Graceland factory stinks; City Hall inaction blamed

Grease-Wastewater Traps. Along Barlin St., Sta. Cruz, Naga City
Photo courtesy of Clarito Limjoco

NAGA CITY 8/30/17 (Bicol Standard)--Time is up. This problem must be solved now.

This, in essence, is the sentiment of Clarito Limjoco who feels disheartened with the way the city government is handling the environmental and health issue regarding Graceland Food Industries, Inc.

Graceland's building, located at Barlin St., Barangay Sta. Cruz, this city, discharges foul-smelling wastewater and emits loud noises because of its operation and generator, apart from being located in the incorrect residential zone, he said.

Limjoco emphasized that DENR Regional Director Eva S. Ocfemia sent a letter to Mayor John Bongat on May 23, 2017 informing him of the findings of the validation inspection of the building.

"Said investigation revealed that the management [Graceland] failed to secure Wastewater Discharge Permits for the grease traps...Same failed in the Noise and Ambient, and Wastewater Sampling conducted," Ocfemia's letter reads.

DENR V said that Graceland committed to: immediately refrain from discharging wastewater until it passed the DENR standard, construct a wastewater treatment facility within sixty (60) days, maintain proper housekeeping, and submit the requirements as stated in a previous technical conference dated February 28, 2017.

The agency endorsed the issue to the Local Government Unit of Naga, which has jurisdiction over it.

Until now, however, Limjoco said they see no action on the part of the LGU.

Earlier today, he told the Bicol Standard that he visited the City Health Officer Dr. Butch Borja to air his gripes.

He was told that the matter is being handled by the Office of the Mayor.

Meanwhile, Mayor John Bongat, in an interview by the Bicol Standard, said: "Dai man ini pigpapabayaan kan gobierno lokal kan Ciudad nin Naga."

The local chief executive added that they are giving consideration to Graceland since it is a locally-grown business.

Bicol Standard's reporter tried to get the side of Graceland, but nobody wanted to speak for the company. (With report from Joe Caguimbal)