DENR suspends waste facility on Manila Bay

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 08 2017 06:02 PM | Updated as of Oct 08 2017 06:30 PM

MANILA - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Sunday suspended the operations of the Philippine Ecology Systems Corp. (PhilEco) garbage transfer station in Tondo, Manila for allegedly leaking waste discharge into the Manila Bay. 

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said the suspension came after the Environmental Management Bureau found that PhilEco's Vitas Marine Loading Station (VMLS) violated its environment compliance certificate (ECC).

VMLS is a transfer facility for waste collected in Metro Manila and transported by barge to the 40-hectare Navotas Sanitary Landfill, which is also operated by PhilEco.
 
DENR investigators discovered the VMLS had allowed untreated wastewater to flow directly into the bay while solid waste piled up 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 in a statement. 

"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."

PhilEco, in an executive conference, earlier told DENR officials that it has installed liners, drainage pipes and runoff storage tanks at VMLS and has started cleaning the bay with two new trash-collecting boats. 

The firm also promised to rehabilitate the facility's 100-meter seawall within 60 days and install a containment area for waste materials delayed for transfer during bad weather. 

Its suspension, however, will remain in effect until PhilEco delivers on its promise and ensure a repeat of the problem, said Cimatu. 

Vizminda Osoriom, director of the Environmental Management Bureau-Metro Manila, has also fined PhilEco P150,000 for violating its ECC.