Wastewater puts Cebu firm in hot water

Published January 21, 2019, 3:01 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Minerva Newman

CEBU CITY – The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Central Visayas issued an interim cease-and-desist order (CDO) to GBox Corrugated Packaging for discharging red-colored water directly to the sea in Barangay Dumlog, Talisay City, Cebu, which was caught on video and went viral on social media Thursday.


EMB-7 upon investigation found out that GBox Corrugated Packaging, a company located at Sitio Litmon, Dumlog, Talisay City, manufactures corrugated pads, wooden pallets, and material handling equipment such as hand pallet truck and rental of electric kettle.

Further investigation revealed that the red-colored wastewater was generated from its inking and labelling area. The company’s owner claimed that the wastewater was actually rainwater that accumulated in its premises because the firm does not have a drainage system, EMB-7 said.

Thus, it accordingly had to pump out the water to the sea, EMB7 investigators said.

The red color indicates that the rainwater was contaminated with water-based waste ink composed of organic pigments, acrylic resins, alcohol, water, and additives, EMB7 bared.

The waste is considered hazardous waste pursuant to Republic Act 6969, otherwise known as the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990, with hazardous waste number F603, EMB7 explained.

The hazardous waste storage area has no containment and proper roofing, thus, during rainfalls it easily wash away.

EMB7 also found out that the plant does not have a wastewater treatment facility and dusts were also observed emitting from the production equipment.

The facility, according to EMB7, violated provisions of the Philippine Clean Air Act, The Philippine Clean Water Act, and Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990.

Based on EMB-7 records, the establishment was also found out to be operating without valid Discharge Permit, Permit to Operate, and Hazardous Waste Generator Registration.

According to EMB7, the presence of a prima facie evidence that may constitute an immediate threat to life, the bureau issued an interim CDO and endorsed the case to the Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB) for proper disposition.