DENR issues cease and desist order vs Jollibee, Chowking in Calapan, OrMin for illegal discharge of wastewater, polluting Calapan River

Jollibee and Chowking Calapan closure

Fast food restaurants in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro face closure as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources served them today a cease and desist order (CDO) for operating without discharge permits and releasing partially treated wastewater exceeding the allowable DENR effluent standards.

The CDO signed by Environmental Management Bureau - MIMAROPA Regional Director Atty. Michael Drake Matias specified that Chowking Foods Corporation (Calapan), and Jollibee Foods Corporation (Calapan I and II) continuously release wastewater  without a discharge permit, a clear violation of the provisions of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 9275 or The Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004.

The CDO also cited that the establishments discharge wastewater that not only threaten but “in fact contributed to the failing quality of the receiving body of water, in this case, the Calapan River, which is an established Water Quality Management Area.”  

 “Latest results insofar as monitoring of the Calapan River is concerned showed that for most parts, the water quality guideline of 7 mg/L for Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) has been exceeded,” the Order stated.

As such, the CDO was immediately implemented by sealing the restaurants’ water facilities  from their kitchens to the comfort rooms (faucets, kitchen sinks, lavatory, sewer lines, outlet pipes,etc); and by posting a notice of their violations to the public. 

Some of the passersby who saw the notices were quick to share their insights. “Tama lang ang ginagawang yan para masigurong ang natatapong tubig sa ilog ay malinis,” Val Andido said.

Aside from the closure, the establishments are also liable for fines ranging from P10,000 to P200,000 per day of violation in accordance with RA 9275 and its implementing rules and regulations.

“Sana maintindihan nila na ang ginagawa natin ay para lang din masolusyunan ang polusyon sa ating katubigan, hindi lang dito sa Oriental Mindoro kundi sa rehiyon ng MIMAROPA at sa buong bansa,” the EMB Regional Director said. 

DENR Assistant Secretary for Field Operations - Southern Luzon Reynulfo Juan, who was also present in the activity, said that the efforts to clean up bodies of water in the country form part of Secretary Roy Cimatu’s priority programs, which include Clean Water and Solid Waste Management.

“We take off from the rehabilitation efforts done in Boracay and Manila Bay. We are confident that we can also save Calapan River by strictly enforcing the law with the help of the local government unit,” Asst. Secretary Juan remarked.

Prior to the issuance of CDO to the restaurants, DENR officials  met with Mayor Arnan Panaligan and Vice Mayor Gil Ramirez to inform them of the Environment Secretary’s major thrusts as basis of next clean up efforts and implementation of environmental policies in the region.

Alongside Boracay and Manila Bay rehabilitation, DENR is also spearheading efforts to clean up and restore the country’s top tourist destinations found in MIMAROPA, namely El Nido and Coron in Palawan, and Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro. 

“I hope this (issuance of CDO) serves as a warning to all establishments that we are serious in our work to protect our oceans, rivers, lakes and all bodies of water,” Regional Executive Director Henry Adornado stated. 

“This is just the beginning, we will be issuing CDOs to establishments found violating environmental laws, soon,” he added. 

“We are constantly monitoring the compliance of establishments with existing policies so we can immediately perform necessary actions should they fail to abide by the law,” Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer of Oriental Mindoro Mary June Maypa remarked. 

The team that served the cease and desist order was composed of officials and personnel from the DENR and EMB - MIMAROPA. For his part, Mayor Panaligan sent local police headed by Police Superintendent Efraim A. Camara to ensure safety and security in the area.

The Orders were received by the restaurants’ managers, namely Gelai Roxas (Jollibee - Calapan I), Eric Pernia (Jollibee - Calapan II) and Liana Maulion (Chowking).###

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DENR removes illegal sewage line in El Nido, Palawan; prepares charges against owners of hidden pipes in the island

el nido

 

     The Department of Environment and Natural Resources - MIMAROPA Region on Saturday excavated from the beachfront of a hotel establishment in El Nido, Palawan, a  PVC pipeline illegally installed within the town’s declared easement zone.

     Detected through the ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey conducted by the Central and MIMAROPA Regional offices of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau,  the pipeline measuring six inches in diameter and six meters in length was uncovered in front of Outpost Beach Hostel in Brgy. Corong-corong. It was also found discharging black and foul-smelling liquid directly into Bacuit Bay, one of the province’s ecotourism sites undergoing massive rehabilitation. 

     To confirm the source of the wastewater, the regional Environmental Management Bureau used a green tracer solution into Outpost Beach Hostel’s last chamber to which the excavated pipe was connected. After almost 20 minutes, the green solution drained into the said pipe, indicating that the said establishment was the one discharging wastewater from the tank. The EMB shall be conducting further investigation to determine if there are other sources of wastewater discharge aside from the hostel. 

