Sunday, September 19, 2010

'Fully disclose industrial discharges to the public'

Citing dangers posed by industrial discharges
into bodies of water like Laguna de Bay, environmental activists
yesterday called on concerned authorities for a full public disclosure
of these toxic wastes being dumped into the country’s freshwater

Greenpeace said the public has the right to know the composition of
these industrial discharges. It made the call on the occasion of
International Coastal Cleanup Day.

The environmental group joined hundreds of Laguna youths in a coastal
cleanup in Calamba. Fr. Robert Reyes, known as “the running priest,”
joined the activity.

Marking the third year of Greenpeace’s collaboration with the Laguna
Youth Development Affairs Office, Laguna youths picked up garbage from
the shoreline and segregated them, while Greenpeace volunteers, on
board brightly colored rubber boats and kayaks, took care of trash in
the water.

“We want to point to the fact that there is a kind of pollution that
may be invisible to the eye, but may prove to be a bigger hazard,”
said Beau Baconguis, toxics campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

“Unfortunately, pollution information is not made available to the
public. Therefore, they are unable to protect themselves,” Baconguis

Greenpeace recommends the setting up of a pollution disclosure system,
such as a Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR), as a tool to
empower the public and help curb pollution.

A PRTR would provide the public with a database system from which they
could check the health of water sources and identify hot spots.


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