Residents complain vs mine’s refinery


By Rubyloida Bitog

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

VIRAC, Itogon, Benguet –- Some residents of the barangay are complaining of Benguet Corporation’s (BC) refinery pollution but to no avail.
 
In the residents’ letter to the Environment Management Bureau (EMB) of Cordillera OIC Director Oscar Cabanayan dated June 13, they reiterated their complaints which until now Benguet Corporation (BC) has to act on.
 
On January 18, the residents, Barangay Captain of Virac, staff of BC, and the EMB personnel met in the EMB’s office in Baguio City to discuss the matter properly. The BC through made some commitments to address their refinery pollution on that day.
 
Among the commitments written by the company’s representative were: “to install sound suppressing devices to diesel engine the soonest and target completion is February 18, 2012; to complete the installation of the new scrubber system within the 1st quarter of 2012; to complete refinery building rehabilitation within the 1st quarter of 2012. Electrowiring system targeted to operate within the 2nd quarter; and to include some health assistance for community members in coordination with Barangay Virac.”
 
These were stipulated by the BC’s representative in the letter to the Pollution Adjudication Board as witnessed by Attorney Froilan Lawilao, Noel Bilibli and two other witnesses. The letter was dated January 18.
 
However, the residents of Keymen’s Hill and Camp Suerte said some commitments are still unmet. They revealed the refinery had been emitting smoke which could add to air pollution.

They wrote Cabanayan for him to act on their complain immediately.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 24, 2012.

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