Tejero Creek water turns white

Tejero Creek water turns white
Screenshots from video contributed by Zhan Francisco A. Ramirez

NETIZENS and residents living near Alviola St. in Barangay Tejero, Cebu City, have expressed concerns about the sudden transformation of the once murky waters of Tejero Creek into a white hue on Saturday, April 6, 2024.

The abrupt change has has sparked fears among residents that hazardous chemicals may be being dumped into the river.

The white-colored water stretches from behind the old White Gold House to the Tejero Barangay Hall along Alviola and T. Padilla streets.

SunStar Cebu posted on social media some contributed photos showing the current situation of Tejero Creek on Saturday. SunStar Cebu also posted another set of photos on Sunday, April 7, showing no improvement in the condition of the creek waters.

The latest post garnered over 200 comments and 54 shares as of writing.

One of the netizens who commented on SunStar Cebu’s post on Sunday, said “Mala poison man ni (This is like poison).” Another netizen remarked, “Karon unta ang nindot nga panahon palawman ug limpyohan ang mga creek ug sapa para pangandam sa ting-uwan (Now is the perfect time to clean and clear the creeks and rivers in preparation for the rainy season).”

SunStar Cebu on Saturday, reached out to the Cebu City Environmental Sanitation and Enforcement Team (Ceset).

Ceset inspection

In an interview conducted on Facebook Messenger, Ceset head Grace Luardo admitted that they were unaware of the situation until SunStar Cebu inquired on the matter. She then sent a team to inspect the creek.

Luardo said there could be possible human activities, like dumping of checmicals, in the area that resulted in the transformation of the color of the water.

After Ceset’s inspection, Luardo told SunStar Cebu that the occurrence was due to the improper drainage system of Mactan Rock Industries Inc., one of the bulk water suppliers of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District. She said they issued a citation ticket on Saturday afternoon to Mactan Rock Industries Inc. for violating City Ordinance 2398, which concerns the absence of a septic tank and proper drainage.

Luardo said the company must pay a penalty of P2,000 within seven working days at the Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Ccenro).

Luardo, however, said another inspection is scheduled for Monday, April 8, with the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau 7, Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office, Task Force Gubat sa Baha, and the Coastal Management Board.

The inspection may involve the collection of water samples for chemical testing.

She also said they will forward the matter to the City Legal Office.

Mactan Rock’s response

In a phone interview on Sunday, Antonio Tompar, one of the owners of Mactan Rock Industries Inc., denied that the discharge came from the operations of their desalination facility in the area.

He also said they will address the matter accordingly once they personally receive the citation ticket that was received one of their employees. “Kanang puti, dili na amoa. Clear water ang among gi-discharge bisan pa og tan-awon ninyo,” he said.

He also welcomed further investigation on the matter.

“The DENR should investigate more because that is not ours. Kanang puti nga morag gatas, dili na amoa (That milky discharge does not belong to us),” he added. / AML, WBS


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