Citing high E. coli levels, Cordova town to close off nearby waters for commerce

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2022 08:46 AM

MANILA – Floating cottages and restaurants will no longer be allowed along the waters of Cordova town in Cebu after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) found high levels of E. coli bacteria.

The town has 33-hectares of sea water which tested for high levels of the E. coli bacteria.

Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia ordered that restaurants be vacated by August 29, to give businesses enough time to wrap up their affairs. 

Cordova town to close off nearby waters for commercial use

“We have to change everything. Overhaul,” Garcia said in Cebuano.

It was found out that floating cottages and restaurants along the coastline of Barangays Catarman and Poblacion contributed to the high levels of the E. coli bacteria in the coastal waters.

Latest data from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) showed that an area in the town’s waters reached 2,400 MPN (most probable number) per 100ml, far more than the allowable 100 MPN.

They also found out that oil and grease concentrations in the area exceeded normal levels.

“This is very detrimental to health and we have strict guidelines on dealing with fecal coliform,” said Engr. Cindylyn Pepito, Information Officer of the Central Visayas EMB.

To address the problem, the town will close off nearby waters for commercial use pending rehabilitation.

They will also work on finding an allowable spot for the displaced owners of the cottages and restaurants to continue their operations with strict regulations in place.

Garcia also issued a memorandum that allowed only licensed motorbancas and pump boats to ferry passengers within the coastal waters of the town.

The police, coastguard and other line agencies were directed to strictly enforce Garcia’s order.

“When you come back, it will be better,” Garcia assured stakeholders.

– Report by Annie Perez