Rallyists deplore Espino’s administration
By Virgilio Sar. Maganes
BAYAMBANG- More than 1,000 placard-bearing residents of this town, Bautista and Bugallon convened inside the old campus of Bayambang Central School (BCS) to air their grievances against the Espino Administration.STOP ILLEGAL QUARRYING- Sol Salamat of Bugallon reads the manifesto concerning the illegal quarrying in Bugallon that summarizes also other issues like non- remittance to the barangays and town of the income derived from quarrying and the operations of crushing plant and batching plant in Hacienda village during the rally held inside the old campus of Bayambang Central School last February
The rallyists aired various complaints and sentiments that range from the inaction to transfer back the teachers and pupils to the old site of BCS, illegal quarrying in Bugallon, the use of the provincial government’s tobacco excise tax, the presence of batching plant and crushing machines in Bugallon allegedly owned by the Espinos, P1.2 billion loans from Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), P50 million budget for public affairs but P5 million for farmers, to name a few.
Filipinas Alcantara, president of BCS Parents, Teachers Association (PTA) said the municipal government here lead by Mayor Ricardo Camacho has not given priority to transfer back the pupils and teachers to the old site of school but maintained them at the new site allegedly owned by certain businessman Willy Chua.
“We don’t believe that the new site is owned by Willy Chua as it is owned by Espino. Chua is only a dummy. Espino sold the land with an area of 2.2 hectares for a meager price of P150,000 only and besideS, since the school buildings were constructed, we have not seen Chua in person but the former Provincial Administrator Rafael Baraan,” she said.
It will be recalled that the old site of BCS was planned by the municipal government here to swap with the new site in Bical Norte to give way for the construction of a new mall and a transport terminal.
The old BCS site located in Poblacion has an area of 3.2 hectares that has a zonal value of more or less P600 million.
However, parents and teachers objected the move because of the historical significance of the old site and the far distance of the new site that entail high cost of transportation for the pupils.
The municipal government claimed that the new site is safer since the old BCS is usually flooded during rainy season and became the breeding ground of dengue-carrying mosquitoes.
The issue has reached the Regional Trial Court to resolve that ruled in favor of the municipal government.
On the operations of illegal quarrying in Bugallon, the rallyists led by Mirasol Salamat said the site has widened and became the personal business of of Mayor Jumel Espino, the son of Governor Espino.
“Only Governor Espino has the authority to sign the permit for quarry operations in relation to Republic Act No. 7946 or the Local Mining Act of 1995,” said Salamat.
Salamat also said for the last two years, a crushing plant of boulders and batching plant for asphalts were put up in Hacienda village in Bugallon allegedly owned by the Espinos where the provincial government sourced out the materials for road projects in the province.
Under RA 7946, the income derived from quarry operations should be shared among the barangay at 30%, municipality at 30% and province at 40%.
” Barangays and the town of Bugallon have not received their shares for the last two years. The share of the province remains a ‘mystery,’” Salamat said.
The rallyists were attempted to be dispersed by the police elements of the town while a firetruck was deployed in front of the school.
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