APALIT -- The Apalit local government has suspended the business permit of Far Eastern Alcohol Corporation (Feaco), the alcohol fermentation plant that allegedly caused the fish kill in the towns of Macabebe and Masantol.
Municipal Administrator Glenn Danting, in a text message to SunStar Pampanga, said that Mayor Peter Nucom ordered the 30-day suspension after learning that Feaco has been discharging waste water into the river.
Three delivery tanks owned by Feaco allegedly leaked molasses, a byproduct of sugar, which is used in producing alcoholic beverages. Each delivery truck allegedly contained three tons of molasses.
The molasses reportedly leaked on Tuesday, September 19, allegedly poisoned fish and other sea creatures in Pampanga River which were seen floating on Wednesday morning, September 20.
Danting said Nucom castigated Feaco for not reporting the leaks to the local government or any other concerned agencies that can provide intervention to avoid any unfortunate incident.
He added that the 30-month suspension is just an initial action prior to the Municipal Council members' discussion regarding the issue on Tuesday.
"It does not mean that after 30 days, it will automatically be lifted. Other terms and possible intervention will be discussed in the Municipal Council session on Tuesday," he said.
Masantol Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) head Jess Manansala clarified that the supposed "fish kill" incident is not yet confirmed.
He said they are still awaiting the results conducted by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources which collected water samples on Thursday morning, September 21.
Manansala said the supposed fish kill few days ago is not as huge as the one that happened on July 2015, where thousands of fish and other sea creatures were killed.
"Actually may mga mangingisda pa nga tayo na nakakuha ng maraming buhay na isda. May mga nakalutang pero hindi naman kasing-lala nung sa 2015 (There are fishermen who caught many live fish. There were floating fishes but not as dangerous as the ones in 2015)," he said.
But Manansala said they will still implement proper intervention to avoid further damages and provide assistance to the affected fishermen.
The official added that the Feaco management has already coordinated with the MDRRMO regarding the matter.
It could be remembered that fishermen from Masantol town were alarmed on Wednesday after tons of fish were seen floating along the Pampanga River.
Former vice mayor Marcelo Lacap, Jr. said fishermen immediately suspected it is another fish kill incident and called on the government's action.