Petition letter vs crematorium now with EMB

By Felipe V. Celino

ROXAS CITY, Capiz – The petition letter sent by some 300 residents of Brgy. Mongpong against a proposed crematorium here is now with the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Region 6.

Atty. Ramar Niel Pascua, EMB-6 regional director, confirmed that they have received the letter recently and is presently with the Aksyon Kalikasan Hotline of the agency.

Pascua said they already endorsed the complaint with the Provincial Environment Monitoring Unit for investigation and checking of the crematorium site.

Aside from the petition letter, there was also a letter from the City Government and the Presidential Complaint and Action Center against the crematorium.

Earlier, the owner of Gegato-Abecia Funeral Homes and Crematory, Inc. assured the public that its crematorium being constructed at Brgy. Mongpong here will not pose health hazards.

According to owner Fely Abecia, the public should not worry because the crematorium uses new technology.

Abecia said the crematorium will go through processes and inspections by the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) before it is allowed to operate.

But she said they will be ready to discontinue the operation if residents oppose the facility.

During the recent public hearing, a heated exchange between residents and the management of the Gegato-Abecia Funeral Homes and Crematory Inc. ensued after it was found out that the City Engineer’s Office has yet to issue a building permit to the crematorium.

Atty. Jose Romi Marañon, legal counsel of the crematorium, said they have yet to comply with the building permit requirements because the person assigned to the task resigned.

Marañon added that they stopped the project after receiving the cease and desist order issued by the City Engineer’s Office on Nov 8, 2021.

The management is willing to pay the corresponding fines, he added.

At present, Maranon said they are now in the process of completing the requirements.

Earlier, Punong Barangay Ricardo Ricky Donato of Mongpong said he did not receive the letter from petitioners informing him about their refusal to attend the public hearing at the covered gym.

Donato said he was not at the barangay hall when Gaudencio Azarcon, one of the petitioners, handed the letter to his secretary.

The village wanted the residents to attend the public hearing to air their opposition to the said business.