CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Private and public industrial parks and warehouses all over Pampanga will be placed under the tight watch and strict regulation by local government units (LGUs) and law enforcement agencies to ensure compliance with existing laws, Vice Governor Lilia “Nanay” Pineda said.
The vice governor announced this after presiding over the first hearing of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP or Provincial Legislative Board) on proposed Ordinance No. 34, which Board Member Atty. Ananias “Jun” Canlas Jr. authored.
Canlas said the measure strengthens the regulations in the establishment, leases and operations of industrial parks and warehouses within the whole province. Board Members Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab, Fritzie David Dizon, Nelson Calara, Benny Jocson and Pol Balingit pushed for strong regulations by LGUs.
Canlas said 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 drugs trade, smuggling, human trafficking and other illicit activities,” he added.
In the hearing held last Monday (Oct. 23), Vice Governor Pineda warned local officials, especially those in charge in the issuance of necessary permits and licenses to be vigilant and diligent in the performance of their duties. She said that appropriate administrative and criminal charges will be filed against those who are reported to be extorting or accepting bribes from violators.
“Sa gagawing ordinance ngayon, matatakot na sila [mag-operate na] wala silang business license. [Kung] hindi tama yung license nila at paiba-iba yung negosyo nila, hindi tama [yun].Ang mananagot yung mga may-ari ng bodega, sila yung hahabulin namin (Those that operate without 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),” the vice governor warned.
The accountability for wrongdoings extend down to those who rent or sub-rent the properties. The proposed ordinance authorizes regular and unannounced inspection by concerned authorities.
He said the proposed ordinance was prompted by numerous complaints to the offices of the Governor, Vice Governor and SP regarding the operations of some heavy industries and smelting plants.
The urgency of stronger regulatory functions became more necessary after the so-called controlled delivery operation of 530 kilograms or P3.2 billion-worth of suspected shabu from the Bureau of Customs’ Port of Subic ended up in Barangay San Jose Malino in Mexico town in Pampanga last Sept. 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, officials told the Congressional Committee on Dangerous Drugs.
Vice Governor Pineda cautioned and directed the mayors of Mexico and San Simon towns, which are known to host more industrial parks and warehouses, to closely monitor, check if the necessary licenses have been secured or close those confirmed to have violated laws.
She said proposed Ordinance No. 34, especially the cooperation of LGUs, will help Gov. Dennis “Delta” Pineda protect local businesses and increase the confidence of investors in the province.