By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.
SORSOGON CITY, 02Aug2013 (BicolToday.com) – The strong opposition and the overwhelming evidence of irregularities in the operation of the ‘buko’ juice processing plant irks City Mayor Sally Lee that she created committees to investigate conniving officials at city hall during the time of her predecessor in granting inconclusive documents to the investor disregarding standard mandatory regulations.
The failure to comply mandated protocol puzzled the chief executive inspite of the proximity of the plant to the city hall grounds. “This time, let the truth be known, who among city officials and employees connived with Peter Paul Philippines Corporation (PPMC) when it circumvented regulations of national importance and city ordinances, whatever it takes heads will roll” was City Mayor Lee’s message during the briefing of stakeholders and the media yesterday.
The briefing was called by the Media for Evangelization of the Diocese of Sorsogon through Fr. Michael Imperial who painstakingly gathered documents, interviewed affected residents and presented their findings to the Sanggunian Panlungsod. They are calling for the closure of the plant until such time that mandatory protocols are complied.
Laws, regulations, provincial and city ordinances were deliberately ignored by the juice plant putting at risk livelihood of nearby residents, polluting the rivers, creeks and causeway of Barangay Cabid-an as host community, health and safety standards and environmental laws ignored are the complaints lodged against the corporation.
The non-application of mayor’s permit became a condemning issue of influence of the corporation to city hall previous tenant. This was the observation of the fisherfolks of Cabid-an who were most affected.
Their actions caught the attention of city residents which observers believed will finally unraveled the attendant corruption and the freewheeling treatment from key city hall department task to regulate and monitor compliance of existing national and local regulations before opening its business. They added that the entry of the buko juice plant in the city is as mysterious as the previous city mayor.
Calling a spade a spade, Lee said that her commitment to preserve the environment though the issue of livelihood and employment is at stake is a big risk but I will stood for the cause of the environment as before. My commitment to the City make it investors friendly aimed in preserving the balance of life to its environment, I welcome investors but I am obligated to serve our City as what the law requires in my position.
Deriding her predecessor she said, I inherited a city whose treatment of investment is more on the person who owns the investment than putting the interest of the city, it became a private enterprise of those who holds the position then. [BicolToday.com]