Authorities prodded to investigate sewage dumping report in West PH Sea

Published July 14, 2021, 4:16 PM

by Gabriela Baron

Fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Wednesday, July 14, prodded maritime authorities to conduct an investigation on the ground to verify and substantiate the report that Chinese chips have been discharging wastes in the West Philippine Sea.

Satellite image of the Union Banks on June 17, 2021 (Simularity)

In a statement, PAMALAKAYA urged the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to lead the investigation and conduct water testing for the possible presence of fecal coliform.

“Our maritime authorities should look into the activities of anchored Chinese vessels to validate this disgusting report once and for all. We likewise urge the BFAR to conduct water sample testing in the area to determine the fecal coliform level,” PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson Fernando Hicap said.

“Chinese fishing vessels are rampant on poaching our high-value marine species including giant clams, sea turtles, and shark. This should be enough reason to regard the sewage dumping report as true, thus, they should be made accountable over this distasteful aggression,” he added.

On Wednesday, the Philippine Coast Guard said it is now coordinating with the concerned government agencies to verify the report.

Meanwhile, United States-based geospatial intelligence company Simularity has welcomed any investigation into the methods and results that they use in the wake of allegations that their report is “not true” and “fake.”

READ MORE: PCG to verify dumping sewage report in West PH Sea

In March, the Philippine government has filed a diplomatic protest against China over the presence of over 200 Chinese maritime militia and fishing vessels in Juan Felipe Reef.