Lapu-Lapu probes seashore pig raisers

By Futch Anthony Inso |April 16,2018 - 11:21 PM

The Lapu-Lapu City government is verifying reports that the presence of piggeries along the shorelines of the city’s slum areas has brought up the coliform level of the seawaters of Mactan.

According to lawyer Ethelbert Ouano, legal officer of the City Attorney’s Office, waste from the piggeries contribute to the fecal coliform contamination of the seas.

“That is very critical and that needs to be stopped,” Ouano said.

The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-7) has announced that the fecal coliform contamination level in the seawaters of Mactan, has exceeded the standard that they’ve set which is 100 MPN (Most Probable Number) per 100 Milliliter (ML).

According to EMB-7, the fecal coliform level in the seawaters of Mactan has reached around 180-250 MPN.

Herwin Cadutdut, 43-years-old, a resident of Commonwealth in Barangay Ibo, admitted that he is raising around 10 pigs along the shoreline.

Cadutdut, whose hometown is Pagadian City, explained that he has been renting a place in the area for nine years.

“Our livelihood is already here. At night, I drive a jeepney and during daytime, I raise my pigs,” Cadutdut said.

He admitted that the waste coming from his piggery goes directly to the sea.

Sixty-year-old Remedios Gloria, a resident in the area, recalled that years ago the seawaters were clear and they could see shellfish during low tide.

However, when more and more structures sprouted by the shoreline the seawaters became very dirty.

“There are even human feces from comfort rooms. We cannot afford to eat shellfish or fish coming from our area,” Gloria said in Cebuano.

She told Cebu Daily News that while in the past, they enjoyed swimming in the area, since the houses have mushroomed and with the presence of the piggeries, residents are now afraid that they might get sick.

Gloria has been living in Barangay Ibo for more than 20 years.

With the pronouncement of Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza that the city will now resume its clearing operations against illegal structures on the city’s shorelines, Gloria hopes to hear more about the plan in a public consultation.

“If we will be affected, I just hope that the city government will give us a relocation because from the start, we already knew that we do not own the place,” she said.

But Ouano revealed that the city’s initial plan for more than a thousand families who will be affected with the demolition is only to give them financial assistance.

“They can find their own resettlement and the city will give them financial assistance since we do not have an area for relocation,” he said.

He is also glad that the issue on fecal contamination came out.

“It’s a good thing that this came out as a some sort of an issue because somehow we can tell them that their continued stay there indeed is not only illegal but also hazardous not just for them but also for us and the tourists where we derive our income,” he said.

He added that it is important that they maintain their seawaters clean, especially that tourism is a major contributor in the city’s income.

For now, Ouano has not seen any significant effect on tourism due to the increased level of fecal coliform contamination.

The city continues to monitor hotels and resorts to check on their compliance of the requirement to have their own wastewater treatment facility and sewage disposal system.

Last week, the Lapu-Lapu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) called the attention of a resort after they discovered a pipe along the resort’s shoreline.

“Though the management explained that the pipe was only for rainwater, but we still advised them to patch the hole of the pipe in order to avoid wrong perception,” said Adelino Padilla, Cenro Pollution Control Officer.

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