>Illegal Drainage Network in Tagbilaran


By Kit Bagaipo
Bohol Chronicle
Commercial buildings and homes connecting to the city drainage network will be given 30 days to voluntarily cut their sewer lines.
This was the ultimatum given by City Mayor Dan Lim yesterday during his weekly “Mayor’s Report”.
Lim said this is an offshoot of a dialogue with Sec. Jose Atienza of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) who came here on Wednesday to keynote a national gathering of foresters at the Bohol Tropics Resort .
According to Lim, he has coordinated with the local DENR in order to draw the guidelines in cutting the illegal sewer lines tapped into the city drainage as recommended by Sec. Atienza.
Sec. Atienza said the city government should implement the disconnection.
He declared that city residents should not be made to suffer because of violations committed by some business establishments and households that are connecting their sewers into the drainage system.
Atienza’s decision guided local authorities on how to resolve the deadlock after blaming each other including the DENR and the Department of Public Works and Highways.
Majority of city residents, meanwhile, disagree on Atienza’s decision. In a survey conducted by dyRD’s top-rated “Inyong Alagad”, 83 percent of the respondents said they want the illegal connections to be plugged before opening the drainage outfall in Graham Avenue.
Lawyer Victor dela Serna, owner of the lot where the drainage outfall is located, has also aired concerns over Atienza’s decision.
“It seems that City Hall is apprehensive of implementing its own ordinance (prohibiting the illegal drainage taps) since most of the violators are prominent businessmen and influential city residents,” Dela Serna noted.
Atienza however clarified that he has explicitly ordered the local DENR to coordinate with the city government and ensure that the water that will be discharged from the drainage will not spoil the marine environment in Tagbilaran bay. 
 ”I have been apprised of the problem and I also believe residents should not be sacrificed everytime there is a heavy downpour,” he said.
 ”However, since there are laws prohibiting sewer lines coming from commercial buildings and households, violators must be punished,” Atienza stressed.
Atienza reasoned that the volume of pollution brought by the clogged drainage network and the illegal connections could not be determined unless it is submitted for laboratory test.
PENRO Nestro Canda told the Chronicle he will bring samples of water from the drainage when he goes to Cebu tomorrow.
 ”Our technical men will monitor and get water samples by the time the drainage is opened.”
 ”While we are not yet able to correct the irregularities, I have instructed the local DENR to coordinate with the city government and rush the cutting of illegal connections,” Atienza declared.

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