Naga to buy pollution devices using IRA share: Mayor Chiong
By Bernadette A. Parco
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
THE Naga City Government is considering spending its Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) to buy environmental pollution monitoring devices.
Mayor Valdemar Chiong said with the pending cityhood of Naga, their IRA could be released next year.
If I will be getting income for the city, we will buy the equipment,” said Chiong, adding that an ordinance could be formulated to monitor business establishments and their violations of environmental standards set by the DENR.
He cited a provision in the General Appropriations Act wherein the IRA allotted for Naga would not be released until 2012.
Chiong said for now he will wait for the results of the tests conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to determine the sources of air pollution in Naga City.
“But let me say this, it is not easy to stop the operations of a company. What we are trying to do is observe (compliance with government standards),” he added.
He was referring to the coal dust pollution that some residents alleged were caused by two 100-megawatt coal-fired power plants operated by Kepco-Salcon Power Corp. in Barangay Colon, Naga City.
After residents complained of air pollution, the DENR Environmental Management Bureau
(EMB) started taking 24-hour ambient air samples on May 2 for total suspended particulates (TSP). A second sampling was taken on May 4, Wednesday.
Initial results showed the TSP level near the power plant was below government standards, based on the DENR Administrative Order 2000-81 or the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Philippine Clean Air Act.
Chiong, however, expressed doubt on the accuracy of the tests.
“Inconsistent ang testing. They get samples now, then get another sample on another day. What happens in between?” he said.
Chiong said he lifted the cease-and-desist order he imposed on KSPC last March, after the firm started setting up mitigating measures to address air pollution.
In the order dated March 30, 2011, he said, “lifting and cancellation of such order is based on your sincere commitment and compliance with the measures and work schedule agreed in your meeting in the office of the governor last March 29.”
In an interview, he said Rodien Paca of online coalition Naganian Awareness Against Pollution Association (Naapa) has been in direct contact with KSPC officials.
“I am happy daghan mi nagbantay. Paca has communication with Kepco, he talks to Kepco by himself and not through me,” said Chiong.
“The attention should not only be on Kepco,” he said, adding that a nearby cement company and passing motor vehicles also contribute to the air pollution in the city.
In a press release, KSPC yesterday welcomed the results of the ambient air sampling for TSP conducted by DENR that showed its power plant in Naga City has complied with government standards.
Reinerio Lastimoso, general manager for community and public relations and environment, thanked Paca and Naapa for their vigilance and pro-active efforts.
“We are in continuous discussions with the residents so they will understand our operations and also appreciate what we are doing,” Lastimoso said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 11, 2011.
Click for the link
"tell me who your friends are and I will tell you mine" .. para daghan tah ug malingaw!