     Paul Sepulveda, one of the co-owners of Outpost Beach Hostel in Brgy. Corong-corong, admitted that they owned the pipe.

     Nevertheless, DENR MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Henry Adornado ordered immediate removal of the sewage line as it violates provisions of PD 1067 or the Water Code of the Philippines, which prohibits any structures within the easement zones without permission from the government. 

      “The law is clear, and so was our appeal to everybody to cooperate with us in rehabilitating El Nido. We will continue to implement measures to find out if there are others who are doing the same and continuously disregarding our call to follow the rule of law. We will hold them responsible,” RED Adornado remarked. 

     The management of Outpost Beach Hostel volunteered to cut the sewage line but contested they were able to secure a discharge permit and the effluent samples taken from their sewage treatment facility passed the water quality guidelines of the DENR. 

     It can be recalled that the establishment was issued a Notice of Violation by the EMB for releasing wastewater exceeding the standards. Sepulveda said they are currently complying their commitments with the EMB. 

     Last year, the DENR created Task Force El Nido to spearhead the restoration of the famous island paradise found beset by environmental problems, such as encroachment of easement zones and high coliform levels in Bacuit Bay. The DENR, together with the local government unit of El Nido, has organized several stakeholders meetings to inform and engage both the residents and business establishments owners in restoring the beauty and cleanliness of the famous beach destination. Under the directive of Secretary Roy Cimatu, the DENR has also also pronounced to be more aggressive in enforcing the laws against anyone who would violate the environment.

      “The Outpost Beach Hostel’s continuous use of hidden sewage lines despite our warnings is a clear violation of the law and a blatant disregard for the environment that provides them livelihood. They are also putting the lives of tourists and residents in danger as they continue to pollute Bacuit Bay,” the director noted. 

      “We have no choice but to perform necessary actions to prevent them from further degrading nature,” he stated.   

     Meanwhile, the excavation site was filled with sand using the backhoe sent by the local government of El Nido. The end of the cut pipe was left open for sampling and analysis by the EMB. 

     “We have to remind everyone that we are preparing Bacuit Bay as Water Quality Management Area so we shall be conducting regular water sampling and analysis not only to Outpost Beach Hostel but also to other establishments to ensure they do not discharge untreated wastewater into Bacuit Bay,” EMB Regional Director Michael Drake Matias said. 

     Besides regular effluent sampling, the DENR and the MGB have been conducting GPR survey of the coastal areas of El Nido since March 18 to detect buried waste pipelines. They are calling business establishments to take Outpost Beach Hostel as an example to avoid interruption in their business operations.

     “You cannot hide them (pipes) forever. We will eventually uncover them so we advise you to remove your illegal sewage lines and comply with the laws for your own good,”  MGB MIMAROPA Regional Director Roland De Jesus stated. 

     The DENR, EMB and MGB in MIMAROPA vowed to impose maximum penalty to any establishments found continuously breaking environmental rules and regulations; and employ unified action to ensure environment protection remains as top priority.### 

 

 

Photo Releases

January 27, 2019. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources – MIMAROPA Region supports the “Battle for Manila Bay,” the 192-kilometer harbour that has become part of its home for decades now.

 

"Hindi po magiging ganito kaganda ang El Nido kung hindi ito nai-proklama bilang isang Protected Area."

-Vice Mayor Leonor Corral

DENR Palawan and CENRO PPC personnel joined the 1st SUBARAW Biodiversity Festival Parade and Float Competition last November 11, 2018 at Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

"Di po namin kaya kung kami lang sa DENR ang kikilos kaya nagpapasalamat po kami sa ating lokal na pamahalaan at mga partner agencies na kasama namin sa nakaraan at sa susunod pang 20 taon ng pangangalaga sa El Nido."

-Regional Executive Director Henry A. Adornado

"Napakasarap po sa pakiramdam na sa nakaraan 20 taon, nabigyan ako ng pagkakataon mapangalagaan at maprotektahan ang El Nido, ang ating kalikasan. Makakaasa po ang ating mga kababayan, ang DENR, na patuloy nating poprotektahan ang El Nido, dahil ito ay ating tahanan"

-Mayor Nieves Rosento

Themed "Nurturing shared responsibility for biodiversity conservation, the event celebrates two decades of concerted efforts of various stakeholders in protecting, saving and conserving El Nido

Taytay CENRO Pablo Cruz welcomes guests at the 20th anniversary celebration of ENTMRPA. "We thank you and reconize your roles in making our activities in 2018 successful and meaningful."

Turn-over Ceremony of EMB-MIMAROPA Regional Director

Let's explore the TAMWorld! A photo and art exhibit organized by Far Eastern University in celebration of Tamaraw Month this October.

Hataw Tamaraw!

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