GSIS cries foul over Manila Bay polluter tag
MANILA, Philippines–The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has sought revocation of the Laguna Lake Development Authority’s (LLDA) notice of violation slapped against the state-run pension fund for allegedly polluting Manila Bay after recent findings showed the contrary.
In a statement Friday night, GSIS president and general manager Jesus Clint O. Aranas said a recent LLDA laboratory test on the GSIS’s wastewater discharge noted that the agency was compliant with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) standards.
“In the interest of fairness, we are requesting the LLDA to revoke the notice of violation issued to the GSIS at the height of the Manila Bay’s clean-up drive. It turns out that the basis of this alleged violation was the test where LLDA representatives used water samples taken from the inlet of the last stage of treatment and not at the exit stage of our sewage treatment plant,” Aranas said.
“After the alleged violation had been refuted by the results of the retest of the LLDA, the immediate revocation of the notice imposing penalty is necessary,” the GSIS chief added.
Also, Aranas said the GSIS taps a DENR-accredited laboratory to regularly test and monitor the treatment plant’s water sample.
“In the last three months, the results provided by Mach Union Laboratory Inc. showed that the total coliform level in water samples from our sewage treatment facility was way below the allowable limit,” he said.
“Thus, the violation notice from the LLDA came as a surprise to us considering that in previous years, the LLDA had bestowed various awards on the GSIS for exceptional environmental performance including the ‘Diwa ng Lawa’ award. This award was given to us after obtaining a ‘Green’ rating for three consecutive years (2010-2012) equivalent to a level of performance which is ‘better than applicable standards’ and compliant with LLDA regulatory requirements,” according to Aranas.
But while the GSIS tested negative for polluting Manila Bay, Aranas said they will still push through with the plan to rehabilitate the sewage treatment plant. /jpv
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