Mandaue City's new CENRO chief tracking down non-compliant firms
Liv G. Campo (The Freeman) - December 5, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines – Manufacturing industries in Mandaue City may be shut down if they are found out to be violating any of the existing environmental laws, City Environment and Natural Resources Office's (CENRO) new acting chief Placido Jerusalem warned.

"Kung naa'y ni-operate nga wa'y papers -- no ECC (Environmental Compliance Certificate) -- pwede ma-shut down," said Jerusalem in an interview with the media.

Jerusalem said since he assumed office in September, his office has been monitoring more than 1,000 factories in Mandaue for possible violations. So far, however, he said all of those they have checked had the necessary papers.

Nonetheless, his office can recommend to the mayor to close down businesses which fail to comply with the environmental requirements, he said.

He said if the city is not strict on this aspect, there will be "potential adverse effects" on the environment, including the people, especially that Mandaue is highly-industrialized.

He said the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources has set the environmental standards for the companies to follow, and if they do not, Jerusalem said violators will be charged for violation of any applicable environmental laws and/or closure.

According to investphilippines.gov.ph, projects that pose potential significant impact to the environment shall be required to secure ECCs.

An ECC is a document issued by DENR after a positive review of the ECC application, certifying that based on the representations of the proponent, the proposed project or undertaking will not cause significant negative environmental impact.

The ECC contains specific measures and conditions that the project proponent has to undertake before and during the operation of the project, and in some cases, during the project's abandonment phase to mitigate identified environmental impacts.

The ECC also certifies that the proponent has complied with all the requirements of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) System and has committed to implement its approved Environmental Management Plan.

But "so far maayo pa ang dagan, based on documents presented," Jerusalem said.

Meanwhile, the city's Green Building Code may be nearing implementation, as City Planning and Development Coordinator Florentino Nimor said it may be approved on the third reading this month.

Once the code is approved, Nimor said CENRO and other concerned offices can go ahead implement it.

He said for a start, all buildings within the city core and those identified by the city will follow this code strictly. He, however, said those who want to voluntarily follow the Green Building Code can do so. In return the city will give them tax incentives or other privileges if they pass the requirements.

This Green Building Code mandates, among others, that a structure must have an environment-friendly system like an energy-efficient electricity source or the heavy use of the natural sunlight and air rather than the electric bulbs and air-conditioning systems.  (FREEMAN)

CITY CITY ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES OFFICE CITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR FLORENTINO NIMOR DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES ENVIRONMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PLAN GREEN BUILDING CODE MANDAUE MANDAUE CITY
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