At least 30 establishments in Boracay are without a proper drainage system

admin   •   February 21, 2018   •   6273

MANILA, Philippines —The Malay Municipal Engineering Office and the Municipal health officer inspected the drainage of a hotel to determine if it properly connects with the sewerage system of Boracay.

Authorities discovered that the establishment is illegally connected to the drainage and sewerage system of the Boracay water facility.

The management of the hotel was issued with citation tickets and was ordered to fix their drainage.

“Illegal. May mga hindi nakakonect sa sewer. Inisyuhan naman lahat ng citation ticket ng MHO [Malay Health Office] then, inadvise sila na kailangan nilang mag-connect sa sewer,” said engineer Philip Joy Peñaflor.

(This is illegal. Some are not connected to the sewer. The MHO [Malay Health Office] issued them citation tickets and were advised to connect to the sewer.)

According to the municipal engineer, the said hotel is just one of about 30 establishments in Boracay that have no drainage system resulting in sea pollution.

Authorities said the situation has been causing flooding in the island.

Meanwhile,17 establishments in Boracay were found to have violated the Municipal Ordinance No. 307 series of 2012.

The ordinance refers to the proper installation, construction, and maintenance of sewerage treatment plants and septic tanks based on existing standards.

“Regulated garbage po siya pero dapat segregation at source. So hindi siya naka-segregate at source, nakamix lang siya,” said health and sanitation inspector Helen Belen.

(These are regulated garbage but it should be segregated at source. These are not segregated at source, it’s mixed.)

Some hotels were also found to have been operating without sanitary permits and health cards for their employees. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

 

Anti-Botcha: Mayor Isko orders intensified meat inspections in Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   August 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Thursday ordered the conduct of intensified inspection in public markets following the seizure of thousands of kilograms of “botcha” or spoiled meat in the capital city since July this year.

Report from the Manila Veterinary Inspection Board presented on Thursday showed that since July 1, around 2,689 kilograms of spoiled beef shanks, pork and chicken meat were seized by authorities from different areas in Manila.

Hot meat are food items that did not pass proper inspection and are deemed unsafe for consumption.  

Mayor Isko also ordered concerned local agencies to set up checkpoints in the entry and exit points of Manila Harbor to prevent the entry of spoiled meat to the city.

He also urged the public to be cautious and observant when buying meat products.

Domagoso also called on meat vendors to join in the city government’s campaign against botcha and to make sure to only sold food products from accredited meat establishments. (RRD with details from Harlene Delgado)

From rice fields to trash fields: Indonesian farmers find profit in pollution

Robie de Guzman   •   August 16, 2019

Once home to rice farmers and their luscious green paddy fields, this Indonesian village is now a dump for truckloads of rubbish.

As Indonesia looks to tackle the country’s growing mountain of trash, the residents of East Java’s 200-hectare Bangun village have found a way to reel in profit from the problem — by opening their gates to garbage trucks and choosing to turn their fertile fields into rubbish sorting plots.

The health and environmental repercussions for Bangun village might be huge, said non-government organization, Ecological Observation and Wetlands Conservation (ECOTON), which has been observing the issue in the area for the last five years.

Now, more than 60 percent of the village residents have opted to enter the rubbish sorting business, and for the time being, that looks unlikely to drop.

“If I’m farming, I need to wait three months to get results, but if I’m sorting rubbish, we can make money in a day, two days or even a week,” said one farmer, Siti Maimanah.

On average, a worker in Bangun can earn between $7-14 per week picking through the sea of paper and plastic, and that can rise to $35 if the piles are particularly high – a tempting proposition when the farming alternative would leave them waiting with nothing for weeks on weeks, said Maimanah.

Ecoton said it has obtained evidence that the garbage in the area is imported from at least 54 countries around the world, including Europe, the United States, Australia, and Asia, under the pretense it is ‘paper waste’. Reuters found plastic packaging amongst the piles, including from Canada and the United States.

That’s adding on top of the huge amount of garbage the world’s fourth-most populous country with 260 million people generates on its own.

Earlier this year, the city of Surabaya sent back more than 200 tonnes of trash to Australia and U.S. as part of efforts to push back ‘foreign trash’ amid a spike in imports from Western countries after China banned imports.

“Our country has been labeled a dirty country and now America is adding their rubbish on top. Sending this garbage is clearly a violation of the law,” said Ecoton’s protest coordinator, Prigi Arisandi, during a recent protest in front of the U.S. consulate in Indonesia’s second-biggest city, Surabaya.

The archipelago of more than 17,000 islands has been struggling to cope with the waste, with much of it going into landfill and often eventually seeping out to pollute rivers and oceans. According to a 2015 study published in the Science journal, Indonesia was the world’s second-biggest contributor of plastic pollutants in the oceans.

The mountain of trash in Bangun village is also not going to vanish overnight despite the government’s efforts and plan to set up waste-to-energy plants across the country.

And for now, Indonesians like Maimanah say their day-to-day survival is far more important than the environment. (REUTERS)

(Production: Prasto Wardoyo, Heru Asprihanto, Angie Teo, Natasha Howitt)

Microplastics contaminating air, scientists warn

Robie de Guzman   •   August 16, 2019

German and Swiss scientists have published a study suggesting that microplastic is being blown vast distances through the air and dumped when it snows, underscoring the threat the growing form of pollution poses to marine life in even the remotest waters on the planet.

The team, from the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), analyzed snow samples in Germany, the Swiss Alps and on the Norwegian Arctic archipelago of Svalbard to confirm that the snow in all places contained high concentrations of plastic fragments, known as microplastic.

“It’s readily apparent that the majority of the microplastic in the snow comes from the air,” lead researcher Melanie Bergmann said in a press release.

The highest concentration in samples was collected in a rural area in Germany’s southern province of Bavaria, totaling to 154,000 particles per liter. The snow in the Arctic contained up to 14,400 particles per liter in comparison.

Researchers found particles of nitrile rubber, acrylates and paints containing plastics in their snow samples.

The study, published on Wednesday (August 14), is reinforced by research conducted by a U.S.-led team of scientists in the Northwest Passage. The team found the material trapped in ice taken from Lancaster Sound, an isolated stretch of water in the Canadian Arctic, which they had assumed might be relatively sheltered from drifting plastic pollution.

Eighteen ice cores of up to 2 meters (6.5 feet) long were drawn from four locations, containing visible plastic beads and filaments of various shapes and sizes.

The plastic fragments serve to highlight how the waste problem has reached epidemic proportions.

The United Nations estimates that 100 million tonnes of plastic have been dumped in the oceans to date. (REUTERS)

(Production: Barbara Woolsey)

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