Dung operators told to call for regulation
With the closure of the 10 chicken dung establishments at Shilan, La Trinidad, Benguet on March 14, the municipality has urged the operators to transfer to other towns, or to lobby for its regulation.
Municipal Legal Officer Victor Singa, Jr. said the operators can continue seeking assistance from the municipal council to craft an ordinance for the regulation of the chicken dung trade since it is not a contraband.
“We are responding to the complaints of the residents that it is smelly and the municipal government has no basis to give them permits to operate because there is no ordinance to regulate them,” Singa said.
Officials of Shilan, municipal employees, and the town police who are members of the task force, implemented the closure order to 10 operators for violating Administrative Order 008-2010 which prohibits the sale, disposal, and storage of chicken dung in the town.
Earlier, the task force found 18 illegal staging areas of chicken dung along the Halsema Highway in Shilan. These 18 staging areas are operated by 10 operators who were given the closure order earlier.
The operators were given ample time to voluntarily vacate the staging areas, but some were found to be operating during the implementation of the closure order. Also, minutes after the closure order was implemented, one trader continued to operate.
Shilan Punong Barangay Jeffrey Maslag said the barangay passed an ordinance regulating the chicken dung trade, but it did not pass approval of the municipal council upon review because of the AO against the trade.
The barangay ordinance defines the specific site where operators could trade, how many trucks are allowed, and other means to regulate the trade, Maslag said.
He said the chicken dung trade is helpful for the barangay, especially in giving livelihood to residents.
Melecio Orid, one of the long-time operators, said he was just responding to the needs of the farmers as chicken dung is used as a soil conditioner for most farmers.
Orid, who has been conducting chicken dung trade for 26 years, said he is willing to follow the closure order but seeks for the regulation of the trade.
He acknowledged it is hard to unify all the chicken dung operators into following the ordinance, and even with the lobbying of the trade’s regulation.
Singa said while the operators could continue lobbying for the passage of a regulatory ordinance, his office will also study legal remedies against operators who disregarded the closure order.
Last year, the town council recommended to the mayor to close all chicken dung trading, distribution and storage in the municipality based on the AO prohibiting such trade. – Ofelia C. Empian