Poop pipe near shore built with gov’t OK
A tourism agency and a unit of the Ayala group on Thursday said a sewage system discovered along the beach on Boracay Island was built long ago and with government approval.
Environment officials last weekend reported finding the sewers stretching parallel the beach for 4 kilometers from the village of Manoc-Manoc to the village of Balabag.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu was quoted as saying the discovery was “very disturbing,” as the underground pipes, built by the Philippine Tourism Authority (now known as the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, or Tieza) encroached into Boracay’s main beach area.
Tieza has a joint venture with Ayala group’s Manila Water Co. Inc. through Boracay Island Water Co. Inc. (Boracay Water), one of two water service providers in the resort island that was forced to shut down amid sanitation problems.
In a joint statement, Tieza said the sewage system was “built decades ago with the necessary government approval.”
Tieza and Boracay Water assured the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that the sewer system was operating and had the capacity to prevent the overflow of wastewater into the sea.
“The major cause of manhole overflows and water pollution in Boracay is the refusal of many establishments to connect to the proper sewage system and illegally tapped to the drainage line,” Tieza said.
Boracay Water said it was committed to complete in four months a project to rehabilitate, upgrade and expand the sewer network along Balabag Main Road.
The project was intended to make the sewer network capable of “accommodating higher flows coming from the beachfront area.”
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