Bukidnon MMT endorses disciplinary action vs Sumifru

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/20 December)—The provincial government’s Multi-Partite Monitoring Team (MMT) has recommended to Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri the imposition of disciplinary action against Sumifru (Philippines) Corp. “for violating its environmental compliance certificate (ECC).”

Board member Alfeo Baguio, chair of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s committee on environmental protection and climate change, sponsored the resolution endorsing the disciplinary action against the firm. Baguio also heads the MMT being the chair of the committee.

The MMT report cited 11 violations by the firm of its ECC in four plantation areas.

Baguio told the provincial board Zubiri asked for the copy of the report as he eyed disciplinary action against Sumifru.

He said the firm did not show up in at least two meetings called by the governor among multi-national companies operating in the province to cushion the environmental impact of their operations.

According to the report, the MMT monitored on April 4, 2013 the following violations in the firm’s pineapple plantation in Cabanglasan town: “non-compliance of the 30-meter buffer zone in built up areas, tree planting as bank protection for water bodies is not mentioned/presented in the report, no project signboards installed, no report on IEC (information and education campaign), and no business permit.”

The MMT also cited three violations in the company’s pineapple plantation in Valencia City during a monitoring conducted last April 5, which are “no project signboards installed, no report on IEC activities, and no discharge permit.”

In the company’s banana plantation in Barangay Magsaysay here, the MMT found that it has “no project signboards installed and no report on IEC activities.” The monitoring was conducted last May 10.

“No proof on IEC activities” was also cited as violation in the monitoring of its banana plantation in Pangantucan town on October 11.

Jonathan Rizalda, identified by the MMT as the environment management officer of Sumifru in the province, denied receiving a copy of the MMT report.

“If we talk about compliance to ECC, we complied with all conditions,” he said in a text message Thursday evening.

Rizalda said the matter will be dealt with by their main office. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)