CORDOVA Mayor Cesar “Didoy” Suan withdrew his earlier statement and said Wednesday, March 15, 2023, that the swimming ban in the waters off barangays Poblacion and Catarman has not yet been lifted despite the drop in the amount of fecal coliform in the vicinity.
It can be recalled that Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia previously issued an order prohibiting individuals from swimming in the seawaters off the barangays upon the recommendation of the Department of Health in Central Visayas due to the rise in fecal coliform level.
Last March 2, Suan told SunStar Cebu that he had already lifted the ban on swimming in the seawaters off the town, thus the beaches in Barangays Catarman and Poblacion have been opened to the public.
He retracted this, though, saying Wednesday: “I’m asking everyone not to exploit our seas until a study has been done to see whether the area is already safe.”
Due to the rise in fecal coliform level, the floating cottages in the area were dismantled and not allowed to operate.
“There is no confirmation yet from the province that swimming in the area is allowed, although there were studies coming from EMB (Environmental Management Bureau) and DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) that the fecal coliform level in the area has drastically decreased,” he said in Cebuano.
Earlier this month, Suan had said that the EMB’s water quality check showed that the fecal coliform level in the seawaters there had plunged to 0.8 most probable number (mpn) per 100 milliliters from the August 2022 level of 2,400 mpn per 100 milliliters when the town’s floating and fixed cottages were still operating.
Suan acknowledged Wednesday that several pump boat operators had already asked him to allow swimming in the municipality.
But he said it would be better to complete the studies first in order to come up with swimming rules to prevent a recurrence of the incident. (ANV / TPT)