Universal Robina Sugar Milling Company (URSUMCO) marks another milestone.
After almost a decade of waiting, not to mention the seemingly endless revisions of the documentary requirements, URSUMCO’s efforts paid off when the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) granted the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the Raw Sugar Mill and Refinery Plant Project. Mr. Jun Erasmo E. Villafane, DENR Regional Director for Region VII, signed and issued the certificate to Rene P. Cabati, Business Unit General Manager, last February in Cebu City.
URSUMCO started working on the requirements of the ECC as early as the late ’90s. However, due to some technicalities and additional requirements, the application kept returning to the drawing board. The passage of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Pollution Control Law, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and other similar environmental laws, further made the ECC a tough bid.
But ain’t no mountain high enough for the persistent and hardworking members of the Pollution Control Group composed of Connie F. Yap (Civil Works Manager), Vivian R. Lopez (Quality Assurance Manager), David S. Cortez (Raw House Manager), and the other mill managers and personnel (especially Dodo Talatala who did the initial write-up), who provided additional input. URSUMCO’s ISO certification also helped. But, the biggest factor in the approval and issuance of the ECC is Rene Cabati, who personally represented the Company in the dialogue with the DENR and in getting financial and logistical support from top management.
As provided in the certificate, the ECC is not a permit, rather a set of conditions, which should be followed in order to mitigate potential adverse impacts on the environment. This binds URSUMCO, the management and all members of the organization to the cause of preserving its immediate environment. These will assure a healthy environment and safe work place for future generation of sugar mill workers.