20 August 2007

Eco-Group Urges Polluting Restaurants to Clean Up

QUEZON CITY, Philippines. A citizens’ network on waste and pollution issues today asked the non-compliant branches of popular money-spinning restaurants to stop killing the Laguna de Bay by halting pollutive water discharges that find their way into the country’s largest brackish water lake.

Following the disclosure of this year’s “Mga Pasaway sa Lawa” (pig-headed of the lake) awardees by the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), the EcoWaste Coalition insisted that the embarrassed fast food chains and eateries should rectify their environmental lapses without delay.

“They owe it to their loyal customers in the Laguna Lake region to clean up their act. Otherwise, the public should avoid these establishments for their deliberate inaction that is killing the lake and endangering the lives of over 10 million Filipinos, especially those who rely on it for food and livelihood,” said Ben Galindo, a member of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Steering Committee.

Raquel Naciongayo of the LLDA Public Disclosure Program last Friday said that “unless these companies change their ways, the public should just boycott them." The “shame campaign” cited 104 worst environmental offenders that throw out untreated wastewater into the lake or
watercourses linked to the Laguna de Bay.

“We expect the LLDA, Environment Department and other government offices to take the lead in refusing to patronize these polluting restaurants until they have met the requirements of the Clean Water Act of 2004 and other regulations that seek to curb water pollution,” stated Galindo.

Among those cited were 10 branches of popular food outlets, namely Jollibee (Pasig-Simbahan, Market Avenue-Pasig, San Andres-Malate and Siniloan), Chowking (San Andres-Del Pilar, Malate and East Avenue-Diliman), McDonald’s (Fairview), KFC (Acropolis-Libis), Max’s
(Quezon Avenue) and Gerry’s Grill (Libis).

The EcoWaste Coalition further urged the LLDA to also chase erring local government units (LGUs) that contaminate the Laguna de Bay by operating or condoning the illegal operation of polluting waste facilities such as dumps, which pollute the surface and groundwater with toxic garbage juice called leachate.

Data from the National Solid Waste Management Commission shows that the Laguna Lake region, which includes Metro Manila and the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon, continues to have some 111 open and controlled dumps despite their prohibition under Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

“In last year’s “Pasaway sa Lawa,” Dr. Casimiro Ynares III, then LLDA general manager, announced that polluting LGUs would be the campaign targets for this year. We ask the LLDA to deliver on its promise, cite the LGU violators, and compel them to close, clean up and rehabilitate the dumps to stop further pollution of the lake from leachate and from the
indiscriminate disposal of garbage into the lake,” stressed Galindo


EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 320, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 9290376
ecowastecoalition@yahoo.com

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