Proposed Memorial Park In Marungko: YEA or NAY?

Lately, residents of Barangay Marungko in Angat, Bulacan felt nervous, worried, and anxious about the news that the proposed memorial park, which they thought was successfully shelved five years ago due to their strong opposition, is again starting to roll. The said memorial park is a private investment by Doña Trinidad Development Corporation, owned by the family of Mr Efraim Genuino (former PAGCOR Chairman during President GMA’s term).

In an ordinary perspective, there is nothing to worry about, as it might bring additional income for Marungko by means of bigger taxes and maybe additional employment, should the investor hire workers/employees from the barangay. However, the residents, especially those who reside immediately beside the proposed site, cited number of reasons to oppose this development.

The slope of land from the proposed site is going downward to the residential areas and also to agricultural lands. The periphery of the property (which is now on-going fencing construction) is almost touching the houses of the residents. The residents’ greatest fear is the health effect that might be brought about by the project. Currently, more than two hundred (200) residents, including children, reside immediately beside the site. Is this fear with basis?

According to HLURB regulations on site criteria for cemeteries or memorial parks, it shall be located on the periphery of the town center or in areas sparsely inhabited and where little hazard to human life could result. Location shall be allowed in an area where the dominant land use within one hundred meters (100mtrs) from the periphery of the proposed memorial park is neither residential, commercial, industrial or institutional.

If this project pushes through, there is a clear violation of the HLURB regulation. Furthermore, there is a 25-50 meters buffer zones for residential and water source supply required by law under the DOH.

Should this project continue, there is also a growing fear of converting the nearby agricultural lands into an expansion area of this memorial park. Farmers will be displaced and palay and vegetable production, which are most vital sources of income, will be diminished and may eventually gone. Marungko by then, will be surrounded by burial grounds, not a very attractive sight by all standards.

Is this memorial park the only way to achieve progress and development? Does a few additional thousands added to barangay income enough to sacrifice the health concerns of the residents? Are we willing to lose more in order to gain a few?

The residents are currently launching awareness campaign to oppose this project and mention other alternatives that may resolve the issue. They are appealing to the good heart of the investor to propose other developments like swimming resort, commercial complex, recreational complex and other projects that could help generate income to the barangay but would not have untoward effects on the residents. The residents are also counting on the fair and good judgment of the local barangay and town officials to take into consideration the welfare of their constituents and not to release permit for this project.

So, for most Marungkenyos, definitely, the proposed Memorial Park is a Big NAY!!!

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Munting Paraiso ni Yolly

Located in Pundicion, Sta. Cruz, Angat, Bulacan, a sweet little paradise is slowly making a name in Angat agricultural sector. A haven for lovers of naturally grown rice, fruits, vegetables and herbs, Munting Paraiso ni Yolly Farm occupies merely a hectare of land. Yet, in the recently concluded 4th Regional Agricultural Congress, the farm was the Regional Winner for Small Farmer Achiver category and First Place in Kumikitang Organikong Farm. More organically grown food enthusiasts, organic farmers and students, even from other countries, visit the farm and experience hands on planting and harvesting and have a healthy and fun way of learning farming the natural way.

The Riguer family owns this small and simple organic farm. Looking back, the family had no interest in farming. Their source of income was a small garment business. However, in 2006, Mr. Emerico Riguer was diagnosed with liver disease and gallbladder stones. It was a wake up call that made them realize the value of healthy living, to be conscious of the food they eat, and decided that the more natural and chemical- free food, the better and healthier. It was then that the wife, Mrs. Yolanda Riguer took notice of their small piece of land and started to cultivate and planted few vegetables for the family consumption. She joined the barangay farmers association and started to approach the Municipal Department of Agriculture for ways and means to natural farming. She attended various seminars to gain basic farming skills and knowledge. She received overwhelming support from the Angat local government as well as the Provincial Department of Agriculture to promote organic farming. Just this year, the Agricultural Training Institute granted Munting Paraiso a Learning Site Certificate. Organic Agriculture Seminars are now being conducted in the farm.

After several years of hard work, the farm is now established with active bio diversity in place. There are edible and non-edible flowers that attract good insects and herbs that repel bad insects. Inter-cropping and companion-cropping are very much alive wherein each plant benefits each other. Barrier plants surround the farm to prevent contamination from insecticide sprays from nearby farms. They only use organic soil fertilizers and insecticides from rice hulls, vermicompost, animal wastes and fermented plant scraps. Native and naturally fed pigs and chickens also abound in the farm. The fresh harvests from the farm not just satisfy the family’s needs but they now sell their fresh produce to farm visitors and naturally grown fresh produce shops. They also participate and showcase their produce in various organic fairs and exhibits.

The Riguer family, is now starting to reap the fruits of their sweat and hard work. It was not an easy ride, and they had their shares of bumps and slides, but through self determination and passion, they know they could overcome. They envision the Munting Paraiso ni Yoly to be a certified organic farm in the future and have greater market for organic fresh produce and be a linkage for enterprise. They also dream for Barangay Sta. Cruz to be an organic barangay and lead the Agri-Eco Tourism industry in Angat. Still a long way to go, but with continuous hard work and God’s help and guidance, nothing is impossible.

True to its name, indeed, a little paradise can be found here! To God be the glory!!!

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Unity Walk for Children with Special Needs

A fund raising project spearheaded by Angat SPED Center in Matias A. Fernando Elementary School was held last July 22, 2017, 5:30AM at the Angat Municipal Gym. It was a huge success and attended by a great number of Angateños. The project was fully supported by the entire Angat Municipal Government, Angat public school teachers, as well as private organizations like Rotary Club of Angat, Angat Motorcycle Riders Association, Jollibee Foods Corporation, Angat Water District and many more. Vice Governor Daniel Fernando also graced the event.

There was a mini program that featured and exhibited the talents of our little kids with special needs. Fun and energetic Zumba session was also held to the delight of all participants. Raffle prizes were also given away.

It is very heartwarming to see and witness the cooperation and support everyone extended for these special children. Indeed, everyone can be a hero in their little own ways!

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