Lawmaker to probe impacts of US toxic dump to fishermen

AN activist lawmaker will file a resolution to investigate the harmful effects of toxic wastes dumped by a US Navy contractor in Subic Bay to the livelihood of small fishermen and its damage to marine environment.

Anakpawis party list lawmaker Rafael Mariano argued that toxic materials and other hazardous water wastes if dump in open watera without careful treatment will lead to destruction of marine ecology, affect the main source of livelihood of small-scale fishermen and bring internal and external diseases to the general population, spefically those living along coastal shores, gulfs and bays.

Mariano said he will file the resolution this week based on initial reports sent to his office by organizations of fishermen affected by the spread of toxic wastes in Subic Bay and Manila Bay.

The organizations who sought the Anakpawis help for congressional investigation include Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), Pamalakaya-Zambales, Pamalakaya-Bulacan, Pamalakaya-Central Luzon, Koalisyon Kontra Kumbersyon ng Manila Bay (KKK-Manila Bay) and Sagip Manila Bay Movement.

“The reported dumping of 189,500 liters of hazardous chemicals and 760 liters of water bilge off the waters of Subic Bay by MT Glenn Guardian, a US commissioned navy contractor, according to the fisherfolk alliance Pamalakaya is a potential economic and environmental catastrophe if not properly addresssed by concerned government authorities and agencies,” Mariano said.

Mariano said the House Committees on ecology and environment should use the test results of the water samples conducted by Subic Water and Sewerage Co., the firm comissioned by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to test water samples taken from the vessels.

He said the results indicated high level of toxicity of the liquid wastes, which exceeded the norm and went beyond levels set by international marine pollution conventions.

Mariano also noted in his resolution that SBMA chairperson Roberto Garcia said the Glenn Defense Marine Asia, the US navy contractor confirmed his office that American private military contractor did not treat the waste despite there are treatment plants in Central Luzon, where the wastes should have been brought first beforre the wastes to open waters three miles away from the shoreline.

“The SBMA chief also claimed the wastes were dumped in the West Philippine Sea and the company did not secure proper permits to dump untreated waste waters in accordance with existing laws pertaining to water treatment and dumping of waste waters to the sea,” he said.

Mariano also underscored that the Glenn Defense Marine Asia has been servicing vessels in Subic Bay since 2009. Reports also said the US navy contractor had serviced 37 US Navy ships which took part in the yearly RP-US joint military exercises, part of its service is to collect tons of liquid wastes from these American military ships.

Pamalakaya’s initial assessment argues the strong possibility that toxic waters from Subic Bay may reach the coastal shores of Bataan, Pampanga and Bulacan in Central Luzon, Navotas, Manila, Pasay, Paranaque and Las Pinas in National Capital Region and all the coastal municipalities of Cavite causing the same impacts on livelihood, marine environment and people’s health.


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