June 1, 2023

The management of Alphaland Baguio Mountain Log Homes, Inc. has vowed to conduct mitigating measures in its development site at Tocmo, Loacan, Itogon, Benguet.
Environmental Management Bureau-Cordillera Director Ma. Victoria Abrera said the company has signed nine commitments during the technical conference with the agency and the affected residents at the site on Jan. 20. 
Alphaland was earlier issued a notice of violation of the conditions in its environmental compliance certificate, which was the subject of the technical conference.
The 11 violations were found through the complaint of a resident claiming the excavated materials from the project site were being dumped in his lot, which is adjacent to the project site.
Abrera said part of the commitments was for Alphaland to report every two weeks to the EMB-CAR the mitigating measures, excavations, or any new project activities done at the site. 
The company has agreed to coordinate with the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office-Baguio for the inventory of trees at the project site, or to report any trees affected with the excavation.
“Our concern is about the impacts of the violations of the ECC on the environment. Assuming there is soil dumping, it will cause erosion and would even affect the water source of the surrounding areas if the soil materials were not properly disposed of,” Abrera said.
She said the company’s expansion project is not also covered by the ECC that is why Alphaland needs to apply for the amendment of its ECC. The EMB-CAR issued the ECC of Alphaland on Jan. 10, 2019 for its horizontal condominium project in Itogon.
 The company also vowed to fast-track the completion of its permits so that the EMB-CAR could start processing its discharge permit, permit to operate, and hazardous wastes generator ID.
Alphaland’s applications are still pending at the EMB’s online permitting and monitoring system.
The company will also disseminate any new developments such as excavation to the residents for their information. It also vowed to comply at all times with all environmental laws, rules and regulations. 
“The IEC should be conducted yearly. For example, if they have an expansion or land movement in an area, they have to inform the affected areas to avoid misunderstanding. That is one of the issues that causes conflict with the community,” Abrera said.
The EMB-CAR would conduct an inspection to validate the company’s written report once the company submits its monitoring report.
Alphaland Baguio Mountain Lodges is a master-planned development of 300 lodge-style log homes within an 82-hectare property in Itogon.
The luxury highland homes, frequented by celebrities and the well-to-do, are operated by Alphaland Corp., which also operates the exclusive Balesin Island Club and is led by tycoon Roberto Ongpin. – Ofelia C. Empian