The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will test the water quality in the West Philippines Sea following a report on Chinese vessels allegedly dumping human waste in the area, its official said Wednesday.
At the Laging Handa public briefing, DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said they will identify the nearest portion of the concerned water territory.
“Since there is an allegation na ganyan ang nangyari ay ipapa-check natin ‘yan at titingnan natin kung ano ang pinakamalapit na lugar na pwedeng makakuha ng water sampling,” he said.
(Since there is an allegation like that, we will check and look for the nearest location of the area where we can obtain a water sample.)
Antiporda expressed doubt that the report on the alleged dumping of human waste in the West Philippine Sea was true.
He said the materials that were being dumped into the sea, as seen in the photos provided in the report, do not look like human waste but oil spill.
Asked about the call of Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto for the government to investigate and file a diplomatic protest against China, Antiporda opposed the suggestion.
“I don’t think the country should be that gullible in an allegation na hindi pa po confirmed (that is not confirmed yet),” he said.
Senator Risa Hontiveros reiterated her call for the DENR to provide a baseline report on the natural resources that were destroyed in the West Philippine Sea.
Antiporda said the DENR will follow Hontiveros’ suggestion if such allegations are found to be true.
He also questioned the motive of the US-based expert in sharing the findings to the public during the fifth anniversary of the arbitral win of the Philippines against China over the disputed territory.
“We’re looking into the motive of the prescon,” he said.
The report said Liz Derr, founder and CEO of Simularity, found that hundreds of Chinese vessels have been dumping raw sewage every day for several years on reefs in the resource-rich area, creating harmful Chlorophyll-a blooms in the waters.
It also included satellite images of the supposed dumping in the South China Sea and parts of the West Philippine Sea.
Simularity specializes in geospatial analysis and provides satellite data imagery.
Derr’s findings indicated that the damage brought by the dumping of human wastes would “take decades to recover even with active mitigation.”—AOL, GMA News

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