Rep. Richard Gomez

TACLOBAN CITY– Leyte Rep. Richard Gomez denied that his call to probe a poultry farm owned by a municipal mayor reeks of politics.

Gomez(4th district) said that the action he has taken against the DBSN Farm, owned by Palompon Mayor Ramon Oñate, has all the legal basis and not he is just telling Congress the real situation on the grounds.

“Hindi ito pamumulitika. It’s not politicking. I have all the legal basis here. It is telling the people that he is an abusive mayor and he uses his power for his personal gains,” the solon said in an interview on June 16.

Oñate said that the action of the former mayor of Ormoc City is politically motivated. During the last congressional elections, the Palompon mayor supported the opponent of Gomez, former elections commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal.

Gomez has filed a resolution calling for the investigation against Oñate and his DBSN Farm for environmental violations, particularly on polluting a watershed in Palompon of dead chicken and chicken dung.

“He should face the allegations against him. We have all the evidence which were provided to me by various government agencies. Why he is polluting a protected area, a watershed,” the solon said.

Rep. Gomez said that he is serious on his action against the town mayor and if found guilty, should be punished accordingly.

In a position paper, the Palompon mayor dismissed the claims of the lawmaker.
“The issue that DBSN Farms Agriventures Dressing Plant has been dumping chicken waste in Barangay San Joaquin, Palompon, Leyte thereby causing health problems and contaminating its water source is irrelevant because the breeder farm has nothing to do with any of such alleged complaints,” he said.

“As a breeder farm, we only dispose our chicken waste, mainly chicken manure at the end of the breeding cycle and that is after 42 weeks from the beginning of its operation. We also have a regulated and designated soil conditioner containment area (compost pit) for chicken manure with an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Region VIII, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR),” Oñate added.

He also said that the rural health of Palompon has not recorded or reported any health problems relative to the operations of their poultry farm.

“The fact that as per record and certification from the RHU of Palompon, duly certified by its rural health officer, that no families nor individuals have experienced any significant health issues attributable to these operations in this and all the neighboring barangays where the breeder farm is located would suggest that the DBSN Breeder Farm is no more of a health risk than any other type of farming,” Oñate said.