The Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Friday issued a cease-and-desist order against two popular fastfood restaurants in Oriental Mindoro for polluting Calapan River.
Michael Drake Matias, DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau lawyer-director for Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan (Mimaropa), ordered the closure against Jollibee Foods Corp (Calapan 1 and 2) and Chowking Foods Corp. (Calapan) for operating without discharge permits and releasing partially treated wastewater exceeding the allowable effluent standards.
The DENR official said that such was a clear violation of the provisions in the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004.
The establishments discharged wastewater that not only threaten but “in fact contributed to the failing quality of the receiving body of water, in this case, the Calapan River, which is an established water quality management area,” the order read.
Apart from the closure, the affected establishments are also liable for fines ranging from P10,000 to P200,000 per day of violation in accordance with RA 9275 and its IRRs. implementing rules and regulations.
“We take off from the rehabilitation efforts done in Boracay and Manila Bay. We are confident that we can also save Calapan River by strictly enforcing the law with the help of the local government unit,” Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Reynulfo Juan said.
The DENR warned that it would issue more cease-and-desist orders against establishments found violating environmental laws “soon.”