Ccenro claims Tejero facility of Mactan Rock lacks ECC

Ccenro claims Tejero facility of Mactan Rock lacks ECC
Screenshots from video contributed by Zhan Francisco A. Ramirez

Mactan Rock Industries Inc., the firm accused of causing the sudden transformation of Tejero Creek’s murky waters into a white hue, is operating without an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), a Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Ccenro) official has alleged.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) has backed Mactan Rock, one of its bulk water suppliers, stating that it has not caused the phenomenon in Tejero Creek.

However, the Cebu City Environmental Sanitation and Enhancement Team (Ceset) and the barangay captain of Tejero are convinced otherwise, even if the results of the test conducted by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 have yet to come out.


Ccenro head Reymar Hijara on Monday, April 8, said they are still gathering evidence before they could issue citations and impose penalties. However, based on their initial investigation, Hijara said, they found out that Mactan Rock Industries Inc. (MRII) does not have an ECC.

“Wala tay nakita na ECC. Dili na siya maayo kay before ka mag-operate naa jud kay environmental compliance certificate,” he said.

(We did not find any ECC. That is not good because before you operate, you should have an environmental compliance certificate.)

However, in a text message to SunStar Cebu on Monday night, Antonio Tompar, one of the owners of MRII, said they have an ECC for the facility’s operation.

“Naa na (There is an) ECC, but untransferred to Mactan Rock, still under the name of Pilipinas Water Resources (PWRI),” he said.

He did not indicate the relationship between his company and PWRI regarding the Tejero facility.

Hijara then reminded all industrial establishments to always secure the ECC, emphasizing they could not operate without it.

Hijara said the DENR-EMB 7 took samples from Tejero Creek to be tested, as the Ccenro does not have the capabilities to test the water samples from Tejero Creek.

He said the EMB 7 took water samples from the discharge of Mactan Rock’s desalination facility, located across the creek, and the milky water in Tejero Creek.

Hijara said they could also not conclude that the milky water was caused only by Mactan Rock, as there were nearby drainage pipes in the area that they needed to check.

Tompar earlier denied the accusations against MRII and welcomed the investigation.

“Clear water ang among gi discharge, bisan og tan-awon ninyo,” he told SunStar Cebu on Sunday, April 7. (We discharge clear water. You can even look at it.)

Hijara said Mactan Rock has also been cooperative with the City Government.

MCWD support

Meanwhile, the MCWD defended Mactan Rock, which supplies MCWD with a total of 41,000 cubic meters of water daily.

MCWD chairman of the board Jose Daluz III, in a message on Monday, said they were informed about the joint inspection conducted by the City Government and Mactan Rock Industries Inc. and found out the water firm was not at fault for the substance in the waterway.

“The result was that Mactan Rock was not at fault and that they were not the cause of the Tejero incident,” said Daluz.

Ceset head Grace Luardo, in a report last Saturday, said the occurrence of white substance in the river was due to the improper drainage system of Mactan Rock.

Ceset also issued Mactan Rock a citation ticket on Saturday afternoon for violating City Ordinance 2398, or for lack of a septic tank and proper drainage.

Barangay captain’s side

Meanwhile, Tejero Barangay Captain Harold Seno told SunStar Cebu on Monday that the white substance mixed into the murky waters of Tejero Creek likely helped reduce the river’s stench.

In addition, Seno said, fish had been able to thrive in the river. Seno, however, said he was glad that this concern was given attention, adding that he would like to know what substances were introduced to the waterway.

Seno also welcomed the joint investigation conducted by the DENR and Ccenro to find out whether or not it is harmful to the environment and residents’ health.

Seno, though, was sure the source of the white water was Mactan Rock, which operates in his barangay, saying the white substance looked like waste from the firm.

“Advantage hinuon siya kay mawala ang baho, pero mas maayo gyud nga ma-investigate ni. Basta kay way laing source ani, kato gyu’ng namaligya og tubig (It’s an advantage as it helps reduce the odor, but it’s better to have it investigated. There’s no other source of this but that firm selling water).”

Request for clean-up

Seno said they have written a letter to the Cebu City Government, asking for assistance to clean the river considering its depth.

He made a request last December and January, but he was told equipment appropriate for Tejero Creek would still be up for bidding.

Seno also requested the City to dredge the river to prepare for the rainy season. / AML, WBS, JJL


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