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:

  1. 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.
  2. There appears no wastewater treatment facility
  3. The chimney or smoke outlet appears unequipped with filter or anything to avoid pollution
  4. The laboratory and storage building occupied the easement of the Ermitaño creek

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.

Solid Waste Dispatch Center

New SJ eco-dispatch center in Bgy. Batis

In a move to further improve the solid waste management and collection in the City of San Juan and to comply with the mandatory provisions of R.A. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, Mayor Guia Gomez embarked on her own public-private partnership program to put up the city’s new 3,200 square-meter eco-dispatch center along f. Manalo St. in Barangay Batis.

“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).

Kabataang Kabalikat para sa Kalikasan

By Chot Velasquez, CENRO staff

“Protect and preserve our environment”.  This is the message of Mayor Guia G. Gomez to the members of the Sangguniang Kabataan or SK (youth council) of the 21 barangays in the City of San Juan.

In line with Mayor Gomez’s call, an orientation seminar on environmental protection and preservation dubbed “Kabataan Kabalikat para sa Kalikasan” was held last June 1, 2011 at the San Juan city Multi-Purpose Hall, from 8:30 am until 5pm with the SK councils from district 1 and 2 in attendance.  Three speakers delivered the presentations on environmental protection and management.

Former city councilor Dante Santiago, now the Chief of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), explained the environmental laws being enforced by the CENRO in the city, namely: the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Act.  He also mentioned the environmental city ordinances, and programs being implemented by Mayor Gomez like the “Tapat Ko, Linis Ko” program, to be re-launched as part of the observance of the World Environment Day every June 5 of each year.  He further encouraged the young leaders to enact ordinances for the youth in their communities.

CENRO technical staff Chot Velasquez discussed the Maytunas Creek before and after the CENRO initiated clean up in November 2010.  He pointed out that water from the creek becomes polluted because people throw their wastes into it and “wastewater coming from the houses also ends up in the creeks either directly or through septic tank discharging into the drainage”.

Velasquez explained that the filthy water flowing in the creek discharges to the San Juan River which in turn  drains to the Pasig River and eventually, the Manila Bay. During high tide, the water from Manila Bay flows back through the Pasig River and reaches the Laguna Lake.

“The 12-kilometer San Juan River, which starts at Barangay Culiat in Quezon City and ends in Mandaluyong, is the dirtiest major tributary of the dying Pasig River,” said Velasquez. “These filthy waters end up in Manila Bay and Laguna where we get our supply of fish.”

Engr. Tony Banay, the senior technical staff and third speaker, delved on the problem of ozone depleting substances and global warming. He explained how substances like the chlorofluorocarbon or CFC harms the ozone layer of the earth’s atmosphere.  The ozone layer, according to Banay, is made up of oxygen gases and protects us from the harmful ultraviolet rays coming from the sun and once depleted, a hole is formed and it allows the ray to hit our skin directly causing damages not only to humans but to the environment as well.

Banay urged SK council members to do their share in protecting and preserving the environment saying “the SK should prove that you are worthy of the trust and confidence of those who elected you as leaders of the youth.”

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