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Bunawan residents hit steelmaker for smoke

The City Council is now looking into reports that a steel factory in Barangay Ilang, Bunawan District has reportedly emitting foul odor that has caused discomfort to the community.

City councilors passed on first reading last May 22 the complaint against Davao Mighty Steel and directed the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources to look into the matter.

Residents from adjacent Barangay Panacan, also in Bunawan, claimed that Davao Mighty Steel, in the process of its steel production, emits “voluminous smoke coupled with foul odor.”

“It brought discomfort and inconvenience to us as the same apparently poses danger and placing at high risk of health of our community for the past four years,” complaining residents of Sarmineto Village in Panacan told the City Council in a letter dated April 27.

“Worse, to obviously conceal the appearance of massive emitted smoke, it frequently operates only at night time but its foul odor is sensed during day and night,” the complaining residents said.

Second District councilor Diosdado Angelo Mahipus Jr. endorsed to the city council the letter complaint signed by residents Bobby Barrios, Regina Abarca and Marites Nuenay. Mahipus, a lawyer, chairs the Council’s Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.

The residents forwarded the complaint before the Sanguninang Panlungsod because the Davao Mighty Steel continues to emit foul odor despite their previous complaints filed before the Office of the Barangay Captain and the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

“As we and our children have continuously physically and medically suffered a lot, we seek the intervention of the Sangguniang Panlungsod to address our predicament,” the residents said.

Sanitation Inspector II Curtis Lazarraga of the City Health Office’s Environmental Sanitation Division, in his investigation report, said the management of Davao Mighty Steel informed him “that they will put up a bigger vacuum and filter system by March 2018” to control the smoke emission.

In a report dated Feb. 13 to City Health Officer Josephine Villafuerte, Lazarraga said that on Jan. 12 the plant experienced an upset condition that caused a high amount of smoke emission spreading top the community.

Davao Mighty Steel plant manager Joven Lim has issued apology for the Jan. 12 incident.

“We deeply apologize for the inconvenience and trouble,” Lim said. “We will do in our very best effort to avoid this incident from happening ever again.”

The plant is engaged in melting scrap iron, producing rebars and billets.

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