With the red-tide alert still in effect over Puerto Princesa Bay since July, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has blamed the absence of septage facility in the city for the continuing problem.
Jeanette Jardin, Red Tide Focal Person of BFAR, said Friday at the Kapihan sa PIA that nutrients from the household waste and agricultural fertilizers that end up at the bay were the main cause of the proliferation of dinoflagellates in the area that causes the red tide.
“Isa yon sa nagtitrigger sa kanila. Kasi ‘yong mga dumi na itinatapon sa upland ay favorable sa kanila kay patuloy silang nandiyan. ‘Yong mga ginagamit na fertilizer kung hindi nasasala o nafi-filter na napupunta sa dagat ‘yan ‘yong gusto ng mga organism na cause ng red tide,” Jardin said.
BFAR had raised the red tide warning in July and had warned Puerto Princesa residents against gathering and eating shellfish from Puerto Princesa Bay.
Jardin said that based on the last shellfish bulletin on October 12, PPC Bay still positive on red tide.
“Kung ano ang nutrients na kailangan sa atin, ganoon din sa kanila kaya sila nananatili. Weekly naman ang ginagawang test pero positive pa rin tayo,” she added.
Mario Basaya, BFAR Officer-in-charge said that establishment of septage facility is a mitigating measure that should prevent contamination of the bay.
“Napakaganda sana ng panukala na ganyan pero kami hindi pupwedeng direct sabihan ang isang local government unit. Pero sa mga pagpupulong napapag-usapan ‘yan kung ano ang pwedeng gawin para mabawasan ang mga bagay na nakakaapekto sa ating karagatan,” Basaya said.
He also said that the waste produced by livestock are also a major factor causing pollution in the bay.
BFAR meanwhile clarified that fish from Puerto Bays is safe for food consumption provided these are fresh, washed thoroughly and the internal organs are remove properly before cooking.