More drums of toxic wastes found in Cavite | Inquirer News

More drums of toxic wastes found in Cavite

/ 04:58 PM July 18, 2011

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna-The Cavite provincial government on Monday is contacting private waste treatment facilities that could treat and dispose of the toxic substance contained in more than 200 metal drums, which authorities found in Dasmariñas City over the weekend.

Cavite Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Elmer Bascos said the metal drums, that contained liquefied substance believed to be industrial wastes, were kept under close watch by environment and village authorities in the adjacent villages of Langkaan I and II in Dasmariñas City, where they were discovered.

“We’re still looking for treatment facilities. The problem is that the treatment (process) is quite expensive,” he said in a phone interview.


The environment office already took samples of the chemical described as a thick, blackish substance emitting a smell similar to that of rugby.


Although tests results have yet to be released, Bascos said “all used chemicals are already considered toxic and hazardous hence should be properly disposed.”

Authorities first found 63 drums containing the chemical on Thursday evening after a villager in Barangay Langkaan I reported that metal drums emitting a foul odor were being unloaded from two Elf trucks on a 100 square meter vacant lot.

Upon arriving at the site, Penro and village officials arrested truck driver Ramon Olaguer and seized the vehicle, but the other truck escaped from the authorities.

Bascos said Olaguer was hired to transport and dispose of the chemical by burying it under the soil, as there were also shallow pits found on the site.

On Saturday, Olaguer led authorities to Barangay Langkaan II, about a kilometer away from the first site, where 170 more drums containing the same chemical were found.

“Both sites were immediately cordoned off as we just might not know what harm it can cause us,”” said City Mayor Jenny Barzaga.


She said city health officials already tested residents living close to the site for any side effect.

Supt. Ulysses Cruz, city police chief, said Olaguer identified Solchem Philippines Inc., a waste transporter and treatment firm based in Las Piñas City, as source of the chemicals.

Olaguer said the firm has been transporting the drums to Cavite since June.

Cruz said they found several metal drums, similar to those found at the Dasmariñas sites, when police visited the company’s warehouse on Saturday.

“We already invited the company owner. The company may face charges if proven to have been illegally dumping wastes here,” Cruz said.

Meanwhile, authorities found no record of any application for a permit to transport and store the chemical in the city.

An administrative staff of Solchem Philippines Inc., who wants to be identified only as Rhona, said the company’s legal counsel is already coordinating with concerned government agencies but would not give a statement yet.

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“We want these (drums) pulled out even if the city has to shoulder the transport and the treatment costs. We just have to take precautions and wait for the instructions from the DENR,” Barzaga said, adding that one option is a waste treatment facility in Silang, Cavite.

TAGS: chemical, environment, News, Regions, toxic waste

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