The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and its attached agency, Laguna Lake Development Authority, have shut down five commercial establishments in Pasay City that were found to be discharging untreated wastewater into Manila Bay.
Undersecretary Benny Antiporda identified the five establishments as Zhi-Brothers Restaurant, Ocean Bay Restaurant, Da Rae Jung Korean Restaurant, Song Do Won Restaurant and BHP1 Autoworks which were found to have violated Republic Act 9275 or the Philippine Clean Air Act of 2004.
Antiporda himself led the serving of the cease-and-desist orders with the help of the Pasay City government, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and Philippine National Police's Maritime Group.
During previous inspections, the LLDA discovered that the sewer lines of the five establishments were not connected to the sewage treatment plant of their lessor, HK Sun Plaza.
HK Sun Plaza is owned by Social Security System Investment Property Department and has built its own P10-million STP in compliance with the cease-and-desist orders issued by the LLDA in February 2019 for its illegal wastewater discharge.
Five out of the 48 establishments at HK Sun Plaza were found to be discharging their wastewater to the storm drainage which emptied to Libertad Channel and drains into Manila Bay.
Only wastewater that has passed through the STP can be discharged to Libertad Channel.
Antiporda scolded the erring establishments for “exceeding what the law has set in terms of the waste they generate.”
“We cannot sacrifice our environment for their business,” Antiporda said. “They cannot violate the law and abuse our environment and natural resources for their own gain.”
He also hit the establishments for trying to jeopardize the ongoing rehabilitation of Manila Bay.
“No matter how much effort we give in cleaning the Manila Bay, nothing will happen if we allow these errant business owners to do what they are doing,” he said.
He reminded business owners of their duty to religiously comply with existing environmental laws and regulations.
“We are calling out the attention of business owners, not only around Manila Bay, but all over the country to check on their environmental compliance,” he said.