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Lapu-Lapu belies presence of fecal bacteria in Mactan beaches

(The Freeman) - March 8, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Lapu-Lapu City has belied a report of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that there is a presence of fecal bacteria in its beaches.

City health officer Rodolfo Berame said that while they do not deny that some beaches did not pass the water sampling in 2011 and 2012, all beaches passed the tests since 2013, as conducted by private water testing laboratory Talisay Water Lab, which is accredited by the Department of Health.

“Since our beloved mayor (Paz Radaza) is very supportive in terms sa katungod sa tourism industry, gipa-monitor gyud ni mayor nako so we conducted twice a year of water sampling at those areas,” Berame said.

In a recent report, the DENR – Environmental Management Bureau found fecal bacteria in beaches in Lapu-Lapu City.

Cindylyn Pepito, Ambient Air monitoring and Water Quality Monitoring Section chief of DENR- EMB in Central Visayas, said fecal bacteria above safe levels is a threat to public health.

Berame said he asked DENR and EMB which areas the water samples were taken from but the two agencies reportedly did not respond.

Berame said he suggested the possibility of water sampling if only to avoid possible discrepancies.

“Mao na akong gusto, joint sampling. Mao nay sakto gyud. Para gyud maklaro kung unsay tinuod. Dili ta mag-conduct (og tests) ngadto (sa national agency). Private institution man ang mo-conduct sa sampling, dili ang DENR, para walay bias ba,” he said.

He also called for proper coordination on the part of the national agencies.

“Gusto unta mi nga mag-coordinate sila namo, dili kami ang mag-coordinate. Although, national agency sila, pero dapat unta ang national agency dili pud sila mu-kuan kuan sa ilahang gusto. Dapat coordinated sila sa among office. Kay we did everything for our tourism industry,” Berame said.

Berame said they conducted water sampling on March 9 and September 7 last year.

The result of the lab test released on March 16 showed the Pacific Cebu Resort in Barangay Subabasbas, BE Mactan Resort in Barangay Punta Engaño, Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort in Barangay Maribag, as well as the Blue Reef Beach Resort and Vaño Beach Resort located in Barangay Marigondon passed the “bacteriological test result for recreational water”.

Beaches that passed the bacteriological test according to the September 14 results are Lowaii Cebu Marine Beach Resort in Barangay Subabasbas, Tiongco Beach Resort and Ocean Pearl Beach Resort in Barangay Marigondon and Cebu White Sands Beach Resort.

The Crimson Resort and Spa in Barangay Mactan passed the test twice in the months mentioned.

Berame reiterated that beaches in Barangay Marigondon are clean. “I was really wondering why niingon ang EMB nga positive. It all passed,” he said.

He said he did not receive reports that city-residents are experiencing health problems that linked to bathing at the beach reported to have fecal bacteria. — (FREEMAN)

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