THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Friday said it ordered the shutdown of three fast food restaurants in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro for violation of its standards on waste discharge.
In a statement on Friday, the agency said it issued cease and desist orders to Chowing Foods Corp. (Calapan) and Jollibee Foods Corp. (Calapan I and II) for “continuously (releasing) wastewater without a discharge permit.”
Republic Act No. 9275 or The Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 requires owners and operators of facilities to secure a permit from the government allowing them to discharge liquid waste.
The DENR said the wastewater from the Chowking and Jollibee outlets “not only threaten but ‘in fact contributed to the failing quality of the receiving body of water, in this case, the Calapan River, which is an established Water Quality Management Area.’”
Citing in part the contents of the cease and desist orders, the DENR said the water quality guideline of 7 milligram per liter for Biochemical Oxygen Demand in the Calapan River has already been exceeded.
The Biochemical Oxygen Demand is a measure of pollution that pertains to the required dissolved oxygen in water that enables it to decompose organic matter.
“The (order) was immediately implemented by sealing the restaurants’ water facilities from their kitchens to the comfort rooms (faucets, kitchen sinks, lavatory, sewer lines, outlet pipes,etc); and by posting a notice of their violations to the public,” the DENR said.
Aside from the closure, the outlets face fines ranging from P10,000 to P200,000 per day of violation in accordance with RA 9275 and its implementing rules and regulations.
Jollibee Foods Corp., which operates the Jollibee and Chowking brands, did not reply when sought for comment.
The agency said it will continuously review the compliance of establishments to government regulations as part of its efforts to clean up tourist destinations.
“We are constantly monitoring the compliance of establishments with existing policies so we can immediately perform necessary actions should they fail to abide by the law,” Mary June F. Maypa, officer in charge for Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office in Oriental Mindoro, was quoted as saying. — Denise A. Valdez