Teodoro sets stage for suit vs private firm for Marikina River reclamation project
MANILA, Philippines — The Marikina City government has sought from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources a copy of either an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) or a certificate of noncompliance of environmental regulations for a reclamation project along the Marikina River.
The reclamation project, a type of artificial embankment near Marikina River being installed by a private company owned by former mayor, now Marikina Rep. Bayani Fernando, was said to be a contributing factor to the massive flooding in nearby areas during the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses.
Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said Monday that the ECC will clear the issue on whether the reclamation project was indeed among the reasons that caused floodwater to rise at the height of the typhoon.
“Ang tinatanong ko nga po sa DENR, dahil nagkaroon po ng artificial embankment sa area na ‘yun eh. Hindi po namin sinasabi na ‘yun lamang ang dahilan sa pagbaha sa Marikina, pero baka contributory, kaya mas naging malala ‘yung pagbaha,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
(There was an artificial embankment in that area that’s why we are asking DENR about it. We are not saying it is the only reason for the flooding, but it could be contributory that’s why the flooding became worse.)
“Tinanong namin sa DENR kung meron pong environmental compliance certificate. Ngayong araw humihingi ako sa DENR ng certificate of non-compliance or certificate that they have issued an ECC for the said project. Makukuha ko po ngayong araw ‘yung certificate,” he said.
(We are asking DENR if they have an environmental compliance certificate. I asked DENR for a certificate of non-compliance or a certificate that they have issued an ECC for the said project. Today I will be given the certificate.)
Teodoro stressed that an ECC is required for the reclamation and that this document would show the environmental impact assessment for the project.
He also cited the observance of residents in the area who have noticed that the flooding was worse during the onslaught of the typhoon.
“Kailangan din po masagot ‘yung sinasabi ng mga tao na nakatira doon sa paligid ng lugar, na napansin nila na noong bumaha ay naging mas mataas ‘yung baha ngayon dahil walang mapuntahan ‘yung tubig doon sa kabilang pampang ng ilog po,” he added.
(The concern of the people living in the area should also be addressed. They noticed that the flooding was worse because the water could not flow to the other side of the riverbank.)
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu earlier said the DENR would look into the complaint of the Marikina City government over the project.
On Sunday, Teodoro told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that he would file an administrative complaint against BF Corp., the company behind the reclamation project.
The mayor claimed the company proceeded with the reclamation project even without securing an ECC from the DENR, though he was quick to say that he was not blaming Fernando for the recent flooding.
In a previous television interview, however, Fernando said the mayor could be referring to a road dike project being overseen by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), an undertaking that the department denied, according to Teodoro.
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