Manila Bay Rehab: 5 establishments cited for water pollution

admin   •   February 20, 2019   •   2751

Manila Bay

MANILA, Philippines — Five establishments in Metro Manila are facing temporary closure after the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) issued ex parte-cease and desist orders against them.

The CDO was served to Max’s Restaurant UN Orosa, HengFeng Kitchenette, Jollibee Macapagal Biopolis, Lamer Catering, and Nihon Bashitei Japanese Food.

The said establishments were cited for dumping untreated wastewater and contributing to the pollution in Manila Bay.

LLDA personnel on Tuesday (February 19) promptly sealed Hengfeng Kitchenette’s faucets after serving the cease and desist order.

The food establishment was found to have a biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) of 2,260 milligrams per liter whereas the standard density is at 30 milligrams per liter. This indicates a lack of water treatment facility.

“Nakita namin it’s an immediate threat to life, health, safety and welfare,” said Engr. Emiterio Hernandez, department manager of LLDA environmental regulations.

Hengfeng representative, Ramon Arqueza expressed surprise at the result of the BOD testing.

“Yan ang hindi ko rin alam. Ngayon lang, nagulat ako na may problema pala,” Arqueza said.

Meanwhile, Jollibee Macapagal Biopolis branch had already been closed when the LLDA group arrived.

“Mataas yung kanilang fecal coliform na isa sa mga nagko-contribute ng fecal coliform level sa Manila Bay,” Engr. Hernandez said.

He added that the fast food chain has sent a letter stating that they have already temporarily closed the establishment to allow for repair works on their water treatment plant.

Establishments that have received notices may immediately file an appeal at the office of the LLDA. The orders will be lifted after compliance with existing policies.

The government’s crackdown against establishments that violate environmental laws is part of the Manila Bay rehabilitation efforts.  — Nel Maribojoc

Gov’t extends rehabilitation works in El Nido

Marje Pelayo   •   August 2, 2019

El Nido Lagoon in Palawan

MANILA, Philippines – Top tourist destination El Nido in Palawan will not be closed to tourists despite decision to extend rehabilitation works in the island.

The rehabilitation program is managed by an interagency task force composed of the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources, the Interior and Local Government and Tourism.

On August 4 a 20-day inspection and investigation will commence to determine the owners and which establishments are non-compliant to the environmental law and hold no necessary permits.

Those who fail government auditing will be ordered closed.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año noted however, that it would be impossible to demolish all structures established within the 20-meter easement zone.

“What we want to promote are the islands of El Nido,” Año said.

“Doon dapat pumunta ang mga tourist doon sa sentro (Tourists should be led to the city center). It’s more on commercial ang lodging, accommodation for the tourist,” he added.

Meanwhile, several areas in Bacuit Bay were declared ‘no swimming zone’ due to contaminated water and because the structures there were already by the beach.

These areas are the Corong-Corong Outfall, El Nido Estero Outfall, Masagana Outfall anf Cabugao Outfall.

“Ang Corong-Corong Outfall, ang fecal coliform is now at 99,315. Ang normal is 100, (Corong-Corong Outfall’s fecal coliform (level) is now at 99,315. The normal level is (only) 100,)” noted Tourism Secretary Bernadet Romolu-Puyat.

“Maiintindihan naman nila siguro kung bakit bawal mag swimming, (They would understand why swimming is banned),” she added.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu stressed that this effort of the government is a way to protect the area and so as not to worsen pollution problems in the island such as what happened in Boracay.

“We will continue to stop this because we cannot allow na mag-deteriorate ang El Nido (to deteriorate) into another Boracay,” Cimatu said.

According to DOT, there are about 200,000 tourists that visit El Nido every year. – with reports from Rey Pelayo

MRT-3 management estimates rehabilitation will take two years

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 12, 2019

The rehabilitation of the MRT-3 will still have to take two years.

The management of the Metro Rail Transit-3 said the new train rails have already arrived in the country.

Once all the rail parts arrive in October, rail replacement will begin by November.

MRT Engineer-V Engr. Oscar Bongon said they are considering suspending train operations during weekends to expedite the rehabilitation.

“Kapag nag-decide po iyong management na mapabilis pwede po tayong mag add ng additional day or i-extend iyong oras para mas mabilis po nating matapos iyong rail replacement (Once the management decides to speed up the rail replacement, we can add an additional day or extend hours),” he said.

Once the rehabilitation is finished, 20 trains will become operational from the 13 to 15 trains currently operating.

The train speed will also improve, from 30 kilometers per hour (kph) to 60 kph, reducing the travel time from one hour to 30 minutes.

Headway will also be reduced to three minutes compared to the previous 7 seven minutes.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Old structures in Manila need checking for quality, safety — Solidum

Marje Pelayo   •   July 9, 2019

Courtesy : Thebureauasia.com

MANILA, Philippines – Science and Technology Undersecretary Renato Solidum has recommended placing under quality assessment all old structures in the city of Manila.

This is in reaction to Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso’s remarks about the city’s lack of a concrete risk reduction management plan or a detailed hazard map.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) Director said the local government of Manila should primarily address the city’s disaster preparedness and capability ahead of the ‘Big One’ or the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that the West Valley Fault may generate in the future.

“Tingnan kung ano ba ang kalidad ng mga bahay at gusali (Check the quality of the houses and buildings),” Solidum noted.

“Ang Manila maraming luma. Marami ding informal settlement at marami diyan non-engineered ang mga bahay (Manila has a lot of old (structures), a lot of informal settlement and most of them are non-engineered houses),” he added.

Based on a report from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the city of Manila is a ‘total failure’ when it comes to disaster resilience or its capability to respond in natural disasters and other hazards.

Solidum explained that Manila’s base being a coastal city is prone to liquefaction because it is near Manila Bay.

“Ang kaibahan ng Quezon city sa Manila ay matigas ang foundation ng Quezon city. (Ang) Manila (ay) hindi, kundi malambot (The difference between Quezon City and Manila is that Quezon City has a solid foundation. With Manila, no. It has a yielding base),” Solidum said.

The Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (QCRRMC) has received the 2018 Gawad Kalasag Award as the Best Local DRRMC under the Highly Urbanized Category.

They have assigned six district evacuation sites other than Quezon City circle.

According to the head of the QCDRRMO Myke Marasigan, they have included in their contingency plan the color-coded alert level to be able to immediately respond to earthquake situations.

“If the magnitude and the epicenter is near Quezon city, for example 5.5 below, then we could always trigger the yellow alert meaning on-call, standby and do damage assessment immediately,” Marasigan explained.

The QCDRRMO also conducts regular earthquake drills to prepare the residents for potential ground shaking.

The city government is making sure of preparing all barangays since they cannot rescue everyone at the same time.

“They will be ready as an individual, ibig sabihin meron kang (meaning you have your) ‘Go Bag’ ready or disaster kits na sinasabi natin,” Marasigan said.

“Susunod niyan as a family kung nagusap-usap na ba tayo pag halimbawa lumildol magkakahiwalay tayo saan tayo mag-mi-meetup? (Next is the family. Have you set up a plan that in case of an earthquake and you’ve been separated from one another, where should you meet?),” he added.

According to Solidum, the city of Manila is able to prepare its residents but it is important that they do it systematically. – with details from Rey Pelayo.

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