CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Village officials in Bukidnon filed a complaint against a feeds processing company that allegedly emits foul odor for the third time in six years to the city government here.
Armed with a petition signed by hundreds of residents, the barangay council of Mambatangan, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, sought the intervention of the city local environment and natural resources office (Clenro) to close the Misamis Oriental Rendering Corp. (Morc), a facility that processes discarded chicken parts into feeds.
The facility is located in Purok 7, Barangay Puerto, this city, several meters away from Mambatangan.
The village officials of Mambatangan said they could not stand the stench coming from the plant as they demanded the Clenro to close down the manufacturing facility.
“We want Clenro to act on it as it is within its jurisdiction. It must close Morc for our sake. We cannot take it anymore,” said Junrey Lagat, Mambatangan village councilor and chairman of the environment committee.
According to Angelie Roa, Mambatangay barangay chairwoman, this is the first time that they called the attention of Clenro about this revolting odor that emanates from the Morc facility since Clenro issued a cease and desist order in 2015 and another in 2018.
In its first order, Edwin Dael, former Clenro chief, said his office confirmed the “unabated foul and offensive odor” coming from the Morc plant and ordered it to shut its processing facility down.
The stench, Dael said, “really provides unbearable discomfort among the complainants thereat as manifested in their letter of complaints,” referring to the residents’ petition.
Dael ordered Morc to implement measures that would prevent the emission of pungent stench.
Lagat said Morc resumed its operations six months after the first cease and desist order came out and noted that the company also changed management when it went back to processing feeds.
Armen Cuenca, the Clenro chief at present, issued the second cease and desist order citing the same reason for the plant’s closure in 2018.
Three years after the second order, the residents of Mambatangan lodged again their third complaint at Clenro.
Lagat said the stench coming the Morc plant has gotten worse and the emission of odor more frequent in the past few months.
In a recent dialogue between Clenro and Mambatangan officials, Modesto Clarin, acting head of Clenro’s environmental management and protection division, said the more intense odor from Morc could be due to the company use of chicken blood as an added ingredient in its feeds production.
He said it’s likely that the company’s equipment such as dry scrubbers and bio-filters could not handle the volume of the ingredients.
Clarin said that when they inspected the manufacturing site the team did not notice the foul odor.
“Perhaps you should live in our barangay for a few days so you can smell what we have been smelling for a long time now,” said Hanne Pisos, Mambatangan barangay councilor, in a statement directed at Clarin.
As an additional proof of their complaint, Lagat said they submitted to Clenro hundreds of signatures and screen-captured social media posts from irate residents as evidence.
Clarin said Morc’s suppliers from outside Cagayan de Oro which bring in discarded chicken parts and blood that are no longer fresh could have caused the stench.
Reporters tried to get the side of the Morc management, but to no avail.