New Manila Bay polluters named
People flock to the Baywalk in Roxas Boulevard in Manila on Thursday January 31, 2019 to experience the "new" Manila Bay after the massive clean-up of the DENR and other government agencies as part of the rehabilitation of the Bay.
Edd Gumban
New Manila Bay polluters named
Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - February 1, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) yesterday named 21 establishments as among those polluting Manila Bay.

In a two-page memorandum, the LLDA issued a cease and desist order against Philippine Billion Real Estate Development Corp., HK Sun Plaza and Tramway Bayview Buffet Restaurant in Pasay City and D’ Circle Hotel in Manila.

The LLDA also issued a show cause order against  Le Mirage de Malate-Builders 2000 Inc., Smart Land Resources and Malate Bayview Mansion, all in Manila.

The agency found 14 firms liable for violating environmental laws.

In Manila, they are Sogo Hotel along Quirino Avenue, Makchang Korean Restaurant, 2Blue Realty Corp., Cebuana Lhuiller Building, Rizal Park Hotel and Robinsons Place Manila.

In Pasay, they are the Government Service Insurance System and Peak Motors Philippines Inc.

A notice of violation was also issued against Philippine Billion Real Estate Development Corp., Smart Land Resources, Malate Bayview Mansion and Summit Ice Inc. Building for their failure to secure an LLDA clearance. 

The LLDA is an attached agency of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and is responsible for inspecting business establishents near Manila Bay for compliance with environmental laws. 

The establishments “will be given a chance to correct their violations before charges are filed” and they are shut down said DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu, who attended the Metro Manila Council meeting yesterday along with Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año.

The DILG will initiate an investigation to determine the liability of local government units that issued business permits to the erring establishments.

Año also urged mayors to help in the relocation of informal settler families living along Manila Bay’s 17 tributary river systems and its watershed area. 

Palace defends bay rehab

Malacañang yesterday shrugged off militant groups’ concerns about the rehabilitation of Manila Bay and insisted that the program would benefit all sectors.

Members of the Makabayan bloc have asked the government to suspend the rehabilitation, saying it could be a “preclude” to 43 reclamation projects under the Build, Build, Build infrastructure program.

In a resolution, Representatives Ariel Casilao of Anakpawis, Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna, Emmie de Jesus and Arlene Brosas of Gabriela, Antonio Tinio and France Castro of ACT Teachers and Sarah Jane Elago of Kabataan, said one of the projects that would benefit is the 265-hectare “Pasay Harbor City” of businessman Dennis Uy, a major contributor of President Duterte’s campaign. 

Militant group Pamalakaya has also claimed that the rehabilitation would displace 300,000 families and would bring them to areas that are far from their livelihood sources. 

But Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo defended the rehabilitation program and assured the public the government would “look at the welfare” of those affected by it. 

“When you clean up Manila Bay certainly all of us will benefit. Now with respect to reclamation, even the government will benefit from that,” Panelo said in a press briefing. 

“If I understand correctly, its 65-35 and we will get 65 percent. That’s huge. That will generate income to the government because of the sharing. And that will generate jobs because they will be establishing structures there,” he added. 

Panelo’s statement contradicted the DILG’s previous claim that the rehabilitation would not lead to the implementation of reclamation projects.   – With Emmanuel Tupas, Alexis Romero, Mayen Jaymalin 

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