Laguna Lake authority to rehabilitate reclaimed sites in Taguig City

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Laguna de Bay LLDA

THE Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) will take over reclaimed areas in Taguig City which were previously occupied by two companies found to have been illegally dumping waste on the sites which threatens to seep into the lake.

The government closed down the reclamation sites held by IPM Construction and Development Corp. and Level Up Construction on June 14 shortly after the issuance of a cease and desist order halting the dumping.

In a statement on Tuesday, LLDA General Manager Jaime C. Medina said he has ordered the drafting of a rehabilitation plan for the areas affected by the illegal dumping.

“The reclaimed site appears to contain garbage mixed into the soil that can contribute to the degradation of the lake water quality. The reclamation also affects the hydrology of the lake. This is a big mess that we all have to rehabilitate,” he added.

“A lot of work needs to be done since the damage it has caused to the environment is extensive.”

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu ordered the LLDA to conduct further monitoring of water quality and study ways to minimize methane at the site.

LLDA also filed a criminal case against the two firms for violating Section 4(d) of Republic Act (RA) No. 4850, RA 9275 or the Clean Water Act and RA 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act.

IPM previously controlled 37 hectares (ha) while Level Up Construction owned 10 ha on the shores of Laguna de Bay.

According to LLDA, the water quality in the surrounding areas exceeded the allowable levels for chemicals in the water, with higher-than-standard readings for inorganic phosphate, ammonia and fecal coliform. The water in the area was also found to have below-minimum levels for dissolved oxygen.

“The Biochemical Oxygen Demand, which is an indication of organic pollution, for the stations near the transfer stations exceeded the guidelines,” LLDA said.

IPM in a statement said that LLDA “gravely violated” the company’s right to due process having closed its Taguig property on the day LLDA served the cease and desist order.

“At the outset, we would like to emphasize that IPM is not conducting any of the alleged illegal activities on the site. However, this is a fact which the LLDA has disregarded, causing IPM grave injury,” the company said.

IPM said that its counsel sent a demand letter to the agency, ordering LLDA personnel to vacate the company’s property and allow IPM to continue use of the site. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato