Bilateral probe, dialogue resolves trouble on Vintar landslide

LAOAG CITY  – A joint fact-finding committee commissioned by PENR Officer Juan P. de los Reyes, Jr. which is tasked to investigate on the on- going memorial park development in Brgy. Parut, Vintar, Ilocos Norte that caused a massive landslide affecting some one hectare of farm lands in the area has come out with a resolution to finally resolve the looming conflict between the developer, the LGU of Vintar, and the affected barangay.

The fact-finding committee which is composed of officials from the DENR-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO)- Ilocos Norte, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), the provincial government of Ilocos Norte, and the municipality of Vintar, thus revealed that a number of violations was committed by the project developer, the Greenfields Memorial Corporation.

However, in a recent development, the committee announced that it had a dialogue with the developer, through its lawyer Atty. Zandro Marie Obra where the latter showed willingness to cooperate to come up with solutions to resolve the problem and answer for damages to the affected farmers of Brgy. Parut.

According to committee member Community Development Officer Luzviminda P. Mendoza of PENRO, the dialogue was held on July 11 with the project developer where the group agreed to a compromise.

“The developer, through Atty. Obra was cooperative during the discourse. Everyone’s concern was taken delicately and that each issue was addressed and decided in a diplomatic conversation. Likewise, the developer expressed that all necessary documents requiring the operation of the on-going development including preventive and corrective measures plan will be submitted to the LGU of Vintar and other concerned agencies the soonest possible time,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza added that the developer agreed to halt its operations, pending survey by a technical working group to determine whether the area that was already developed is within the scope of the issued Certificate of Non- Coverage (CNC) by the EMB.

Apart from said compromise, Mendoza said the developer will sit down and negotiate with the farmers affected to assess the amount of compensatory damages to be awarded.

“We hope that the fact-finding committee and the representatives of the developer will work fairly and squarely so that once and for all, the interest of both parties especially the affected Barangay of Parut, and the LGU of Vintar is sheltered and given appropriate consideration,” de los Reyes said.#