Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Aromatic Questions

Tourism is expected to be one of the lifeblood of San Jose that is why the Municipal Tourism Council is created and rejuvenated. The renovation and beautification of our famous Aroma Beach is now halfway and expected to be over soon. It is projected as one of the main sources of income for the residents and additional revenue for the local government. While I have no problem with that, my utmost concern here is the issue of uncontrolled sewage discharges. Key persons from the Municipal Health Office say nothing about it even in their radio program. But in the first place, do I have really something to worry about?

I am not a sanitary engineer or a medical and health practitioner but being an ordinary beach lover and self-proclaimed environmentalist, I am bothered by fears of bacteriological contamination of this beach closest to our hearts. May I know from our authorities if we have a plan for sewage collection and treatment system ready for implementation? What shall we do with the wastewater elements coming from the mushrooming commercial establishments along Aroma Beach and nearby locations? Have we already put measures on the possible fecal coliform contamination that may include ear infections, dysentery, typhoid fever, viral and bacterial gastroenteritis, and hepatitis A? Coliform is a group of bacteria indicating the state of salubriousness of seawater or shellfish. They are germs present in the intestines of warm-blooded animals and, when present in water in large numbers, they often reveal contamination by excrement and the possible presence of other disease-bearing pathogens. Another question: Do these clusters of cottages and other buildings along the beach have quality septic tanks and once full they will not overflow into the sewage lines running onto the beach?

I am just a citizen who loves to watch sunset at the beach whenever I’m down, all I know is that wastewater elements - are excreta, urine, sewage, sullage, storm water and other liquid wastes – are hazards to health and environment. Epidemics, fish kills, floods, and other related problems proved the menace brought by poor management of wastewater which claimed several lives and debilitated a number of people mostly affecting children. The tourist destinations that we try to imitate like those beaches in Puerto Galera and Boracay have been victimized by said health threatening situation.

I just wish that the Municipal Engineering Office have sanitary engineers to fully take care of the matter for they are the professionals mandated by law, specifically RA 1364, to deal with wastewater disposal. These engineers have the express authority to survey, design, direct, manage, be consulted, and investigate any activity pertaining and related to pollution, whether in water, air and land. I am not sure if they have.

In PD 856 or Philippine Sanitation Code, specifically Chapter XVII or the Sewage Collection and Disposal, it pretty much say the same thing. And to public health officers of my hometown, please tell me if my fears are baseless and unfounded or valid and relevant, aromatic or fishy…

(Photo from SanJoseOccMindoro)

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