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DENR warns Manila Bay polluters of full operations shutdown

/ 09:38 PM June 20, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) would not just close establishments polluting Manila Bay, they would also order a full shutdown of their operations.

DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said Thursday they are set to enforce “no-nonsense” enforcement of laws against establishments polluting the Manila Bay.

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“This time we’ll try to make sure that [it will] shut down their full operation […] unlike before na shutdown lang natin yung gripo, waterwaste nila (unlike before when we just shut down their faucets and waterwaste),” Antiporda told INQUIRER.net on the sidelines of the opening of Art For Manila Bay Rehabilitation Exhibit at Solaire Resort and Casino in Paranaque City.

He added that the business permits of polluting establishments will be temporarily suspended until they can comply with the clean water act and all environmental laws.

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Antiporda said these establishments have been given ample time to comply with the rules.

“Wala po tayong sisinuhin, kahit na sino pong may-ari ng mga establishment na yan, as long as you are polluting the bay, huhulihin po natin yan. Wala na ho yung sinasabing paki-pakiusap,” Antiporda said.

(There will be no exemptions. For as long as you are polluting the bay, your operations will be closed. We are not going to entertain requests.)

“We have given them ample time to come up with mitigation but sad to say, hindi pa rin sila umaaksyon (they did not take action.) So we have no choice but to implement the full force of the law,” he added.

Early this year, several establishments were tagged as Manila Bay polluters and were slapped with cease-and-desist orders (CDOs) by the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA).

Wastewater samples collected from some of the establishments tested positive for high level of fecal coliform — 160,000 most probable number (mpn) per 100 ml — a significant difference from the standard 200 mpn per 100 ml set by the DENR.

The establishments’ water sources were immediately shut down.

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Filipino culture

Despite the rehabilitation efforts, Antiporda said the problem is partly cultural.

“Filipinos continue to pollute our rivers, our creeks, our bay,” he said

While the government is doing its best to come up with a better Manila Bay, he said the culture of Filipinos that has no concern for the environment that gets in the way. (Editor: Eden Estopace)

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TAGS: DENR, Manila Bay, Pollution, shutdown
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