Malacañang defends crackdown on businesses polluting Manila Bay

By Genalyn Kabiling

Malacañang has defended the government’s crackdown on businesses polluting Manila Bay, saying it would not allow the worsening of the bay’s condition.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made clear that establishments, which may face permit revocation for violating the country’s environmental laws, were the ones “creating the mess” in the first place.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Panelo was reacting to the appeal of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) to the government against the arbitrary closure of erring businesses. The group reportedly said due process must be observed in dealing with businesses allegedly not complying with environmental laws.

“Hindi naman pupwedeng mag-aantay tayo kung masyadong grabe ang problema ng Manila Bay [We cannot just wait and let the Manila Bay problem worsen],” Panelo said during a Palace press briefing.

“After all, if they are non-compliant they are the ones who created the mess themselves,” he added.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) recently ordered mayors of places inside the Manila Bay Watershed area to cancel business permits of establishments polluting the bay.

It noted that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) — Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) has started to inspect commercial establishments to check compliance with environmental laws and issued cease and desist orders and notices of violations.

The concerned local government units have been directed to act on these findings and revoke or suspend the business permits as applicable.

After the massive rehabilitation of Boracay, the government moved to clean and rehabilitate Manila Bay area and launched a crackdown on its pollutants.