LAPU-LAPU City Mayor Paz Radaza believes that informal settlers living in stilt houses may have contributed to the coliform contamination in the city’s seawaters.
The mayor called for a press conference yesterday morning after she read reports stating that the seawaters in Panglao, Bohol Province and in Mactan Island, Cebu were contaminated with coliform, according to a report by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) 7.
However, the mayor through the City Public Information Office announced in the afternoon that EMB 7 Director William Cuñado denied that he issued such a statement.
Radaza decided to call Cuñado after the City Government did not receive any report from EMB about water contamination in Lapu-Lapu.
“The fecal coliform level in Mactan and Panglao is still safe because it is slightly higher than the standard of 100 mpn (most probable number) per 100 ml (milliliters).” This was the statement of Cuñado, as relayed to Radaza.
In order to prevent water contamination, the mayor said she considered the possibility of removing the informal settlers living within the three-meter water easement.
“Kanang nitunob sa dagat for demolition naman gyud. Nag-inform na ta sa ilaha nga for demolition gyud,” said Radaza.
Among the barangays with informal settlers are Poblacion, Pusok, Pajo, Ibo and Mactan.
Radaza said the City Health Office has a project on building communal toilets and distributes toilet bowls to the informal settlers.
The mayor also said the City will no longer give permits to operators whose pumpboats do not have a receptacle and whose toilets are flushed into the sea.
The City Government will also require the operators to have a scoop net in every banca so if they see trash in the sea, they can easily get this.
The City officials will meet with motor banca operators and dive shop representatives on Tuesday, April 17, at City Hall to inform them about the importance of not directly throwing wastes into the sea.
“We will get to the bottom of this kay lisod baya kaayo kay here sa Lapu-Lapu ang panginabuhi sa katawhan kay tourism (because so many people in Lapu-Lapu depend on tourism for their livelihood),” Mayor Radaza said. (FMG)