Lobo, Batangas local gov’t ordered Chinese dredging ship to leave

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 4, 2019   •   2602

MV Emerald, boarded by Chinese and Indonesian crew was sighted in the mangrove forest of Barangay Lagadlarin, on March 28, 2019.

The local government of Lobo, Batangas has ordered the Chinese dredging ship to leave their shores after failing to provide permit to operate.

The foreign ship MV Emerald, boarded by Chinese and Indonesia crew was sighted in the mangrove forest of Barangay Lagadlarin, on Thursday.

According to Lobo, Batangas Mayor Gaudioso Manalo, there are companies who have contracts to conduct dredging along the Lobo River but the MV Emerald is not included in their list.

Manalo said they have already advised the ship’s captain to leave their town.

” ‘Wala kayong business permit’, sabi ko. Parang barakuhan hindi pwedeng ganoon. Definitely hindi ko kayo papayagan. Sabi ko, ‘umalis na kayo’, (They don’t have any business permit. They seem to be forcing their way in, we can’t have that. I am definitely not allowing them to stay, I told them to leave),” he said.

The MV Emerald presented an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON but Manalo said they are still not allowed to operate.

“Kami ang huling magde-desisyon kung iyan ay papayagan o hindi. So iyong kanilang nakuha na ECC ay first step pa lang, andiyan na kaagad parang atat na atat, (We make the final decisions on whether we’ll allow them or not. The ECC they presented is just the first step but they already made their way there as if they couldn’t wait. )” he adds.

The local government assured that the ship has not begun dredging the area.

According to Manolo, the Lobo River is included in the protected areas because it is near Verde Island which is considered as “the center of the center” of marine biodiversity in the world.

“Kami po ay tapat ng Verde Island passage. Iyang Verde Island passage ay center of marine biodiversity in the whole world. Ito ang pinakamagandang dive site kapag nagankla ka diyan masisira kaya hindi kami pumapayag, (We are across Verde Island passage. The Verde Island passage is the center of marine biodiversity in the whole world. It has the most beautiful dive site. If you anchored there, it might damage the area, that’s why we’re not allowing [the ship]),” he said.

Meanwhile, other Chinese dredging ships were sighted in Masinloc and Cabangan, Zambales.

According to Bayan Muna Partylist Cong. Neri Colmenares, they took a video on February 16 while they were documenting the West Philippine Sea.

“I personally rode a boat to get near and see the ships for myself. Fishermen also sent me pictures of quarrying ships with Chinese crew in Cabangan, Zambales,” he said. —Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Sherwin Culubong)

2 nabbed for allegedly pouring chemical into river in Batangas that caused huge foam

Robie de Guzman   •   August 20, 2020

Police on Thursday arrested two individuals in Tuy, Batangas for allegedly throwing chemical wastes into a river that caused a huge foam to appear in Barangays Sabang and Bayudbud.

Local authorities identified the suspects as Romano Cabrera, 46, and Mark Anthony Austria, 38. Both are residents of Tuy town.

Police said the two were apprehended following complaints from residents about a foul smell in the area in the afternoon of August 19.

When they proceeded to the area to verify the information, police allegedly found the two suspects cleaning 16 drums on the river’s shore.

Police said appropriate charges will be filed against them.

The local government of Tuy and the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office, meanwhile, said an investigation into the effects of the chemicals is underway. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aris Silvestre)

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No casualty in MV Moreta fire off Marikaban Island, Batangas — PCG

Marje Pelayo   •   July 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) immediately dispatched BRP Boracay to help in the fire incident involving a Philippine-registered cargo vessel, MV Moreta Venture southwest off Marikaban Island in Batangas  around 4:53 a.m. Monday (July 20).

Commodore Leovigildo Panopio of the PCG-Southern Tagalog reported that there was no casualty in the incident.

The fire was immediately contained and declared fire out at around 8:00 a.m.

BRP Boracay (FPB-2401) was berthed in Sta. Clara, Batangas City when the PCG Command Center received a distress call from said cargo vessel.

Said cargo vessel, which is now dead on the water and drifting, will be towed to the nearest port for safety. 

The PCG is now coordinating with the nearest tugboat in the vicinity waters for assistance.

Lahar flows inundate houses in Batangas

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 8, 2020

Residents of Barangay Buso-Buso, Laurel, and Barangay Banyaga in Agoncillo, Batangas were seen sweeping mud from their houses after lahar brought by heavy rainfall flowed into their homes on Sunday (June 7).

Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Chairman of Barangay Buso-Buso Cyrus Mendoza reported that no one was hurt during the incident and residents have already begun a bayanihan to clean their barangay.

“Habang bumubuhos po ang malakas na ulan ay nakita po namin ang lahar flow na nanggaling sa mga kabundukan sa amin. Pinuntahan po namin ang mga bahay na pinasukan po lahar na ito (While the rain was pouring heavily, we saw the lahar flow from our mountains. We have already visited the houses affected by the lahar flow),” he said.

Both barangays Banyaga and Buso-Buso are in the 7-kilometer danger zone of Taal Volcano.

The lahar came from the ashes brought by the Taal eruption in January. –AAC (with reports from Aris Silvestre)


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