rodney Gustillo of DPWH also said while the contractor’s activities are industrial in nature, the location of the batching plant and stockyard is residential./PN