Republic of the Philippines
City of San Juan. Metro Manila
CENRO cracks down on environmental offenders
The City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of San Juan continued its crackdown on establishments violating national and local environmental laws as it called on the barangay officials to help the department in warning or apprehending and penalizing the violators.
In a move considered to be the first-ever in the city, CENRO, with the help of the barangay officials of Brgy. Addition Hills led by Chairperson Ramon Nakpil, caused the closure of the laboratory activities of China Certification & Inspection Group Phils. which is located in the said barangay.
CENRO chief and former City councilor Dante Santiago said a videotaped copy of harmful smoke being emitted from the company’s premises was forwarded by his office in October 2010 to the Environmental Management Bureau-NCR of the DENR.
Santiago, in his October 19, 2010 letter to Wang Yong Hai of the said company warned that there was smoke, and foul smell originating from the premises. Other observations noted by the CENRO technical staff were:
Chemical odor was observed at the main laboratory but minimally; there was stronger odor of chemicals at the storage room at the right end of the laboratory building.
Director Roberto Sheen of EMB, in December 2010, imposed penalties against China Certification for failing to secure a “Permit to Operate” for its electric dryers, electric hot plates, electric furnaces, grinder, pulveriser and optical emission spectrometer. Finally, last February, the representative of the said company signed an undertaking/commitment that “the company will stop its laboratory operations” in the said barangay.
The San Juan Business Permits and License Office and Task Force Disiplina have also issued various violation tickets to China Certification.
Penalties and fines have been meted against other persons and companies with violations ranging from like illegal cutting of trees, illegal disposal of wastewater into the waterways and illegal disposal of garbage and others.
“Mayor Guia Gomez and the CENRO will keep pursuing these callous individuals and establishments who are considered enemies of the environment,” Santiago added.
Mayor Gomez launches “Tapat Ko, Linis Ko” campaign
by Malou Lopez-Olazo, CENRO staff
In celebration of the World Environment Day, Mayor Guia Gomez the City Government of San Juan launched the posting of 3,000 “TAPAT KO LINIS KO” tarpaulins in the 21 barangays last January 6, 2011.
A short program was held to launch the project during the flag ceremony followed by the ceremonial posting at Julius Store (fronting the City Hall) by Hon. Mayor Guia G. Gomez, an advocate for clean environment. This was succeeded by postings in the different barangays the City councilors and the respective Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan councils.
Mayor Gomez said the implementation of “TAPAT KO LINIS KO”, under Ordinance No. 34-2001, aims to remind the residents of San Juan to maintain the cleanliness in and outside of their residences and its surroundings. The ordinance, authored by then councilor Clemente Bargas, imposes a 25-peso penalty for the first offenders.
City Environment and Natural Resource Office (CENRO) chief Dante Santiago said sari-sari stores, offices, junkshops, repair shops and residential areas were the main targets of the cleanliness campaign. Santiago, a former three-term councilor, vowed to implement the other environment-related ordinances of the city like the Anti-littering ordinance, the anti-dumping ordinance for San Juan’s water systems and the anti-smoking ordinance.
“Caring for our environment should begin in our homes. I hope the people of San Juan will once again support this campaign,” Gomez added.
“The problems of solid waste management confronting local government units including San Juan are becoming more complex as the population and the economy grows. We need to continually review and map out short-term and long-term solutions to effectively deal with them. Putting up this eco-center may just be the answer to our woes,” Gomez said.
“We have a population of no less than 150,000 and the daily waste generation counts up to 94.50 tons excluding separate collections from commercial and other establishments. Given these facts, we need to be proactive in addressing our solid waste management concerns,” Gomez added.
Meanwhile, former city councilor Dante Santiago who now heads the CENRO (City Environment and Natural Resources Office) said that the new eco-dispatch center will promote and encourage recycling efforts and recycling opportunities, proper segregation, collection of biodegradable and reusable waste and help enable the City comply with Republic Act 9003.
“With the help of the Greenline company, we hope to initiate innovative programs and facilities to reduce waste and influence policy in order to bring about positive change in environmental issues. We also hope to provide a new or additional means of livelihood gained from the collection of recyclables,” Santiago said. “With this, we will be able to strengthen CENRO’s ability to monitor its waste management activities and record waste diversion data.
Mayor Gomez revealed that her plan was to construct and fully operate a functional Material Recovery Facility capable of handling in excess of 100,000kg of recyclables per month, implement a waste management action plan and to develop an Eco-Village to showcase the different ecological programs of an NGO partner/cooperative.
The eco-center, which is located beside the former Baguio Oil factory, is spacious enough to accommodate recyclable and sorting operation. Urban gardening will also be implemented in the area.
Santiago also reminded the people that the daily waste collection schedules remain from 7 to 10 o’clock in the morning and from 7 to 11 o’clock in the evening as he warned that those caught illegally disposing waste will be penalized.
He urged the people to abide by the city’s anti-littering ordinance (Ord. 09-2011) and avoid dumping any form of waste in the water systems of the City including the San Juan river, the Maytunas and Ermitanyo creeks (Ord. 1O-2011).
By Chot Velasquez, CENRO staff