Gokongwei’s URC accused of ‘intentionally’ dumping toxic waste in Bais Bay in Dumaguete City
The local government unit (LGU) of Bais City, Negros Oriental is investigating the supposed “intentional” waste discharge from Universal Robina Corp.’s (URC) ethanol plant this past weekend.
Bais City legal officer, Lloyd Joseph Elmaco, on Tuesday disclosed that URC legal counsel Laurinda R. Rogera, together with Arnel J. Palma, operations manager, paid a courtesy call on Mayor Mercy Goñi “to update (her) on the release of waste from the plant”.
He further disclosed that according to Rogera, the incident last March 4 “was intentionally done.” URC is owned by bilyonaryoJohn Gokongwei, the second richest Filipino according to Forbes magazine.
“An investigation is being conducted to know the identity/identities of the person/persons responsible,” for the supposed waste discharge into the Bais Bay, Elmaco told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in a text message.
According to the lawyer, the URC officials explained and assured that they were able to contain the waste immediately, hence, no fish kill in the Bais Bay has so far been reported.
Elmaco assured that the Bais City LGU, through the initiative of the City Legal Office, has already “ordered a close monitoring of the waters surrounding the (ethanol) plant to determine the extent of the damage the incident (has) caused”.
A team from the city’s Environment and Natural Resources Office has already taken water samples from the Bais Bay for laboratory testing, he said.
On Wednesday, personnel from the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the province would also proceed to Bais City to conduct water sampling, Elmaco said. (PNA)