DENR sanctions Citra for failure to comply with environment rules
- Marvin Sy () - January 18, 2000 - 12:00am

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has ordered Skyway builder, PT Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp., to pay P58.8 million and stop its operations due to violations of the terms of its Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC).

DENR Secretary Antonio Cerilles explained that the department was forced to impose the penalties for Citra's failure to comply with its ECC and apply for a new one as required by the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau.

Citra was issued a notice of violation and a cease and desist order by the EMB last year for violations in its ECC during the construction of on/off ramps in Bicutan, Parañaque and Amorsolo street in Makati.

Specifically, the EMB noted that Citra covered up the creek on Amorsolo street and also reclaimed the Palil creek in Bicutan, both of which were blamed for the flooding of the areas involved.

Moreover, Citra also failed to show an adequate system for the collection, storage and proper disposal of construction materials and debris.

A third violation involved the changes in the alignment of both the Bicutan and Amorsolo street ramps without the required Environmental Impact Statement.

Investigation by the DENR-EMB was prompted by the complaints of the residents of Marimar Village in Bicutan about the noise and air pollution caused by the construction.

The residents also complained about the ramps which encroached on the walls of the village.

"Respondent (Citra), despite receipt of the NVO/CDO, continued their construction activities and refuse to submit the EIS for the unauthorized modification or change of alignment. Respondent has clearly demonstrated its blatant disregard of the law and the lawful orders of the office," Cerilles said in his order.

The fine was computed at the P50,000 per day of each violation starting Feb. 1, 1999, the start of construction. Another P50,000 per day was imposed on Citra for non-compliance of the NVO/CDO starting on the date of issuance, July 29, 1999. Cerilles explained that the violations were against Presidential Decree 1586 or the Environmental Impact Statement Law.

A separate investigation is currently being conducted by the Senate Committee on Environment on the plight of the residents of Marimar Village.

The residents demanded Citra buy-out their property because the construction has made their homes unsafe and has significantly brought down market values.

"The magnitude of the environmental impact brought about by the violations of respondent has brought about many sufferings to residents and motorists affected by floods, dust, and noise pollution and other similar effects," Cerilles said.

AMORSOLO BICUTAN CERILLES CITRA CITRA METRO MANILA TOLLWAYS CORP DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT LAW ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BUREAU MARIMAR VILLAGE
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