DENR suspends garbage facility leaking waste into Manila Bay
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) suspended the operations of the Philippine Ecology System Corporation (Phileco) garbage transfer facility in Tondo, Manila, after it was found that solid wastes were directly flowing into Manila Bay.
In a press release on Sunday, October 8, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said the suspension order came after the Environmental Management Bureau-National Capital Region (EMB-NCR) found that Phileco's Vitas Marine Loading Station (VMLS) violated conditions in its environmental compliance certificate (ECC).
The VMLS is a transfer facility for wastes collected in Metro Manila and transported to the 40-hectare Navotas sanitary landfill.
The EMB-NCR said leachate from tons of solid wastes at the transfer station were directly flowing into Manila Bay. There were also solid wastes scattered along the shoreline.
"The Phileco incident is just one of the many battles the DENR must squarely address in winning the campaign for Manila Bay under the mantle of the continuing mandamus order of the Supreme Court," Cimatu said.
He added, "It is high time that we strictly enforce the law on solid waste management no matter who gets hurt, otherwise we will continue to live in an unhealthy environment to the detriment of public health."
Cimatu said the suspension will remain in effect until Phileco addresses the problem.
Last October 3, Phileco officers attended a technical conference to explain the corrective measures they pledged to undertake.
The firm said they have already backfilled its ponding area, installed liners, drainage pipes and runoff storage tanks at the transfer facility, and started the water cleanup using two trash-collecting boats.
Phileco officials also promised to rehabilitate the facility's 100-meter seawall, install a containment area for waste materials and litter fences around the facility within 60 days.
The firm was also fined P150,000 for violating provisions of its ECC. – Rappler.com
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