Mayor keeps hands off DENR, hospital dispute

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva February 08,2015 - 09:25 AM

Pinamungajan Mayor Glenn Baricuatro wants to keep out of the dispute between the management of the Dr. Jose Maria V. Borromeo Memorial District Hospital, the project contractor and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The agency threatened to file charges against the hospital management and Gonzolado Enterprises after 65 mahogany and gmelina trees were chopped down last week to pave the way for the hospital’s expansion project.

“It is within the DENR’s mandate to file charges. But I hope things are settled between all parties concerned. I really hope so since these are all government-related work,” he said in a phone interview yesterday.

DENR threatened to sue Dr. Feleus Bascon, the chief of hospital and Gonzolado Enterprises for failing to acquire a Special Tree-Cutting Permit (STCP) from their office.

Mayor Baricuatro said he hopes that the DENR will reconsider and give the hospital staff and contractor a chance to comply with whatever requirements the agency demands.

The district hospital is the only government-run medical facility in town, Baricuatro said.

The P12.31-million project was initiated by the Department of Health (DOH), in partnership with the Cebu provincial government.

Gonzolado Enterprises won the bidding and work on the one-story expansion started in the last week of January.

It is scheduled to be completed after 180 days or six months.

Despite the delay that may be caused by the filing of charges, Mayor Baricuatro said it won’t affect the delivery of health services in the town.

“I believe Gov. Hilario Davide III is more capable and he is probably doing his best to help complete this,” the mayor said.
DENR earlier said the hospital officials and the contractor may be charged with violating Presidential Decree (PD) 705 or the Forestry Reform Code; PD 953, which penalizes unauthorized cutting of trees; and Republic Act 3571, which prohibits the cutting of trees or damaging of plants in public places.

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TAGS: DENR, Dumanjug

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