DENR shuts down 10 hotels in El Nido antipollution drive

By Inquirer |May 19,2019 - 11:51 AM

El Nido, Palawan. | Inquirer.net

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, PALAWAN, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has ordered the closure of at least 10 hotels found illegally discharging waste into El Nido’s Bacuit Bay.

Michael Drake Matias, director of the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau for Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), said these establishments at Palawan’s top tourist destination violated the Clean Water Act of 2004.

Matias said the water being discharged by the 10 hotels at four villages in El Nido exceeded pollutant limits set by the DENR.

Blackish, foul-smelling

The DENR announced on Saturday that a cease-and-desist order (CDO) was issued on Wednesday against El Nido Sea Shell Resorts and Hotel at Barangay Buena Suerte; Doublegem Beach Resort and Hotel, Buko Beach Resort, Panorama Resort (Mangonana Inc.), Four Seasons Seaview Hotel and Stunning Republic Beach Resort at Barangay Corong-Corong; and Sava Beach Bar/Sava Nest Egg Inc., El Nido Beach Hotel and The Nest El Nido Resorts and Spa Inc. at Barangay Masagana.

A similar action was earlier taken by the Pollution Adjudication Board against Cuna Hotel at Barangay Maligaya after the hotel was found discharging “blackish and foul-smelling” wastewater.

“The result of the laboratory analysis on the wastewater taken from said establishments went beyond the DENR General Effluent Standards for Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD),” Matias said.

“BOD is a measure of the quantity of oxygen used by microorganisms when decomposing organic materials are present in water,” he said.

Continuous check

The DENR said it was also monitoring other business establishments in El Nido by continuously checking their wastewater discharges.

“We have initial investigations done on other hotels and restaurants and we are just waiting if results of their effluent samples would merit issuance of CDO,” Henry Adornado, regional executive director, said in a statement.

“Until these erring establishments have shaped up, we have no other choice but to enforce the law and stop them from polluting El Nido,” he added.

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