DENR orders Bulacan container yards closed

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THE Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Office 3 served a cease and desist order against InterPacific Highway Transport Corp. (IHTC) in Barangay Bulihan, Plaridel, Bulacan .

Lormelyn Claudio, DENR Region 3 director signed the order that DENR-EMB R3 legal officer Ed Licuan served on Monday afternoon in the company of Barangay Captain Esperanza Garcia and Fr. Rico Trinidad, petitioner from the Parish Pastoral Council of Barangay Bulihan.

Members of the Parish Pastoral Council staged a prayer rally cum protest in front of the IHTC before the order was served.

Trinidad said that during a technical hearing the DENR-EMB conducted on February 6, IHTC committed to completely vacate container yards 4 by February 28.

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However, he added, the IHTC continued their operation, prompting them to inform DENR Region 3 which immediately issued a cease and desist order enjoining IHTC from using container yards 1,2 and 3 and vacate the premises within seven days as well as the fuel/ gas station located inside container yard 1.

“We are protesting the presence of and use of the container yards here because of our concern for the safety of the residents. We are concerned about the accidents that could occur here with the huge trucks carrying those heavy containers. That is why we are calling on the mayor to support us in this action but he has ignored us,” Trinidad told The Manila Times.

Chipy Tantingco, consultant at the office of Plaridel Mayor Jocell Vistan said the mayor has provided the necessary assistance to the petitioner.

IHTC operations manager Chery Lacson said they have gradually removed the containers in yards 1,2 and 3. Container yard 1 was being used only as an office, she added.

Lacson asked for another 24-day grace period and promised DENR officials that they will vacate the area on November 30 adding that even if the DENR did not issue an order for them to vacate, IHTC was really going to leave the premises because the properties had already been sold and their deadline to vacate was November 30, 2017.

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