Cabrera warns residents, businesses of penalties for throwing wastes into Cebu City rivers

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio March 16,2019 - 07:38 PM

Government personnel and volunteers collect trash deposits found under the Guadalupe Bridge in Cebu City during the Saturday morning clean up. | Delta Dyrecka Letigio

CEBU CITY, Philippines— Overwhelmed by the volume of garbage which they collected from this morning’s Guadalupe River clean up, the Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources (Cenro) is now considering the possibility of filing charges against anyone caught disposing garbage on rivers found in Barangays Guadalupe, Lahug and Bulacao.

Nida Cabrera, Cenro head, told Cebu Daily News Digital that the volume of garbage which they collected from the three rivers was “alarming.”

Cenro personnel and volunteers collected a total of 47 tons of garbage during their weekend clean up of the Bulacao, Lahug and Guadalupe Rivers which started on February 23.

Read More: Guadalupe River clean up generates 90 sacks of trash

Several riverside households also dispose their fecal wastes into the three rivers, Cabrera said.

City Ordinance No. 2398 or the City’s Septage Management Ordinance prohibits the construction of residential, commercial, industrial or institutional buildings without toilet facilities, she said.

Violators maybe fined P1,000 for the first offense; P3,000 for the second offense; and P5,000 with imprisonment of not less than one month and more than six months or both for the third offense.

“Nakakita gani mig balay nga naa gyoy tubo gikan sa ilang balay padulong sa Guadalupe River. Didto mogawas iyang drainage,” said Cabrera.

Even the barangay officials will have to face environmental charges for their failure to protect water bodies that are located within their barangays from abuses.

“We will study the laws and see if we can charge them for their negligence,” said Cabrera.

Read More: Guadalupe River Clean Up: Too much garbage, very few volunteers

Based on Cenro’s assessment, nearby residences and establishments have been throwing their garbage into the three rivers for a long time already, which prompted the Environment Management Bureau in Central Visayas (EMB-7) to declare the Bulacao and Lahug Rivers biologically dead.  This means that no freshwater fishes or plants can already be found in the area.

The Guadalupe River was also given a Type C classfication which means that its water was no longer safe for use in drinking and bathing.

While they penalize the indiscriminate disposal of wastes into water bodies, Cabrera said that she was also looking into the possibility of asking riverside residents to acquire their own septic tanks for the diposal of their wastes.  She will have pipes that disposes untreated waste water into the river cut off.

Cabrera said that she will also be asking barangays to increase the visits of their garbage trucks into riverside communities to compel residents to bring out their garbage and surrender these to garbage collectors instead of dumping these into the rivers.

They will also be conducting massive information campaign to inform the public of the need to already change their mindset and start to care for the rivers this time.

“Kailang na gyod mo mata ang katawhan nga grabe na kahugaw atong mga sapa,” said Cabrera. /dcb

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TAGS: Cebu‬, charges, city, Clean up, disposal, for, garbage, of, rivers

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