SM got it all for “Violating the Clean Water Act”
By Monsi A. Serrano
With the aggressive campaign on implementing environmental compliance and cleaner country which is part of the thrust of President Rodrigo Duterte, the Manila Bay rehabilitation is now the focus and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources under the leadership of Environment Secretary Cimatu.
There are already three commercial establishments were slapped with “cease and desist” orders by the government for “generating and discharging pollutive wastewater” and the establishments are Aristocrat Restaurant, Gloria Maris Shark’s Fin Restaurant and The Esplanade San Miguel by the Bay.
Interestingly, the establishments of the late tycoon Henry Sy, Sr., SM are all given the notices and ask to present what remedies they will do or violating the Clean Water Act. The establishments of SM that were given notices are SM Corporate Offices, SM Prime Holdings, SM Mall of Asia, SM Prime Holdings, SM Ferry Terminal (MOA complex) and SMDC Residences Condominium.
This is not the first time that SM got involved in environmental issues and compliance. As early as 2012, SM Baguio already encountered opposition in their apparent wanton disregard for protecting environment amidst their campaigns on “SM Cares” and “Environmental Sustainability”. Then in 2015, SM insidiously tricked the residents of Baguio City who opposed the cutting of pine trees when they discovered that SM Baguio had decided to cut 60 trees surrounding the mall for its expansion.
Some Baguio residents interviewed by The Philippine Business and News who are against the planned tree cutting of SM Baguio are still wondering until now how the giant retail company was able to secure permits from the local government to cut down pines trees to implement their mall expansion despite oppositions from Baguio residents and cause oriented and environmentalist groups.
But many environmentalists believe that President Duterte will not back down in his crusade to make Manila Bay clean just like what he did to Boracay even if there would be some requests or interventions from others close to the Sy family.
The President gave a green light on the proposed rehabilitation plan Manila Bay spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources headed by Cimatu. Working hand in hand with the Environment Chief are DENR Undersecretaries Mario Chan and Benny Antiporda.
Based on the information received by THEPHILBIZNEWS, the government set aside a budget of P42.95 billion for the Manila Bay rehabilitation which is expected to commence in three years because of heavy siltation due to tons of garbage flown to the bay because of no proper disposal and garbage facilities.
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