Bataan freeport regulator signs water treatment deal
THE AUTHORITY of Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) has forged a partnership with government entities and the private sector to ensure access to quality water in the province.
AFAB said in a statement on Friday it signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the provincial government of Bataan; the Environmental Management Bureau — Region III (EMB 3); QSR Management Link Association, Inc. and Soliman E.C. Septic Tank Disposal “for the implementation and enforcement of Republic Act No. 9275 or the Clean Water Act of 2004.”
Under the agreement, the parties have the responsibility to ensure that all establishments near the Manila Bay and river systems are complying with the law.
AFAB Chairman Deogracias G.P. Custodio said in the statement: “Small gains like what we inaugurated today will go a long way in inspiring other people to do the same.”
The signatories to the agreement “will implement various projects under this new partnership,” he added.
As part of its participation, AFAB will utilize its own sewage treatment plant to preserve and maintain the water quality used by locators and residents within the area.
It was also mandated to determine reasonable charges to treat water for households and establishments in Bataan and nearby areas.
A report — determining the number of establishments and quantity of septage treated — will have to be submitted to the EMB on a quarterly basis.
AFAB is also poised to sign another MoA with Soliman E.C., which in turn will be in charge of treating the sewage hauled.
The provincial government of Bataan will be in charge of carrying out an information education campaign IEC on the importance of the septage and sewage treatment.
“The provincial government will also issue a provincial ordinance requiring the regular treatment of septage and sewage for all households and all industrial and commercial establishments within its jurisdiction,” AFAB said.
QSR, a non-profit entity, for its part will facilitate the participation of all its branches within the Manila Bay watershed to exercise maintenance and treatment of effluents.
“The new development will help in assuring the locators at the free port that aside from a booming economy, they will also enjoy a well preserved and developed environment,” said AFAB.
AFAB is positioning the free port area as a fashion manufacturing hub in the Philippines given the cluster of companies producing high-end garments, apparel, shoes and accessories in the area.
“Its vision is to be the Freeport of choice in the country by 2020, becoming a center of trade, innovation and sustainable development in Asia and promoting work-life balance, global competitiveness and environmental protection,” AFAB said.
Data from its web site showed that AFAB approved P390.6-million worth of investments at end-2012 — four times more than the previous year.
Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano
Business World Online