by Nico Villaceran
The Provincial Ordinance no. 2012-09 or "No Plastic Ordinance" is in line with the rehabilitation of one of the world’s top 30 dirtiest rivers Meycauayan-Marilao-Obando river system, based on New York’s site Blacksmith Institute.com.
For the commitment, pledge, and successful implementation of Provincial Ordinance no. 2012-09, the law was signed by Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, San Jose Del Monte City Mayor Reynaldo San Pedro, Obando City Mayor Orencio Gabriel, Marilao City Mayor Epifanio Guillermo, Meycauayan City Mayor Joan Alarilla, Sta. Maria Mayor Bartolome R. Ramos, together with Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando, Atty. Henry Villarica, Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO) Head Rustico De Belen, P/Sr. Supt. Fernando Mendez, Board Member Enry Santos, 56th IB Commander COL. Hilario Vicente Lagnada and Provincial Administrator Jim Valerio.
“We would like to see our river system to be as beautiful as it was 25 years ago. This is the proper time or else it will be too late. We need to provide leadership and the political will to do what is right,” Gov. Alvarado said.
Conforming to the Provincial Ordinance 2012-09’s, any person who would break the law and its rules will be penalized by paying 3,000 to 5,000 or six months to one year of imprisonment, depending on the court’s decision. If the person has no ability to pay, community service for three months will be the punishment. Business factories and manufacturers that would commit a violation will be at risk for sanctions and regulations, or for worst, their business permits must be surrendered.
“Hindi po natin ipagbabawal ang pagtatrabaho at pagnenegosyo, subalit kailangan 'yong batas na maghuhubog at 'yong mga tamang pamamaraan na walang polusyon, 'yong hindi sumisira sa ating kalikasan,” Gov. Alvarado added.
The BENRO (Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office) and PNP Bulacan Provincial Police office are the Head Agencies in charge of forcing the laws to save MMORS.
In 2007, The City of Meycauayan and the town of Marilao in Bulacan province share a slot in the list of the world’s 30 most polluted places in the developing world drawn up by a private New York-based institute. In its report, “The World’s Worst Polluted Places” for 2007, the Blacksmith Institute said: “Industrial wastes are haphazardly dumped into the Meycauayan, Marilao and Obando River system, a source of drinking and agricultural water supplies for the 250,000 people living in and around the Meycauayan-Marilao area."
The MMORS is being polluted because domestic, industrial and commercial wastes including two kinds of metals, mercury and lead. The Provincial Governmentaims to produce 1.9 billion for the dredging and it will need sanitary landfills.
First Pace to save MMORS
More that 500 Bulakenyos joined the cleanup of MMORS led by Gov. Wilhelmino Sy Alvarado and Vice-Gov. Daniel Fernando, together with officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and several non-governmental organizations.
“This is the proper time; another time will be too late. We need to provide leadership and the political will to do what is right. Let us unite so that in the soonest possible time, we can swim in clean rivers again.” Gov. Alvarado said.
“This activity is part of our long-term solution to erase the bad image that is associated with our MMORS. We are serious in making our vision a realization. With the help of other government agencies and the citizens, I am positive that we can be successful in this project,” Gov. Alvarado added.
“Masaya kaming tumulong at makakaasa kayong mapapanatili namin ang pagbabantay at paglilinis ng kailugan na to,” Philippine Army 2nd Leut. Mary Ann Dulohan said.
“Para sa kalikasan naman natin 'to, trabaho natin ang pangalagaan ang kailugan”, PO1 Espiritu said.
According to the Governor, he suspects that few industrial and commercial wastes are from Metro Manila.
“MMDA Assistant General Manager Emerson Carlos promised to meet with the Mayors of Metro Manila for the inspection of the industrial firms that discharge their wastes into the river system and eventually end up in Bulacan,” Gov. Alvarado said.