Delfin Mallari Jr., Inquirer, Manila, September 26, 2006
LUCENA CITY — A dumping site for hazardous chemical wastes has been discovered in a coconut plantation in Candelaria, Quezon, an official of the nationwide environmentalist group Tanggol Kalikasan (TK, Defend Nature) said Tuesday.
Juliet Aparicio, TK program officer, said more than 90 plastic and steel drums containing different kinds of chemicals such as sulfuric acid, paint, among many other factory wastes, were found in the vicinity of the dumping in Candelaria’s Mangilag Norte village.
“Some of the containers have labels that read ‘hazardous waste.’ Masyadong mabaho ang amoy (The smell is really bad),” Aparicio said in a mobile phone interview.
The dumping site that has five man-made pits measuring two by three meters and at least three meters deep was discovered inside a coconut plantation in Sitio 3 of the village, some two kilometers away from the Maharlika Highway.
“The three pits were already filled with different kinds of chemical waste and were now covered. The two other pits were beginning to be dumped with newly arrived chemicals. The chemicals were just being poured into the dumping ground and then covered when full,” she said.
Some of the drums had labels bearing the name Light Industry and Science Park located in Cabuyao, Laguna.
Aparicio said village chairman Efren Florendo denied knowledge that what was being dumped in area were chemical wastes.
TK received the information from Caloy Reyes, the Candelaria municipal environment and natural resources officer.
“Some of residents in the area could no longer bear the stench coming from the chemicals so they brought the matter to the attention of the local government,” she added.
Aparicio reported residents as saying that the dumping of the chemical wastes started a week ago.