Industrial parks and warehouses in Pampanga will be placed under the tight watch and strict regulation of local government units (LGUs) and law enforcement agencies to ensure compliance with existing laws.
This as the Sangguniang Panlalawigan held the first hearing on the proposed Ordinance No. 34 which aims to strengthen the regulations in the establishment, leases and operations of industrial parks and warehouses within the province.
As author of the ordinance, 3rd District Board Member Ananias Canlas Jr. pressed that the facilities should be exclusively used for the declared purposes in business permits.
“The board wants to strengthen the mandate of LGUs to enforce laws pertaining to environmental protection, occupational safety and health standards and other existing laws. We don’t want these to be used for illegal drug trade, smuggling, human trafficking and other illicit activities,” he added.
In addition, Canlas underscored that the proposed ordinance was prompted by numerous complaints to the provincial government regarding the operations of some heavy industries and smelting plants.
“The proposed ordinance authorizes regular and unannounced inspection by concerned authorities,” he added.
The urgency for stronger regulatory functions became more necessary after the controlled delivery operation of 530 kilograms or P3.2 billion worth of suspected shabu from the Bureau of Customs’ Port of Subic which ended up in barangay San Jose Malino in Mexico town last September 24.
The controlled delivery, tailed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and National Bureau of Investigation, led to a warehouse supposedly constructed and owned by Empire 999 Realty Corp., which was not yet issued a business permit.
With this, Vice Governor Lilia Pineda warned local officials to be vigilant and diligent in the performance of their duties.
“Those that operate without a business license will face the full weight of the law. If their licenses are not in order and their activities do not match the business license they obtained, the owners of the warehouses will be held accountable,” she emphasized.
Appropriate administrative and criminal charges will be filed against those who are reported to be extorting or accepting bribes from violators.
Pineda also cautioned and directed the mayors of Mexico and San Simon towns, which are known to host more industrial parks and warehouses, to closely monitor and check if necessary licenses have been secured or close those confirmed to have violated laws.
The proposed ordinance will protect local businesses and increase the confidence of investors in the province.(CLJD/JLDC-PIA 3)