The Davao City Watershed Management Council (WMC) is alarmed by the operation of at least six big poultry farms without the required government permits and clearances thus threatening to pollute the watershed, including the P12-billion bulk water project.
By direction of the WMC headed no less by Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and vice-chaired by City Administrator Zuleika T. Lopez , the Watershed Multi-Partite Monitoring Team assisted by Bantay Bukid volunteers investigated the erring farms operating in the hinterlands barangays of Calinan and Baguio districts within the restricted watershed area.
The farms inspected were Ana’s Breeder Farms, Inc. in Purok 4 Lower Lacson , Calinan District; another Ana’s Breeder Farms, Inc. in Purok 8, Lacson; a third farm of Ana’s Breeder Farms, Inc. in Tawan-tawan; Alan Gandulfo’s Poultry Farm; Alfredo Lamay’s Poultry Farm; and Rizza Flores Poultry Farm, also in that same barangay.
(Tawan-Tawan is one of the five host barangays of the Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project (DCBSP) which is currently being built by Apo Agua Infrastructura, Inc. (AAII) using the Tamugan River as source of potable water.)
Records of the WMC indicated that a complaint was received by the office of then Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go about the operation of Ana’s Breeder Farm in lower Lacson, Calinan. This was forwarded to the Davao City Health Office.
The complaint cited among others that the barangay residents opposed the construction of the poultry farm as early as 2015 because they were aware of the harmful effects of a poultry farm to nearby communities.
“Their plea to Barangay Captain Nilo Forro was not heard and the poultry farm started operation,” the complaint stated.
In 2017, the generator of the farm broke down and the chickens died. The dead chickens were just allegedly dumped at the back of the poultry farm area.
The complaining residents they suffered due to the stench of the rotting remains of the chickens.
They alleged that the incident happened again and the residents suffered once again. The barangay captain allegedly explained that he could not do anything about the problem because the poultry owner was “well connected.”
The residents want the city to issue a stoppage order to the poultry farm.
The common violation of the poultry farms complained against were lack of mayor’s permit, no locational clearance, no water treatment facilities, and no business permits among others.
Forester Christopher Asibal of the WMMT observed that in some instance their inspection team could not enter the farms because they would not be allowed the by farm’s personnel.
Curtis Lazarraga, another member of the WMMT , said that the owners might not be aware that their operation is already encroaching the watershed and conservation areas which is prohibited by law.
Lazarraga suggested that the owners themselves should be invited to a dialogue about their violations.
Retired Judge Jesus V. Quitain who is a member of the WMC said that the council can cite four laws and the power of the state in protecting the health and safety of the people. They are the state’s police power, the Local Government Code, the Environment Code and the Charter of Davao City.
Chairman Lopez had directed the WMC secretariat to invite all affected barangay captains to a meeting to discuss this problem.