BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — Residents in Barangay (village) Pinsao here have accused a Korean language school of polluting a creek in the community.
Representatives of the Monol International Education Institute have been in talks with Pinsao residents since June to address the problem, but the school administrator, John Jugueta, said the facility should not be held solely responsible for the poor state of the waterway.
Water tests conducted in February, June and November in 2014 detected contaminants in the creek, said Julie Mestito of the city health office’s sanitary division.
Mestito said Monol was suspected to be the biggest contributor to the pollution of the creek that ran through Purok 3 and 9 because the problem arose after the school was built.
Mestito said her office had recommended improvements to Monol’s drainage system and septic tanks last year, following several inspections.
The office has yet to release the results of water tests it conducted in April this year.
During a recent dialogue with Pinsao village leaders, Monol officials said the school had complied with national health standards and its solid waste facilities passed the latest inspections.
But they acknowledged that a minor spill might have contaminated the waterway in March when the school’s contractor drained its septic tank.
Jugueta said the spill was unintentional and inspectors had determined that waste water from the school’s septic tank had not leaked into the creek.
“We care. Nobody wanted this to happen,” he said. The school, he said, has offered to talk to correct a misconception that the school’s waste management system was malfunctioning.
But residents remain unconvinced and have been complaining of stench coming from the creek.
Ma. Angeles Marchan, Pinsao village council member, said she saw the school’s septic tank overflow, which led to the health inspections.
Yolanda Pacio, Purok 3 resident, said residents have been relying on water deliveries instead of using water from the creek and a spring in the area.
(Joshua Tan, intern, Inquirer Northern Luzon)
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.