Vloggers on Saturday captured the ship’s release, citing the reason why a large part of Manila Bay along the Baywalk turned rusty.
“‘Yong kulay niya ay ‘di nagbabago, yellowish pa rin at kumakalat sa Manila Bay so posibleng mayroon itong epekto sa marine life at mismong sa ating paglilinis ng Manila Bay,” said Manila Bay Coordinating Office Deputy Executive Director Jacob Meimban.
(Its color does not change, it is still yellowish and spreads in Manila Bay so it is possible that it will have an effect on marine life and our cleaning of Manila Bay itself.)
On Sunday morning, personnel from the Manila Bay Coordinating Office along with the Philippine Coast Guard and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority took a water sample to determine if the wastewater released was oil.
According to the ship’s oiler, Escolastico Bunyi, the ship had been stuck in the area for several months because it was damaged and needed to be repaired.
But he denied it included oil and wastewater.
“Galing din po ‘yan sa ilalim, sa dagat din. Kapag pinaaandar ‘yong makina dahil cooling po yan, seawater na may posibilidad na puwedeng sumipsip siya at papalabas ulit,” said Bunyi.
Ship under investigation for releasing wastewater in Manila Bay
(It also came from the bottom, from the sea as well. When you run the machine because it’s cooling, seawater could be absorbed and come out again.)
According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), with or without oil, a shipowner can still be held liable for violating the Clean Water Act, which prohibits the release of anything that could cause water pollution or prevent the natural flow of water.
“Dapat mayroon silang authority para permit to discharge. And at the same time, dapat mayroon din silang treatment facility within the vessel,” said Environment Undersecretary Jonas Leones.
“Kung hindi man, dapat kino-contain muna nila ‘yong wastewater nila. And kung naka-dock na sila, they should have it treated before they discharge it,” he added.
(They should have a permit to discharge. They should also have a treatment facility within the vessel. If not, they should have contained their wastewater. And if they are already docked, they should have it treated before they discharge it.)
The ship and oiler were first held while the Coast Guard and DENR investigated.