Water testing at beach resort in Davao proposed

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/07 March) – The city council passed on Tuesday a resolution requesting the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, City Health Office and other government agencies to conduct water testing at a beach resort here to know if it is safe for swimming after an inspection showed that it is affected by waste discharges from nearby companies.

The resolution came after the council approved a committee report on the ocular inspection by the City Environment and Natural Resources Office on the “alleged waste water discharges coming from New Asia Oil Company, Phoenix Depo and B-Meg, which affect directly Coaco Beach” at Barangay Pampanga in Buhangin District.

The inspection happened on July 21, 2010 yet.

The report said the residents complained that the water in the beach had turned darker, emitted an obnoxious odor and allegedly caused skin diseases among them.

Councilor Marissa Salvador-Abella, chair of the committee on environment and natural resources presented the report along with the complaint of Jocelyn Gayak, president of Coaco Beach Settlers Associations “on the pollution brought by the Western Feedmill Co., Incorporated.”

She also presented a committee report on the letter-complaint of Beethoven Sur, corporate affairs manager of Phoenix Petroleum Phils. dated February 1, 2011, “regarding the thick and heavy dust of feeds emitted from B-Meg, endangering the health of their employees.”

Another report by the CENRO dated Dec 6, 2012 said the residents complained against a drainage culvert that discharges waste water directly into the beach.  It said the drainage came from the New Asia Oil Co., Inc., Phoenix Depot and B-Meg.

The city council approved all three committee reports in its regular session Tuesday.

The CENRO said among the violations they noted were the absence of segregator bins, non-use of materials recovery facility, absence of waste water treatment facility and open burning of solid waste.

Abella’s committee asked the companies to practice proper solid waste management, maintain good housekeeping, build a waste water treatment facility within 30 days, and submit a compliance report to the CENRO.

It also asked the CENRO to conduct an ocular inspection upon compliance and upon notification of the committee.

Councilor Jimmy Dureza said he will propose a resolution requesting the CENRO to install warning signs along Coaco Beach to warn people that the water there is “not safe for swimming”. (Lorie Ann Cascaro/MindaNews)