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MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) removed a hostel’s illegal drainage pipe that was installed along the beach at Barangay Corong-Corong in El Nido, Palawan.
In a statement on Sunday, April 21, the DENR said the illegally installed pipe was traced to Outpost Beach Hostel. This was among the establishments to which the DENR issued a notice of violation for releasing wastewater below quality standards.
The hostel’s pipe was discharging black and foul-smelling liquid directly into Bacuit Bay, one of Palawan’s ecotourism sites undergoing rehabilitation.
DENR Mimaropa regional executive director Henry Adornado said Outpost Beach Hostel’s use of the hidden sewage line is a “blatant disregard for the environment” and a “clear violation” of the Water Code of the Philippines under Presidential Decree No. 1067 and Republic Act No. 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat, and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año had agreed to rehabilitate El Nido without a temporary closure, unlike what the government had done in Boracay.
The municipal government has already closed at least 22 establishments for violating the 3-meter coastal easement policy in El Nido, while another 50 tourism establishments may face closure.
Efforts to rehabilitate Manila Bay are also underway. The DENR has issued Memorandum Circular No. 2019-01 ordering all establishments within the bay’s region to either connect to existing sewer lines or set up their own sewerage treatment plants to ensure their wastewater is collected and treated properly.
The circular covers all government facilities, subdivisions, condominiums, commercial centers, hotels, sports and recreational facilities, hospitals, marketplaces, public buildings, industrial complex and other similar establishments along Manila Bay’s surrounding areas. – Rappler.com