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Forced to accept a SMART cellular tower in Bool, Tagbiaran , Bohol, Philippines
Contamination level: Seriously concerned, but little or no symptoms.
Author: Juan Created: 20 Aug 2014 Updated: not yet Viewed: 2483 time(s)


in Bool, Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines

The operation of a SMART LONG DISTANCE CELLULAR TOWER after being suspended for almost one year is now operational... September 2013

No one (except the owner, neighboring relatives of the leased land and the Barangay Captain) in their RIGHT MIND would ever allow the SMART Corporation to build and operate a LONG DISTANCE cellular tower within 500 meters of their homes, school, or community unless it was deceptively forced upon the community.

Why according to the law does one even have to request permission from the neighbors for this 45 meter high tower to be built and operated in a residential area if there is no negative effects such as radiation, land depreciation and eye pollution to the community.

After being rejected by Purok 3, the Barangay Captain and the SMART representatives, knowing fully well that if the residents of Purok 4 would be informed of the proposed construction of this tower, it would also be rejected. The Barangay Captain along with the SMART representatives secretly selected an area of land in purok 4, owned by the Barangay Secretary.

The SMART advisers guided the Barangay Captain to conduct a meeting with those residence in purok 4, living within 50 meters from the proposed cellular tower. This was done without any knowledge of the leader and officials of purok 4. There was never a public forum which was attested by Kagawad Angalot on July 27th 2012 over the local radio station DYRD when this tower was discovered still under excavation. The official permit for construction of this tower was approved on July 5th 2012.

Twenty two residents were told by the Barangay Secretary and a SMART representative that they wanted to install an "ANTENNA" ( technically a cellular tower is an antenna.) were purposely misinformed and 10 residents (actually there was 13 on the list but during the first public meeting in August 2012 it was revealed that three signatures were forged), who went to the Barangay hall to learn more about this purposed construction signed an attendance sheet which was deviously submitted as consent for the construction of this antenna. They never agreed and were never informed that they were going to build a LONG DISTANCE CELLULAR TOWER.

This cellular tower was illegally built in a residential zoning area according to the city ordinance brochure and a Ms Gina Inting from the zoning office at a public meeting in August of 2012 concurred and denied a permit for construction of this type of huge communication structure but somehow, the SMART Corp and city had gotten the permit to construct this tower and over the next year managed to change the zoning for the operation of this structure.

The leader of Purok 4 was coerced and under stress into signing a wavier lifting the suspension of this tower without any of the officials of Purok 4 agreeing to the lifting of the suspension. At a meeting at City Hall, June 2013 a representative of SMART threatened the leader of Purok 4 by questioning if he was willing to pay for the loss of income for the months of non- operation of this cellular tower?

The lifting of the suspension is questionable since it takes the majority of committee officials of Purok 4 to sign, similar to having the Barangay Captain and the majority of Kagawads agreeing to build and operate this tower.

Two very vocal representatives against this structure were quietly hired by the City Government so that they would keep quite against the operation of the tower.

Of the 360 petitioner against this tower, mainly parents of the children studying at the Bool Elementary School (150'linear meters from the tower) residents and workers, there are still 360 petitions against this tower. So if the city states that the people of Bool agreed to have this tower in operation, then this is an outright lie.

The SMART Corporation can not state that this tower is safe or not safe since there is no solid proof either way but there is caution that should be taken since more and more research is being conducted leaning towards possible side effects, more so in young children and older adults. . Even with the legal limits of EMF radiation of world governments, more and more places are restricting these towers from being built within 350-400 meters (1500 feet) from schools and hospitals. Why shouldn’t we have this right for the benefit of our children. Our children should not be used as laboratory experiments possibly to find out in several years that this radiation could be dangerous to their health. This corporation appears to be similar to the cigarette corporations in cahoots with governments in the 1950s and 60s claiming that smoking is harmless and denying that smoking causes cancer?

There are many ideal non-residential areas to build this tower so why was it allowed to be built so near our school and a populated residential area? Banat-i Hill, Bool, just above the SMART Corporation's long distance tower is where this tower should be transferred.

The SMART corporation's long distance tower is now harmless but what will happen in five years when business improves. Will it exceed the high levels of EMF radiation permitted by law as the long distance towers now produce on top of non-residential Banat-i Hill?

Our community, from teachers to small business owners fear speaking out since they are afraid to be reprimanded or denied benefits by those who are forcing this tower upon us.

We would not have pursued this issue if not for the case in Apas Barangay, Cebu City (Freeman newspaper on July 24th 2014) demanding for the transfer of two cellular towers allegedly causing illness to Doctors and lawyers after 10 years of operation. Since it is difficult to remove these towers since it was approved by the Barangay many years ago, here in Bohol, we would like to some way make legally known that this tower was absolutely against the peoples will so in case we have similar problems as in Apas, Cebu, in the future, we can demand transfer of this tower since it was forced upon us.

The Barangay officials in Apas, Cebu also fear that when the Department of Health tests the radiation output, the owners of this tower will make sure that the government regulations on EMF radiation are met.

Concerned citizens of Bool District, Tagbilaran City, Bohol
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