City government to face banana growers in court over aerial spray ban

DAVAO CITY — Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he will not extend thephase-out period for the implementation of the city’s aerial spray ban ordinance and is ready to face the banana growers and exporters in court, in case they would resort to seeking a legal remedy.

He said only a temporary restraining order can stop the city government from implementing the ban after the three-month phase-out period.

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Will this not resort to exodus of the banana industry? Caricature grabbed from A SEED website.

The adjustment period started Thursday last week and the ban is expected to take effect on the third week of June after the 90-day period given to allow the industry to adjust from using airplanes to ground spraying of fungicides using booms.

Duterte said PBGEA can proceed with challenging the legislation in court.

Stephen Antig, president of the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association, last week said that though they are not trying to resort to a legal battle, challenging the ordinance in court is among their options.

The industry is still hopeful, Antig said earlier, the city government would grant an extension because phase out in three months is “impossible”.

PBGEA wrote Duterte a letter last month seeking the extension, Antig said.

Antig said, however, they were willing to invest in the infrastructure needed to shift from spraying fungicide using airplanes to booms in ground-spraying.

Lawyer Wendel Avisado, city administrator, said it is the right of the industry in a democratic country to resort to legal action.

He said they might question the constitutionality of the ordinance and if it was within the authority of the city council.

He said they can file a petition to impose a temporary restraining order.

Duterte signed the ordinance on February 10 amid appeals from PBGEA and intercession from Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap. The city council approved the ordinance on February 23. It was first proposed in August 2004. [Walter I. Balane/MindaNews]

About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

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