• Villagers fear pollution from coco oil factory

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    DAVAO CITY: Villagers have complained about air pollution from a coconut oil factory here after white thick, dense smoke had been noticed coming from its huge chimney day and night.

    The Superstar Coconut Products Co. Inc. along Bugac in Ma-a village has been emitting dense smoke, which stays in the air for so long and the factory operates 24 hours a day throughout the whole week.

    Village officials say they were not aware that the coconut processing factory emits such a thick smoke right in the middle of the populace.

    “We are not aware of it, but we are going look at this complaint,” village council member Ricky Baral said.

    IN YOUR EYES Even at daytime, thick, dense smoke billows from an industrial chimney of Superstar Coconut Products Co. Inc. in Bugac in Ma-a village in Davao City. PHOTO BY AL JACINTO

    The smoke reaches not only nearby Matina village but neighboring areas as well.

    One employee, who identified herself only as Karen, said their manager is Rodante Adante, but efforts to interview him failed.

    Adante’s office also did not return phone calls.

    The complaint has been forwarded to the Environmental Management Bureau–headed by Metodio Turbella, its regional director—under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

    Mary Ann Lumakin, an engineer from the DENR, said they have brought the matter to the attention of Turbella after residents fear the pollution may affect their health.

    “This [smoke emission of the Superstar Coconut Products Co. Inc. factory]has been forwarded to the respective EMB RXI [Region 11] inspector. We will keep in touch,” Lumakin added.

    In May 2014, a factory worker, Eriberto Abellana, was killed and 7 others were injured after one of the Superstar boilers exploded.

    AL JACINTO

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