Mayor to end deal with abattoir firm

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

BACOLOD City Mayor Monico Puentevella said Tuesday that he will no longer renew the contract of the City Government with AVM Bernardo Slaughterhouse, the private operator of the city's abattoir.

This, he said, is the reason why the permit and license of AVM Bernardo were not released.

The firm's counsel, Marvin Tañada, and plant manager Glorydee Cometa earlier complained that their permit is being withheld by the City Permits and Licensing Division headed by acting chief Mary Ann Biasca.

Bacolod abattoir firm general manager talks to reporters
BACOLOD. AVM Bernardo Slaughterhouse plant manager Glorydee Cometa talks to reporters with Atty. Marvin Tañada (right). (Carla N. Cañet)


But Biasca said they cannot issue the permit to AVM as it was referred to the City Legal Office.

Puentevella said his position is to terminate the contract of AVM Bernardo.

"AVM earns as much as P30 million annually but they pay the city only P30,000 a month. I will not renew their permit anymore because they have violations and never paid the city adequately," the mayor told reporters.

AVM Bernardo is operating the slaughterhouse under a 25-year contract that started in 2008 during the administration of former mayor and now Representative Evelio Leonardia.

But Tañada said the City should show legal basis if they want to terminate the contract because as far as his client is concerned, it did not violate any law or ordinance.

AVM Bernardo started processing its permits in January this year and all agencies concerned have already granted the operator pertinent clearances, he said.

He added that the only thing lacking in the permit is the hard copy bearing the photo and signature of the mayor and the permit and license plate.

AVM Bernardo has paid the City Treasurer's Office an assessed value of P109,735.050 for regulatory fees.

All these have long been complied, Tañada said.

He also explained that the P30,000 monthly rental of AVM Bernardo was tacitly approved by the City Government.

On June 2009, AVM Bernardo wrote the City that it can pay only P30,000 a month instead of P40,000 because of the non-operation of the chicken line following an appeal from poultry raisers.

The chicken line operation constitutes 30 percent of the total revenue, and its non-operation has rendered AVM Bernardo losses of about P600,000 a month, Tañada said.

On June 23, 2009, the said letter was endorsed by the City Council secretary to then City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan. The City did not reply, protest or deny such request and received the P30,000 as monthly rental until March 16, 2014.

With the refusal of the City to receive the rental payment for March 16 to April 15 on an adjusted rate of P62,400, AVM opted to pay the same before the court by way of an action for consignation. The court received such payment and issued a City Treasurer's Office receipt to AVM Bernardo, said Tañada.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 08, 2014.

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