December 3, 2023

Residents of Shilan, La Trinidad, Benguet are appealing to provincial and town officials to stop the illegal chicken dung operation in the area.

In a letter forwarded to the Courier by Agapito Delmas, it stated that businessmen operating the dung trade continue to defy orders from the municipal government causing disruption to the health and well-being of residents in the area.

“Barangay Shilan is respectfully pleading for mercy and justice from concerned agencies and provincial officials to kindly stop their tolerated illegal chicken dung business operation in Shilan,” the letter reads.

Delmas also said with the earlier executive order of Tublay to temporarily stop chicken dung trade allowing for the testing of traders for Covid-19, some of the traders allegedly transferred to Shilan to continue their business.

“The tolerated transfer to evade suspension, allowing for the continuous operation of nuisance business in Shilan, implies unfair discrimination, disrespect, and disobedience to the municipal government,” the letter added.

Tublay has since lifted the suspension after the truckers and dung traders underwent testing for the Covid-19. 

Chicken dung traders allegedly use “food pass” to transport their goods.

Delmas, meanwhile, has cited the efforts of the municipal government of La Trinidad in filing cases against the chicken dung traders who continue to operate despite the municipal ordinance banning the trade of chicken dung. He said police personnel tasked to implement the order were also being intimidated by the businessmen.  

“Despite civil disobedience and vicious refusal to conform with Environmental Sanitation Code as well as Clean Air Act that deprived the law abiding indigenous peoples of Shilan from decent life in their own ancestral domain, this wealthy nuisance businessman possessed immunity from suit, who could not be arrested for his persistent and intimidating acts of terrorism in Shilan, La Trinidad, Benguet,” the letter stated.

Last September, Mayor Romeo Salda led the issuance of the notices of closure to the five traders in Shilan namely Miguel Jefferd Bogsit, Nora Lagadeo, Melecio Orid, Angel Lopez, and Rose Maliones.

The traders, however, continue with their operation.

He said the notice of closure is a reiteration of the earlier directive involving the closure of establishments that sell, dispose, and store chicken dung in the municipality, which was issued on Aug 27, pursuant to Administrative Order 08 s. 2010.

The AO was issued by former mayor Gregorio Abalos on July 23, 2010, which prohibits the sale, disposal, and storage of chicken dung in the municipality.

The municipality has filed in 2019 an abatement of nuisance with a prayer for the issuance of a temporary environmental protection order and/or permanent environmental protection order and damages against Melecio Orid and other dung traders operating in Shilan. The case was filed at the Regional Trial Court Branch 10.

Salda said Municipal Legal Officer Bartolome Baldas, Jr. has briefed the La Trinidad Municipal Police Station on the strategies and measures to be implemented upon his directive. – Ofelia C. Empian