The Interior department on Tuesday ordered the chief executives of the 178 cities and municipalities inside the Manila Bay Watershed Area to revoke the business permits of the establishments violating environmental laws.
In a statement, Interior spokesman Jonathan Malaya said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año had issued a memo ordering all mayors of local government units in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Calabarzon to ensure that all establishments in their areas comply with the pertinent provisions of the National Building Code, the Fire Code, the Code on Sanitation and other related laws, regulations and policies.
In other developments:
• The Environment department will spearhead the simultaneous at the end of the month the cleanup of the waterways flowing into Manila Bay.
During a dialogue between the department and Metro Manila’s village captains with jurisdiction over the waterways on Monday, Interior Climate Change Service Officer-in-Charge, Elenida Basug said the cleanup was set on March 31.
“The cleanup on Sunday [March 31] will highlight the ongoing rehabilitation of Manila Bay,” Basug said.
• The Supreme Court has been asked to reverse its ruling last month upholding the legality of the six-month closure of Boracay Island last year.
In a 36-page motion, three residents in the world-renowned tourist destination appealed to the high court to overturn its earlier decision and instead nullify President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation 475, which closed Boracay to tourists and non-residents for rehabilitation from April 26 to Oct. 25 last year.
The Interior department said all LGUs should act swiftly on the enforcement of orders from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Laguna Lake Development Authority and other government agencies in line with the continuous effort to clean up, rehabilitate and preserve the Manila Bay watershed area.
“The DENR and LLDA have started the inspection of commercial establishments last January 27, 2019, to ensure their compliance with environmental laws,” Malaya said.
“They have issued Cease and Desist Orders and Notices of Violations to various establishments. All concerned LGUs should immediately act on the findings of the DENR and LLDA and revoke or suspend the business permits they have issued as applicable.”
He said a business or mayor’s permit was not a right but a privilege granted by the State.
“Let us sustain the momentum of cleaning up Manila Bay. The DILG is committed to doing our role in the inter-agency Manila Bay Task Force which include the supervision of LGUs whether they are judiciously inspecting all establishments in their respective areas,” Malaya said. With Rey E. Requejo