PROPERTY developer Century Communities Corp. is ready to work with government agencies and other stakeholders to ensure the best use for the parcel of land within the La Mesa watershed, which was supposedly identified as a housing project.
In a statement, Century Communities said it will await guidelines from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and local government for the land’s best use, but also looks forward to working hand in hand with the DENR, including partnering with government agencies, to further safeguard public interest.
“As a responsible property development company, our business philosophy and practice has always been to include welfare of the communities and its environment,” the company said.
Century Communities issued the statement after Environment Secretary Regina Paz Lopez asked them to explain why their environment compliance certificate (ECC) should not be canceled for alleged environmental violations.
Century is the first property company facing the cancellation of ECC in relation to an environmental audit issued by Lopez
Lopez said that they have already issued a show-cause order against Century Communities Corp. giving the company seven days to explain their side. She also stressed that her stand to permanently cancel Century’s ECC is non-negotiable, even if it complies with the regulatory requirements.
“They have to secure the approval of the two water concessionaires operating in La Mesa, and I don’t think that they will ever get that approval,” Lopez said, stressing that she will not allow a property developer to destroy the source of water for the entire Metro Manila area.
Lopez had also said earlier that no mining operation or company will be spared from the audit.
“Everything will be audited in the light of the common good,” she said, stressing that the DENR won’t hesitate to shut down all operations found to have violated environmental and health and safety laws and regulations.
“If you break the law, you face the consequences of breaking the law. Whatever the law says that’s what we should follow. If you break the law, there are penalties,” Lopez said.
The company, on the other hand, claimed that it has made a thorough and comprehensive study of the development project that focused primarily on the possible impact on the watershed and all the environs around the subject property.
The property developer also said that despite its plans and the issuance of the ECC for the project on July 16, 2015, it has not commenced any development on the site.
“The company has not proceeded with any development over 1 year from when the ECC was issued,” it added.